Powder Mage

Like many books on this list, The Powder Mage Cycle doesn’t contain just one magic system. However, the one synonymous with its name stands out the most, and it’s easy to see why. Powder Mages get their magical ability from snorting gunpowder, allowing them to heighten their senses, grow stronger, become faster, and manipulate explosions. These users are excellent marksmen, able to propel bullets faster and with more accuracy. Using powder too much can cause blindness, but mages are often pushed to such extremes when fighting traditional magic users known as ‘The Privileged’. While The Privileged are similar to mages found in traditional high fantasy, McClellan throws in some interesting aspects. Rather than just flexing their magical muscles, The Privileged must use their fingers. Their right hand is used to draw power from the ‘Else’, and their left to manipulate it using special gloves. This war between two different types of magic works as a focal point for the plot and the series, naturally weaving great detail and intense action into its already strong narrative.

Books in The Powder Mage Series (3)

Similar Recommendations

Alloy of Law 
Allow of Law is a very similar setup in writing style, in character, and in the non-stop action as A Promise of Blood. Considering Brandon Sanderson was McClellan's teacher, the similarities between the two works and writing styles between authors should be no surprise.
The Thousand Names
The Thousand Names. Another Flintlock Fantasy with a Colonial bent, but this one more military fantasy. Tons of explosive action, good characterization, plot twists, and an all out exciting read. Feels similar.
The Lightbringer
Brent Weeks' The Lightbringer series is very much similar to The Powder Mage trilogy. Not in plot, but in the same action-heavy writing style, the explosive and well written action scenes, and unique magic system. Both series also have a so so first book but an explosive improvement by book two.
Blood Song
Ryan's Blood Song is one non-stop action ride from start to finish. Yes, the plot is not the same, nor the writing style, but it's an enthralling read about violence and a book you just can't put down. Blood Song is a coming of age while The Powder Mage trilogy is not so much.
The Emperor's Blades
Another book from the new wave of fantasy writers that have been putting out startling debuts the past two years. The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne is more typical 'epic fantasy' in the vein of a reworked Tolkien, yet I do feel if you'll probably enjoy it greatly if you like Blood Song. Don't expect the same sort of read -- they are completely different works, but I think if you enjoy one, you'll enjoy the other.
The Warded Man
All raw action, a unique magic system, and a darker themed world. These are some the same themes and ideas explored with McClellan's Powder Mage books. I suspect you'll enjoy The Warded Man if you like A Promise of Blood. Note that The Warded Man is part of a series that falls the pieces after the second book, but the first book is magnificent.
The Red Knight
The Red Knight. First book in Miles Cameron's awesome new series (Traitors Son Cycle). It takes some of the Arthurian knightly traditions and mixes in some good old epic fantasy into it. Tons of action, lots of fighting, lots of magic, a unique magic system, a powerful hero, a huge cast, military strategy, and an almost insane attention to real historical medieval minutia about items, living, and settings.
First Law
Joe Abercrombie's works are not the same, but they do embody the quintessential definition of gritty fantasy -- and you do find a good deal of grittiness in Brian McCellan's Powder Mage trilogy. So if you like the gritty aspect of The Promise of Blood, do check out Abercrombie's First Law books for a real good dose of it.

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Other books by Mcclellan, Brian

Powder Mage

Like many books on this list, The Powder Mage Cycle doesn’t contain just one magic system. However, the one synonymous with its name stands out the most, and it’s easy... Read more

Powder Mage Trilogy

A series of pure awesomeness. If you love the action, magic, and adventure of a Sanderson novel, you'll love the Powder Mage trilogy. The magic system is one of the... Read more

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McClellan starts up another trilogy set in the same universe as his 'Powder Mage' trilogy, but ten years after.I daresay it's also the author's best work so far, with complex... Read more

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Sins Of Empire

A new epic fantasy series from acclaimed fantasy author, Brian McClellan, set in a world where magic and gunpowder meet.A world on the cusp of a new age... The young... Read more