Hope’s End: A Powder Mage Short Story by Brian T McClellan

In between the release of his novels, Brian T McClellan has been filling in gaps in the history of his Powder Mage Universe by writing some short fiction. Hope’s End is the story of Captain Verundish and an impossible position. A loveless (and fraught marriage). An affair and a love that cannot bloom while that marriage remains in place. A child in danger.
Oh, and yeah, and then there is the titular Hope’s End. It’s not the Captain’s position, but rather its a military tactic: a pell-mell, throw in all the chips near-suicidal attack against a fortification. In the PM universe, its a recognized technique and trope. For, General Tamas, too, you, see, has been put in an impossible position.
Two impossible positions, two impossible situations, may both be saved by an act of heroism. Hope’s End is the story of that heroism, and what people will really dare to do when there is nothing left to lose.
I’d have liked more background in the story, but the story itself is entertaining enough and worth its absurdly low price. I think it works better once you have read the novel(s), rather than reading this first, since many things are simply not explained and its assumed the reader will know them. This is a story to fill in a gap, rather than introduce you to the author’s work for the first time.