Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Autumn Republic~Brian McClellan | Review

Title: The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage #3)
Author: Brian McClellan
Genre: Flintlock Fantasy
Length: 580 Pages
Release: February 2015

While this installment didn't quite live up to the standard set by The Crimson Campaign this was a solid conclusion to a series that I will likely revisit in the future. McClellan has the potential to climb the ranks in my list of favorite authors and I'm excited to see what he produces next.

My main drawback in this installment is really the character focus in the story. While it made sense in a lot of ways, there were a lot of characters I wanted to see more of--and, alternatively, so I could have handled with a little less page time. There were some nice father/son moments between Tamas and Taniel that I had been hoping for for a while, but then Taniel essentially disappears. He crops up occasionally, to let you know he's not completely out of the picture, but he is no longer as big of a focus and I missed that. He and Ka-poel are probably my two favorite characters and having them pushed aside so far was rather disappointing. For the story it may have made sense, but I think they could have been worked in a little better.

Through the series it was nice to see Tamas struggle with the things he has done and I really think he grew a lot as a character. He didn't let his mistakes slow him down, which was great, he just kept pushing forward, hoping that something he had done was right. And the back and forth between him and Olem was wonderful. I would have liked to see a little more of this there at the end of the book, but don't want to go into spoilers.

Nila and Bo both stepped to the forefront in this one and I think that's the main area that bothered me. I never found either of these characters particularly compelling and so their portions just kind of dragged for me. There isn't anything in particular that I don't like about them, they were just bland for me where the other characters were colorful. Vlora also had a bit more of a position in this one, though it still wasn't big. She's a character that I don't really know how to feel about. It was one of those cases where I felt like I was supposed  to like her and think she was strong and capable so instead I didn't. I don't know. She just frustrated me.

There is action from start to finish here and while I was not as into the fighting between the gods as I was the fighting between men (or even the men fighting the gods), the ending was still a solid conclusion. Things were wrapped up enough to be satisfying while leaving plenty of room open for further exploration. The characters weren't just ending on a page, they were continuing on afterward.

I definitely recommend this series and hope that McClellan can continue to improve and produce high quality fantasy adventures. His magic systems are fun and unique, his writing sharp, and his storytelling entertaining. Plus, the man can outline a battle. Now onto his new material and hoping that it's just as good as this. 

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