Hope’s End

And so begins my first ever review:

Hope’s End is a short story from Brian McClellan that takes place shortly before the opening of his novel Promise of Blood. It’s a nice introduction into the flintlock fantasy world of the Powder Mage Trilogy.

You can see a sample of the first scene on his Facebook page here. Just that first little bit does a good job laying out the conflict, introducing the protagonists, and setting the general mood. I suggest checking it out, it will give you a solid feel for the rest of the story.

Basic premise: Captain Verundish is given an ultimatum from her husband: kill yourself or your daughter is sold into slavery. At the same time, she finds out that the man she loves is tasked with heading up a suicide charge against a fortress – something known in the Adran Army as a Hope’s End.

What I really appreciated about this piece is that you don’t have to have read Promise of Blood to understand what’s going on. He does a solid job of introducing enough of the setting and magic to make sense, without overloading you with useless garbage; a hard line to toe in a second world fantasy short  story. As an immersion type reader, I would have liked to have felt a little more connection with the setting, and maybe even some more character building, but that’s hard to do in a couple dozen pages, so I’ll cut him some slack with that.

All in all, Hope’s End is a fun little read for when you’ve got a few extra minutes to kill and you want something with some action, some emotion, some things getting blown up, and some flintlocks.

The story can be purchased here, and Brian’s novel Promise of Blood is available here.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, or not so, let me know! Your feedback can make future reviews better!

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