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The Crimson Campaign

de Brian McClellan

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8292626,296 (4.14)23
After his attempted invasion of Kez fails, Tamas must retreat to defend his country from the angry god, Kresimir, while Inspector Adamat tries to rescue his wife from the evil Lord Vetas in this sequel to Promise of Blood.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 25 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I'm scared to start Book #3 because I don't want this story to end. Loving it! ( )
  jazzbird61 | Feb 29, 2024 |
Book 2 of the trilogy commences with Field Marshall Tamas and two of his divisions setting up an attack on the Kez army who are assaulting Budweil, a town that controls one of the entry points into Adro, and then being cut off when the enemy use their new weapon: Powder Mages who have been warped into Wardens, the mindless killing machines which the Kez use as terror troops. Tamas and his army must now march through hostile territory, tracked and outnumbered by the enemy's cavalry, for many miles to get back into Adro and battle the threats now facing it, which escalate during the book.

Meanwhile Tamas' son Taniel has recovered from the coma into which he succumbed following his shooting of the apparent god Kresimir in book 1, but has crawled off to the local equivalent of an opium den. And when the "savage" sorceress Ka-Poel forces him to dry out, he then lurches from one crisis to another due to alienating a particular general in the army who it seems is enriching herself and her sister by selling army supplies, and may be an actual traitor. (Though in a time of war, any military person doing that would likely be shot - she is robbing the army of critical supplies such as gunpowder.) Inspector Adamat also has his own problems, trying to recover his wife and son who have been kidnapped by Vetas, a villain who appeared in book 1 and who may be working for the Kez or another, as yet undisclosed, enemy.

The problem I found with this book is that there is no light and shade or change of pace to act as an opportunity to take a breath. Peril piles upon peril. Characters are not really developed - I find them all pretty much cardboard cutouts. Some do eventually become important after coasting for book 1 and most of book 2 - Nila is the big example of this, and the startling revelation about her is sprung on the reader without any foreshadowing whatsoever. (Yes, it should be a surprise but the reader should also have the satisfaction of realising that the clues were there all along.)

Events happen in this series to rack up the tension, rather than because they make sense, are an understandable development of something that happened before, or are ever explained (the sudden appearance of dozens of cave lions in book 1 is a case in point). Characters become important temporarily, such as the Prime character in book 1, and are then dropped. Some are never heard of again, such as the female wizard who killed so many of Tamas' Powder Mages in book 1, caused havoc by fighting a duel with her rival Julene, and then promptly left.

The concept of flintlock magic is a great idea, but it is diluted by having so many rival systems of magic - Powder mages, Privileged and the bone magic of Ka-Poel, plus the more minor 'talents' possessed by people referred to as Knacked. This leads to a huge number of practitioners of the different systems, and additional ones too: Prime, Julene and the other woman whose name I don't recall are all some higher type of long-lived Privileged who form a fourth category of magic user since they are almost unstoppable even by powerful Privileged such as Taniel's friend Bo. And even more powerful than them are the gods such as Kresimir.

I found the sequences disturbing and unnecessary where a female character threatens to have another woman raped by a squad of convict types to teach a lesson to a man who is perceived to 'own' her and then actually arranges for it to happen - there are such women in real life but this character isn't portrayed as a sociopath, just as someone who is making money dishonestly from her position. Her vendetta against Taniel seems transparently personal to an extent that it becomes unbelievable that she could get away with hanging the son of the Field Marshal, even if the latter is supposedly dead, especially as Taniel is an acclaimed war hero among most of the army and also the public at large. And the constant racism and misogyny against Ka-poel is pretty wearing though maybe that is intentional, but it seems an irrational way to behave towards someone who has shown herself pretty useful in destroying the enemy. A more believable way for the other characters to behave would be for them to treat Ka-Poel as an honorary/token acceptable person while still retaining their racist/misogynistic attitudes towards others.

Given all these reservations, I can only rate this as a sold 3-star read but not a keeper. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
I thought the first book in this series was good, but that it didn't measure up to the 2nd series. But this one was just as good. Constant tension in all three developing storylines. I am sad about the death of one of my favorite characters, and a little confused by some romance and power levels of some characters who seem weaker in the later books, but this was a ton of fun with characters I'm very familiar with by this time. ( )
  ragwaine | Sep 9, 2023 |
El ataque de Tamas a Kez termina en un desastre cuando queda detrás de las líneas enemigas, con una facción de su ejército, sin suministros, ni la esperanza de recibir refuerzos. Tamas deberá guiar a sus hombres en una temeraria marcha para defender a su país de un dios enfurecido, Kresimir.

En Adro, el inspector Adamat busca desesperadamente rescatar a su esposa. Deberá rastrear y enfrentarse al enigmático amo de Lord Vetas.

Los generales de Tamas pelean entre sí, las brigadas continúan perdiendo terreno, y Kresimir quiere la cabeza de aquel que se atrevió a dispararle en un ojo. A Tamas y sus Magos de la Pólvora se los supone muertos, y Taniel Dos-Disparos se ha convertido en la última línea de defensa contra el avance del ejército de Kremisir.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | Apr 4, 2023 |
I started off this book expecting a continuation of my passive appreciation but general lack of love for this series. Boy, was I wrong. It’s not perfect; the characters still frustrate me often, and multiple-POV storytelling has never been my preferred style to read. But the second half of this book was easily one of the most riveting and well-told narratives I’ve read in a LONG time. Every primary character was pushed into uniquely challenging circumstances that served for their own development as well as realistic plot movement. On top of that, several secondary characters abruptly and unexpectedly got bumped from the “ugh why do I care” to the “now that’s interesting” category. And best of all, McClellan managed to incorporate multiple surprising plot twists while still cohesively tying together a multi-country political, military, religious, and personal narrative. 4.5 stars ( )
  jhellar | Jan 14, 2023 |
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For Michelle, my one and only, my friend, my collaborator, and my love.
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Adamat stood perfectly still in the middle of a deep hedgerow outside his own summerhouse and stared through the windows at the men in the dining room.
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After his attempted invasion of Kez fails, Tamas must retreat to defend his country from the angry god, Kresimir, while Inspector Adamat tries to rescue his wife from the evil Lord Vetas in this sequel to Promise of Blood.

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Brian McClellan é um Autor LibraryThing, um autor que lista a sua biblioteca pessoal na LibraryThing.

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813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century

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