Ladies and Gentleman, I give you a book done right…
Whew. I finished this book a couple of days ago, but its taken me this long to calm down enough to write about it.
The Autumn Republic--the third and final book of the Powder Mage series--is a 600-page heart attack. Shortness of breath. Elevated heart rate. Tears.
The Powder Mage series is really one long book divided into three parts like LOTR or Mistborn. Thinking of it this way, The Autumn Republic is a 600 page climax to a really cool story.
From Promise of Blood to The Crimson Campaign to The Autumn Republic, the Powder Mage series is awesome. It's a world with multiple unique magic systems, set in a civilization just breaking into the industrial age. Think the civil war combined with Sanderson-esc magic. Black powder muskets and bayonets, God's and armies, kings and revolutions.
As great as the story is, the people are even better. Early on its hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. It sorts out eventually, but every one of these characters are flawed--and that makes them perfect.
About 100 pages into book one I wasn't feeling very fluent in the characters. I discovered there are six short prequel novellas that take place in the years before Promise of Blood, so I stopped reading book one and quickly read these prequels--they are only 30 to 70 pages each. They give the back stories for all the main characters and introduce you to some minor characters as well. They are technically optional reading in the scope of the bigger story, but I recommend them to all. For me, they turned the characters of the story into people I cared to read about.
A warning to those with sensitivities, there is a good bit of violence and colorful adjectives. I recommend it for mature teens and adults.
Happy reading friends!