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The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2014
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Praise for The Thousand Names
“A fascinating world of dust and bayonets and muskets...and magic.”—S. M. Stirling, New York Times bestselling author of the Novels of the Change
“I absolutely loved it. Wexler balances the actions of his very human characters with just the right amount of imaginative ‘magic’ to keep me wanting more.”—Taylor Anderson, national bestselling author of the Destroyermen series
“The incredible world building, character development and yes, even the complexity of it all, will hook epic fantasy fans and leave them anxiously waiting for the next book in the series. ”—Bookworm Blues
“Django does an excellent job with his characters...they are great fun to ride along with...”—Speculative Book Review
“A spectacular epic fantasy debut that heralds Django Wexler as a talented author and The Shadow Campaigns series as a future flintlock fantasy classic.”—Fantasy Book Critic
“Such detail on the military life! From camp conditions to battle tactics, to the lines of grand strategy, the authenticity of the military fantasy is here in full flower.”—SF Signal
More Praise for the Shadow Campaigns Novels
“Gritty, brutal, and yet wonderfully intimate...exceptional military fantasy.”—Jason M. Hough, New York Times bestselling author of Zero World
“Succeeding volumes may end up doing for the Napoleonic Wars what George R. R. Martin did for the Wars of the Roses. Highly recommended.”—Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow Novels
“The Thousand Names is marvelously written, ingeniously conceived, and great fun. Without a doubt the best book of [the] year.”—Simon R. Green, New York Times bestselling author of the Secret Histories Novels
“Wexler has written another excellently entertaining novel, filled with battles and politics and personalities....It subverts, interrogates, or outright inverts a good few tropes associated with epic fantasy.”—Tor.com
About the Author
Django Wexler is the author of the Shadow Campaigns novels, including The Infernal Battalion, The Guns of Empire, The Price of Valor, The Shadow Throne, and The Thousand Names. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts. He is also the author of the middle-grade fantasy novels The Forbidden Library, The Mad Apprentice, and The Palace of Glass.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Which is to say that it takes a while -- too long for my comfort level, and maybe even for my tastes. It takes a while, but it does come.
In the meantime, there are some competently-written Napoleonic-era, colonial battle scenes to get the reader through, and we get to know some appealing characters, if not all as intriguing (not early on, in any case) as I might have liked.
All of it gets better towards the end. Not so much the writing, which remains good throughout, but the characters, the promised sub-plots, and the promised, finally-redeemed, magical system (which is quite intriguing and well, if too briefly, revealed.
And if that sounds a tepid review...it is only partially intended to be. It WAS a very good, if not terrific read.
On the other hand, I VERY MUCH EXPECT, that the second book in the series - now that the magic AND the real plot have been revealed - -will be much more fun and, frankly, an over-all more engrossing read. The first installment really would have benefited from having the magic and related sub-plots having been offered up much earlier, but, for all the ambivalence of THIS review, I am eager to plunge into the second installment. The game is now afoot. The magic is unleashed. I can't imagine either will be containable past the first few chapters...and so long as they are not, this next book should be a helluva read.
The book is bloated with pages upon pages of battle scenes that, to be frank, were really incredibly boring. The problem wasn't necessarily the writing, but more of: I don't care who wins the battle, I don't know enough about either side, I don't care about these characters all that much.
Also... I have a really high standard when it comes to battle scenes. It's really not enough to just say a character is clever. I want to know why a character is clever. I want to know the odds stacked against them and see them escape by the skin of their teeth. I swore I wasn't going to say it here but I just can't help myself. Uhtred gives me bee bombs. Uhtred gives me lepers and reanimated corpses and oracles and Trojan horses.
Colonel Janus gives me... bluffing and educated guesses.
Come on man.
Now that the unpleasant part is out of the way- I am happy to say that I did really, thoroughly enjoy the latter half of the book. I think Winter's character and story was far superior to Marcus's bland white knight, obedient soldier routine.
The writing was fine. Some of the plot points were relatively predictable (Bobby... the Steel Ghost... Adrecht...).
I have an idea what the Thousand Names are now and why they are significant. I'm excited to see where Winter's story goes. If Marcus gets left out of the second book I will shed no tears. I do wish the author would not interrupt a battle scene to describe a cricket statue with enormous junk... but it was a debut novel so I'm hoping some of the pacing issues will be solved in the next book. Which I absolutely do intend to read, though I am in no rush.
All in all- I would recommend this to fantasy readers with lots of patience.
There is quite a bit of military strategy and description of terrain, formations and how battles take place. Obviously, this is to be expected in a military fantasy book. I think it hit a good balance of being extremely descriptive so you could follow the action and not overwhelming you. The book follows a military force on a campaign into the desert and the writing really captures the stark geography and problems of moving a military force through inhospitable territory.
There's not a lot of emphasis on magic until the very end of the book when the action becomes really intense. The end of the book definitely sets it up for a sequel which I'm sure I'll read sooner or later!