Name: The Autumn Republic
Author: Brian McClellan
Number of Pages: 577 (Paperback)
Published: 5th January 2016 by Orbit
Genre: Epic Fantasy
The capital has fallen…
Field Marshal Tamas returns to his beloved country to find that for the first time in history, the capital city of Adro lies in the hands of a foreign invader. His son is missing, his allies are indistinguishable from his foes, and reinforcements are several weeks away.
An army divided…
With the Kez still bearing down upon them and without clear leadership, the Adran army has turned against itself. Inspector Adamat is drawn into the very heart of this new mutiny with promises of finding his kidnapped son.
All hope rests with one…
And Taniel Two-shot, hunted by men he once thought his friends, must safeguard the only chance Adro has of getting through this war without being destroyed…
THE AUTUMN REPUBLIC is the epic conclusion that began with Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign. – from Goodreads
I enjoyed the Powder Mage books right from the first page of Promise of Blood, so I was looking forward to starting the final book of the trilogy, although I wanted to read slowly as I knew it was the last time I would be with these characters and I had that feeling of ‘are my favourite characters going to make it through this alive?’.
As this is the final book in the series I don’t know if I’ll make it through my review without giving spoilers from previous books.
The Autumn Republic is a great conclusion to an exciting trilogy.
Events pick up right after the conclusion of The Crimson Campaign. Adro is still facing unrest, and Lord Claremonte, with the backing and might of his Brudanian Trading Company, is residing in Adopest. The Kez are still a threat and the war isn’t completely over. So, there’s plenty going on right from the start.
There are battles, betrayals, schemes and plots. The magic is as brilliant as ever, especially as seen through Nila, the young woman who started out as a laundress and is now on track to become one of the most powerful Privileged ever. I loved reading her experiences as she learns to wield her greatest strength, a deadly fire capable of massive destruction.
I enjoyed reading of her friendship with Bo, who becomes her mentor as she tries to channel her powers. Nila and Bo take quite a central role in this book, and became new favourites for me.
Elsewhere Adamat, having made an awful discovery about his missing son, decides to keep out of the action to keep his family safe, but it’s not long before he’s drawn back into things as he tries to assist his friend Ricard Tumblar in his campaign to become First Minister of Adro.
It’s a dangerous campaign as other people have their sights on that post too, and Adamat and Fell become involved in an investigation to discover the identity of an unknown enemy.
I really like Fell. She’s quite mysterious, always there at the centre of the fighting, more than capable of taking down any threat before her. I’d love a whole book devoted to her back story, and how she came to be such an efficient assistant/bodyguard/assassin.
I also loved Adamat’s plot; as a contrast to the fighting on the battlefield there’s scheming of a more shadowy nature, and the variation made this a great read.
And of course, at the heart of this whole long-running war is Field Marshall Tamas. I liked him from the outset and nothing changed throughout the trilogy. He was the main character I really hoped would survive the trilogy. I’m not giving anything away about where his dream to form a republic will lead him. He’s a character I won’t forget for a while.
He is driven and determined, willing to tackle any enemy to reclaim his lands and see his dream realised. He may be the ‘old man’, but that won’t stop him doing what needs to be done. He leads his men into battle, even when his closest allies implore him to stay back. He’s a real leader.
Taniel, Ka-Poel, Olem and Vlora all feature in this final book too, and there are revelations about certain other characters. One in particular was a wonderful surprise.
As a minor character, I loved General Arbor, the old guy who kept taking out his false teeth when he was talking to Tamas. Such a random detail but it was funny – during such perilous times this old battler just goes about his business minus his false teeth.
The ending… well, I can’t say too much and risk spoiling a wonderful conclusion, so I’ll just say the action built up to a wonderful final battle and I may have shed a tear or two at certain moments. That’s all…
So, it looks like it’s time for me to stop writing about the Powder Mages and their great story, but it’s not time to leave this world behind entirely. My next read is going to be Sins of Empire, which I believe takes place in this same world and features some characters from this series. I really can’t wait to get started, because if it’s as good as this book then I’m in for a real treat.
If you’ve not read Promise of Blood, The Crimson Campaign and The Autumn Republic then you’re in for a great experience should you pick these books up. The series has a lot to offer and I definitely recommend it.