Booklist Reviews

McClellan picks up right where Sins of Empire (2017) left off, as the invading Dynize Empire seizes the Fatrastan capital of Landfall and its surviving defenders retreat into the continent's interior. Lady Vlora Flint, powder mage and leader of the Riflejacks mercenary company, attempts to not only deal with the threat from the Dynize army but also to track down and destroy the true goal of the invasion, the immensely powerful godstones. On an assignment from Lady Flint to find one of the godstones, the newly restored leader of the Mad Lancers, Ben Styke, struggles with persistent and vengeful enemies as well as his own past. In the midst of the Dynize occupation, the former Blackhat and spy for the Palo resistance movement, Michel Bravis, attempts to find and retrieve an important but unwilling informant in Dynize society while saving his own skin. A brisk and engaging narrative complete with fast-paced action and memorable characters, the latest journey into McClellan's explosive fantasy world will satisfy both established fans of the series and newcomers. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this terrific epic fantasy sequel to Sins of Empire, McClellan mixes quest, battle, and espionage plotlines with strong character development and a variety of magics. He does not provide any narrative assistance for new readers, such as a plot summary or cast of characters, but instead launches right in with Ka-Sedial, leader of the invading Dynize forces, tasking six preternatural dragonmen with killing Ben Styke, leader of the Mad Lancers. Ben, powder mage Gen. Vlora Flint, Taniel Two-Shot, the bone-eye sorceress Ka-poel, and their forces seek out the two remaining godstones across the vast continent of Fatrasta, hoping to destroy them before Ka-Sedial can use them to create a new god. In Landfall, the first Fatrastan city that the Dynize captured, Michel Bravis must find a woman he knows only as "Mara" and spirit her from the city on Taniel's orders, even if that means infiltrating the Dynize occupiers. McClellan ably balances combat, ranging from fistfights and duels on up to pitched battles between armies, with the love, rage, loyalty, and soul-searching of individual characters. This is top-notch epic fantasy fare. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.