The Girl Of Hrusch Avenue, by Brian McClellan

You may notice a lack of publication info for this one… As of yet I believe it hasn’t been officially released – the copy I read was an epub provided for review by the author, so here’s a shout-out of thanks for that! Advance-copy readables always give me the excitement.

[Puts away the Very Mild Smug] Okay then! On to the thoughts.

This is, as the picture above informs us, a Powder Mage short story. It features a young Vlora, before she became one of Field Marshal Tamas’s best soldiers – in fact we get to see how they actually met, and there’s an appearance from a young Taniel (son of Tamas) as well. 

Vlora as a girl was instantly likeable to me. She is a feisty child who cowers before no one, and is not afraid to get up to mischief while she’s about it. This story gives us a situation in which both of these personality traits are put on display – upon overhearing a conversation between Tamas and her orphanage ‘minder’ regarding buying her from the orphanage, Vlora (who is very soon determined to become a powder mage one day) promptly runs away. What follows is quite the smirk-worthy ‘mishap’ involving Tamas, the kids and a disgruntled baron who’s not fond of children or their antics …

It’s a source of mild annoyance to me when I find a short story that I enjoy, because they always end too quickly! This was the case with The Girl Of Hrusch Avenue. I liked the setup and the scenery instantly, same as with Vlora, and the peek at a younger Tamas, before the events in A Promise Of Blood, was pleasing to me as well. I’d like to get more of these stories as the series goes on; if this one is anything to go by they may well enrich the story arc in the novels all the more. So, yes! This pleases me. It may continue. 

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