Posts Tagged: The Powder Mage Trilogy

The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan

Preorder The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan: Book/eBook

Brian McClellan turned a lot of heads earlier this year with the release of Promise of Blood, the first book in The Powder Mage Trilogy, a flintlock fantasy that SciFi Now called, “a historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic.” Machismo aside, (that’s a virtue in a novel?) McClellan’s debut has been getting a lot of attention during year end discussions about 2013′s most exciting new authors, and anticipation for the second volume in the series, The Crimson Campaign is high. Unfortunately, McClellan has announced that it will not be hitting its previously announced release date. The novel “has been pushed back from February 18th, 2014 to May 6th, 2014; a delay of about two and a half months,” says McClellan.

On his blog, McClellan further explains the delay (which, in a nice twist of fate, is not due to any difficulties in finishing the novel, it’s simple publishing strategy):

[Orbit] has decided that a May release would be so much better in order to put The Crimson Campaign into has many hands as possible. I completely trust their decision in this matter. They’ve done such an awesome job with my books so far, I don’t think they’re going to let me down now. You may be grumbling that it sounds like a marketing decision and wondering why this matters to you. It is, and it does: the better The Crimson Campaign (and subsequent books) does in the bookstores, the better I will do as an author, which will allow me to focus on writing and not, say, go find a full time job doing something else. This means that you’ll continue getting a Powder Mage book every year for the next four years after this one, rather than me having to spread out the release dates because I don’t have as much time to write.

This also effects the release of the Promise of Blood trade paperback. Orbit will push that release back to April 8th in the US. The UK release will stay the same (January 18th).

The delay is unfortunate, but given its prior release date placed it just two weeks before the release of Words of Radiance, the second volume of Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives (and likely to big the biggest fantasy release of 2014), and McClellan’s own growing popularity, it’s understandable that Orbit wanted to reposition the release to move it out from under the shadow of a behemoth.

If you have not read The Powder Mage Trilogy, the first volume, Promise of Blood is available for $1.92 on Kindle (in many countries, current to the publication of this post.) The Crimson Campaign is available for preorder: Book/eBook

Magic is often used to keep the status quo, until it becomes accessible to the common man and suddenly turns the world upside down.

You don’t see a lot of gunpowder in fantasy.

It’s there, especially in historical fantasy. But it’s not as common as one might think. Most fantasy seems to take place in a pre-gunpowder period despite gunpowder having been around in our own world since the middle ages. I think this has a lot to do with what we read when we were kids. Many of us grew up on medieval fantasy. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis dominated my childhood. When I was old enough to go looking for books at the library, I read David Eddings, Tracy Hickman, and Robert E. Howard. None of the stuff I read had any gunpowder in it and when I first started writing all my settings were medieval.

So beyond mere habit, why don’t we see much gunpowder in fantasy? I think that magic, in a lot of ways, fills in for gunpowder. It’s something mysterious. Perhaps it can be used by the common man, but the common man doesn’t know the secrets behind it. Only a few people can master those. It can be volatile and dangerous, used for both good and evil. Magic is often used to keep the status quo, until it becomes accessible to the common man and suddenly turns the world upside down. Read More »