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The Thousand Names: Book One of the Shadow Campaignsby Django Wexler
Synopses & Reviews
Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic....
Captain Marcus d'Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empires colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.
To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.
The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Januss ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.
"Wexler's debut is a slow-building but generally capable addition to the military fantasy subgenre, nicely blending military strategy and political intrigue before layering on fantasy tropes. In a world at a Napoleonic Wars level of technology, soldiers on the outskirts of the imperialist Vordanai empire are suddenly in trouble when the rebels they arm turn on them. Quirky Count Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich Mieran is sent to fix the situation; to the surprise of Marcus D'Ivoire, a cynical captain, and Winter Ihernglass, a soldier looking to escape her past, he does reasonably well. Janus brings news of political intrigues at home, along with scholar Jennifer Alhundt, who has a mysterious agenda. The scenes of military life and combat tactics are well crafted, and Winter and Marcus's respective successes keep the story moving swiftly enough until the darker secret and elements of the fantastic make themselves known. Wexler's story and characters do stray into the realm of the predictable at times, but fans of military fantasy should still get their fill. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts. He is also the author of a forthcoming middle-grade series.
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