The Crimson Campaign – book #2 in the Powder Mage trilogy. Gush review!

Let me have my excited fangirl moment on this book. I am loving this series, I devoured this book (it genuinely took me only two days to read, sleeping was not as important as continuing reading this story). I believe this is another fast paced story; there is constant activity, the parties clearly are going through a lot. Yet it does not feel overwhelming. It is simply astonishing McClellan’s ability to condense all of this in one book.

As for this review, I want this to be mostly a collection of thoughts about the characters and their story lines. I genuinely love each of them; I have my favorites as always, and there is only one character I am not feeling much for (and to point fingers, Vlora) but I will expand a bit more later.

Just some details about the book and the publisher first!

The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan, published May 6th 2014 by Orbit

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Tamas
Gavril and Tamas relationship is adding a level of complexity to Tamas’ story line that is amazingly clever. It adds depth and interest to the human side of the parties.
Tamas is trying to get out of Kez alive, following his less than perfect strategy. Yet, it appears that he might have been betrayed. So is there still a Kez informant in this army/side?
I wonder if this story line took some inspiration from Napoleon’s Russian campaign – most notably his retreat. It also feels fairly authentic in the description of what a band like this would go through. Yet, the description never happens from the foot soldier’s perspective (which is a very smart choice) so it is difficult to judge.
Vlora – who grew on me with the novella – returned to be pretty meh. Sure, she messed up with Taniel and she is paying for the consequences. I just do not think her relationship with Tamas really helps her character develop – it helps in fleshing Tamas out though.
As always the dialogue between Olem (now Colonel) and Tamas are just hilarious.

Taniel
Taniel really got himself in an awful place. After waking up from the coma, he becomes even more addicted to a different substance. He wants to forget until news of his father’s death reach him and he resumes his role as the hero (despite his reluctance to do so) and goes to the front to battle against the Kez army.
Mihali keeps being this odd character, Adon reborn. The god and the chef, the god who manipulates through just breathtaking food. Yet, I want to see more of the Kresimir and Adon confrontation which is not happening yet – maybe book 3?
Also, Pole – I want to know a lot more about her and her magic. She is this “savage” with impressive (yet not disclosed) magic abilities. The more I read about her abilities, the more I think about voodoo religion¬†especially when the description is about the dolls Pole makes. She is also fierce and brave, I have not seen a single instance in which she looked/sounded scared.
Mihali’s death was totally uncalled for and it genuinely had an impact on me: the brother who tried to stop the massacre, the brother who loved humans more than anything else was killed by his own brother in a moment, in a flash of blinding light.
Yet, I loved the confrontation between Taniel and Kresimir, it was an intense and felt moment; and I was absolutely enthusiast about Ka’Poel’s fundamental intervention (prior to the events) and her following Bone-eye sorcery with dolls (hundred of dolls) and scary immense power that can wipe the whole world, really.

Adamat
Adamat has one of the best family man driven stories I have read in a while. His family is all that matters to him and he is going through a lot of loops to get them back. He rescues most of his children at the very beginning of the book; yet his wife Faye and his first born Josef are still missing. This will send him in a mission to rescue them and win against this opponent Vetus. He is going to ally with the Proprietor and Bo who will help him in rescuing his wife. Faye has an amazing strong moment in the book followed by an extremely realistic PTSD moment – I cannot wait to continue reading about that.
Now that Josef still needs to be found, it appears he is also a powder mage – but how did Adamat not know about that before? This is a very odd situation.
Josef is going to be Adamat’s driver for the next book; specifically, he is going to be the drive to convince Adamat to help Bo in his quest. And what is going to happen to Nila?

Another character I am genuinely enjoying is Fell. She is stunning, creepy and mysterious. Very interesting – and I am wondering if she is not the daughter of Richard who is very secretive about why he hired/bought her. There is so much mystery around her and her abilities I cannot wait to read more!

 

Please let me know your thoughts down below!

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