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In short, this is a well-written book that is worth your time and money.
The good: The narrative is great, certainly a lot better than I was expecting. There is a fair amount of mystery about what the real motivation is for everybody. About every quarter of the book you learn something important to change how you view the world. Going into the book, I was cynical about the character tropes based on the publisher summary; however, I found every character reasonable and believable (even the antagonists). Each character has their own motivation and didn't seem to do things just so the author can move the plot along. The magic system is interesting, but is not fleshed out too much. The narrator does a good job keeping tone and rate of speaking consistent with the tone of the book. When the action is getting fast and furious you can really feel the tension.
The bad: the narrator does a bad job with female voices. Men voicing for women are not usually very good, but this was particularly bad. I think if the 'Lady' in Lady Vlora Flint was removed I would never have known her gender based off the narrator's voice. It also took me about an hour to warm up to the narrator's voice in general, but I found it enjoyable (eventually). It could have been like one of those "the beatings will continue until the morale improves" situations.
There are several references to the past of some characters that would probably be appreciated if prior novels were read (this is the first book I've read from this author).
Normally I find more than a few things to gripe about in a book, but for this I only found the narrator irritating sometimes. This book was a great experience and I can't believe I found it from a random pick.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Having greatly enjoyed the Powdermage Trilogy and McClellan's novellas, I was very excited to see Sins Of Empire become available. Once again, the author has delivered an engaging novel that draws you into his world and his characters. The reader does a fantastic job and brings back the same "voices" for the familiar characters while wrapping you into the highs and lows like a bard of old. I'd highly recommend Sins of Empire to any McClellan fan, and any fan of darker epic fantasy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful