Genre: Fantasy – Flintlock
Series: Powder Mage #2
Publisher: Orbit (May 16, 2014)
Length: 608 pages
My Rating: 5 stars
Fantasy lovers! Flintlock aficionados–
And everybody else here who just loves great books:
Today, today, you find yourself equals.
For you are all equally blessed.
For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure
Of introducing to you a middle book of a series which does not suck,
A tale which can proclaim that it is better than its predecessor in every way.
When I first picked up The Crimson Campaign from atop my huge t-b-r pile,
It instantly dazzled me with its exciting action,
Awed me with its battle scenes,
And clearly announced that Promise of Blood was no one time wonder.
Next, this splendid novel amazed me further still with its characters,
Who grew and evolved in their personalities
From their close brushes with death
As meted out by their individual enemies.
And those powder mages who dazzled me in book one returned,
Spending their page time showing off their mesmerizing powers
Just so I could understand exactly how awesome they really were.
And so, without further gilding the lily,
And with no more ado,
I give to you the Middle Book Masterpiece,
The Grower of Great Characters,
The Provider of Powder Mage Awesomeness,
The One –
The Only –
The Crimson Campaign!
Picking up a short time after book one, things have not really improved for Field Marshall Tamas and his beloved country of Adro. In fact, Tamas’s attempt to blunt the huge Kez invasion has resulted in him and the Powder Mage Cabal being trapped behind enemy lines, pursued by a superior force of cavalry, and desperate for food and ammunition. All of Tamas’ legendary military brilliance needed to lead his forces across northern Kez, so he can get back home before the Kez overwhelm Adro.
Back in Adopest, Taniel “Two-Shot” has survived his attack on the god Kresimir but is stuck in a drug induced state, trying to come to terms with killing a god. Many people – including Ka-Poel – attempting to rouse him to action, since the Adro army desperately needs their hero back on the front lines. The remaining Adro generals unable to defend against the seemingly unstoppable advance of the Kez troops – and the one-eyed god who supposedly now leads them.
Meanwhile, Inspector Adamant continues his pursuit of the devious Lord Vetas. His every thought focused on saving his wife and children, then killing Vetas slowly. Quickly, Adamant begins to calling in every favor he is owed, stooping to lengths he never thought he would, and even resorting to blackmailing powerful people to get the resources to finally bring the fight to Lord Vetas himself.
There are so many great things to praise about this book that I really don’t know how much to gush. Honestly, I loved ever page of The Crimson Campaign. It had no flaws, negatives, or issues I recall. Pure pulse-pounding entertainment from cover to cover. So instead of writing paragraph after paragraph of everything I loved about this novel (and trying to uncover an issue I can bitch about), I’ll merely say, “ It’s great. Everything about it. You should read this flintlock fantasy series NOW!”