Review: Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder 1) by Brian McClellan

A world on the cusp of a new age…sins type5
The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place — a frontier destination for criminals, fortune-hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of an oppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

Sedition is a dangerous word…
The insurrection that threatens Landfall must be purged with guile and force, a task which falls on the shoulders of a spy named Michel Bravis, convicted war hero Mad Ben Styke, and Lady Vlora Flint, a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall’s present.

The past haunts us all…
As loyalties are tested, revealed, and destroyed, a grim specter as old as time has been unearthed in this wild land, and the people of Landfall will soon discover that rebellion is the least of their worries.

  1. Sins of Empire
  2. Wrath of Empire
  3. ??? (pls come soon!)

vince happy

Sorry to start this with a gif (I promise it will remain the only one in this post!). But this sums up my feelings really well. I freaking love this book and with it, Brian McClellan can take his rightful place together with Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson, Terry Pratchett and Jennifer Fallon. (e.g. he now belongs to my favourite authors and I will probably read everything he publishes).

Seriously, I thought the Powder Mage Trilogy was perfect and he won’t be able to top it. But he just did! It’s like an Omega vs Okada match. Every one they have gets better and better.

So this book.. I try to not give away anything that happens in the previous trilogy. You can probably even read this trilogy before the Powder Mage Trilogy. It stands for itself. You will not feel lost. BUT. I strongly recommend you read the Powder Mage Trilogy before. Just because  Sins of Empire kinda gives away the ending (you know who survives and who doesn’t). And you won’t get all the feels like I did when CERTAIN characters turn up. It’s more fun like that, so read all of Brian McClellan’s books. You won’t regret it. I swear^^

Sins of Empire takes place about 10 years after the end of ‘The Autumn Republic’. I try to give you an overview real quick, so you know what’s going on:

The place of action is Fatrasta. There’s some low key civil war going on as the Lady Chancellor and her secret police are oppressing the Palo population who in turn are stirring up shit with pamphlets called ‘Sins of Empire’ and an ominous leader called Mama Palo, rallying her people. Vlora and her mercenary company are called to the city of Landfall to deal with all of this and find Mama Palo. A random Blackhat, called Michel Bravis, is given the task to report on Vlora as well as finding out who is behind the pamphlets. Colonel Ben Stykes, former leader of the legendary Mad Lancers and convicted war hero is also there, being awesome. And don’t even get me started on that mysterious obelisk, that was discovered.

Oh boy, there is just so much going on. The pacing is excellent. It never gets boring. The story has everything you want. It’s part detective/crime story, magical, has awesome battle scenes, scheming and some politics.

Characters are not who they seem to be, there are a lot of surprises, and if you read the Powder Mage Trilogy before, you will probably be VERY happy about some of the revelations.

I knew a lot of the characters before, like Vlora and Olem. Even Ben Styke. ESPECIALLY Ben Stye. I’ve been looking forward to reading more about him since I encountered him in 2 short stories. He is older now. More beaten up. But still bloody amazing. He is involved in some of my favourite scenes, whether it’s fighting freaking DRAGONMEN, or being all cute and gentle with the girl Celine he kinda adopted. He’s an amazing character and I love reading about him. This is also the story of him becoming the man he was once again. Becoming the legend, the one and only Ben Styke, leader of the Mad Lancers, that everyone speaks about in awe. Great story-telling!

I don’t actually want to write too much about the content, because I don’t want to give away anything. Just be sure that you will probably fall in love with the characters, the setting, the magic and the writing.

Please read. Sorry, I’m a fangirl, and too excited.





  1. I’m listening to The Powder Mage on audible and was curious if I should keep listening since it is starting a little slow… Will keep on keeping on! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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