The Mad Lancers: A Powder Mage Novella by Brian McClellan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ben Styke is a war hero and commander of a garrison in Fernhollow. Fernhollow is a small relatively peaceful out of the way town until a Kez Squadron spends the night. Major Prost, The Fatrastan Governor's brother, beats a local business owner for asking him to pay his bill. Styke intervenes on the business owners behalf and the real trouble starts.
Ben Styke is one hell of a killer which for the time period is fine, but he has an equally fierce temper. I can't help but feel as though if anyone with the slightest bit of diplomatic sense had taken Styke's place when confronting Major Post that the entire book would be different. Styke acts first and thinks second and Fernhollow suffers because of it. When he's thinking he's a horrifying monster to face. Styke is the biggest hammer in a world full of nails. He can't help but smash them. Styke fights like Rocky Balboa. His face may be all bloody and he may be unable to see, but you should see the other guy.
The Mad Lancers felt somewhat unnecessary. Perhaps at some point as Gods of Blood and Power progresses I will be curious about the Mad Lancers origins and the beginning of the Fatrastan Revolution. Right now I'm uninterested by Fatrasta and it's history. Styke is a curiosity, but I largely wonder if he was the inspiration for Kez's Wardens. He's the most physically resilient and powerful non magically augmented individual in the Powder Mage universe to date.
The Mad Lancers was a solid origin story of the military group with the same name.
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