Review: The Crimson Campaign
Its been a tough couple of reviews this last month. It's nice to have something to talk about that I am unabashedly a fan of.
Crimson Campaign is the second in a series of books by Brian McClellan. It's one of those guilt free rides of a fantasy novel. There's a lot of quality in this story and it's one of the novels that really helped me find my own voice in the last year as I've worked on my 2nd and 3rd novel. The continuation of the world created in the first novel, The Promise of Blood, is a true joy. The primary focus being the unique magic system that is the center piece of the story.
Powder mages. Magicians with a unique tie to gunpowder creates the basis for a spiraling story of political intrigue, war, and the appearance of gods in the world of men.
The world of the powder mages has become embroiled in a war between nations. It mostly serves only as back drop for most of the characters as they serve in the remains of the military of the primary nation of the tale. It's not a totally random choice either that the mages use gunpowder. This is a world that has come to a kind of crossroads where industry has begun to gain ground on a society that has mostly been ruled by its magic community and the gods that rule from the beyond.
This crossroads is represented all through out the world presented. Women finding small victories in a patriarchal society. A young woman whose people are subjugated by an Empire continues to show power in simple ways. Democracy struggles to maintain itself at the end of a Monarch's rule. The themes of the transition of power are woven powerfully through the book and the series.
This book suffers some from part 2 syndrome more then a little, and is something that should not be read without reading the first novel. Though don't worry in a few weeks I'll gush about part 3, so I assure you that investing the time in this series is definitely worth it.
The Crimson Campaign gets three stars out of five.