"The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.
It's a bloody business overthrowing a king...
Field Marshal Tamas' coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas's supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.
It's up to a few...
Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.
But when gods are involved...
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should.."
Promise of Blood is an excellent debut that mixes and matches stuff - magic and technology, intrigue and action, individual fights and battles, worker unions and ancient nobility, gods, sorcerers, magicians, well sketched world building with promise of expansion, memorable characters - most notable Tamas who is the main driver of the action - but the rest too, all in a fast moving, occasionally over the top package that one cannot put down.
While not quite yet at Brent Weeks level of "compelling" the novel has some similarities in "feel", but it has much more magic overall.
Starting with the actual coup of Tamas against the king and nobility, the action continues fast and furious on a few fronts. Tamas has to consolidate his and his 6 very disparate but powerful allies rule, while dealing with an unexpected royalist counter-attack, grasping neighbors that covet Adro's wealth and potential as well as with powerful magicians with varied interests; not to speak of a famous curse/prophecy that has the god Kresimir who created the Nine Kingdoms some 1400 yeas ago return and smite anyone who would overthrow one of the kings.
As the people of Adro actually did that (overthrowing the king) since most follow Tamas as they show in the famous "elections" day - what the "elections" mean I will let you discover - this means that the angry Kresimir - if he exists of course - will destroy the whole country. Of course it then helps to have a god of your own, even though he may be quite mad.
In the other two main strands, Inspector Adamat investigates stuff for Tamas, this essentially being a vehicle to show life in Adro and its capital as well as the various factions and power players, from another "street" angle as well as delve into the world building from a historical point of view, while Taniel "Two Shot", Tamas' son and second most powerful "powder mage" after the marshal himself, has to contend with the sorcerous threats to his father's rule, while dealing with personal problems, un-trustful allies and the like.
A great ending at a good stopping point though of course the story just gets started.
Overall a winning debut who will make my top 25 and a series I expect will get only better as it progresses