In the latest Shadow Campaigns novel, Django Wexler continues his "epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict" following The Shadow Throne and The Thousand Names, as the realm of Vordan faces imminent threats from without and within.
In the wake of the king's death, war has come to Vordan. The deputies-general have precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with steadfast soldier Marcus D'Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.
As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle. And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary.
©2015 Django Wexler (P)2015 Recorded Books
This is much like the 1st and 2nd book, just of course, it's a continuation of the story. The story ended with a few loose ends, unanswered questions, and a few cliff hangers, so I think there must be a 4th book in the pipeline, but I don't know. The only complaint I have is that there wasn't very much back story in the beginning to remindime what happened in the first two books. I had to restart the book 3 times after listening for two, or three hours, just for me to remember the different characters, and get up to speed. As for the narrator, I really like him and he does a great job.
As in both the previous books, both the author's craftsmanship and the narrator's excellent telling continue to be put on display in book 3. Unfortunately, so has the author's strange obsession with continued erotic encounters between Winter and Jane. Even worse, these romantic interludes have now regressed into arguments that come off like hissy fits. Since the romantic encounters only involve Winter (now a colonel leading a regiment of soldiers) and Mad Jane I'm left wondering whether the author has some fetish with lesbian love affairs?
I mean, seriously! If there was ever a novel that cemented the idea that fraternization between ranks needs to be prosecuted, this is it. On many occasions, these encounters caused significant problems while Winter was attempting to prosecute an ongoing war effort. A couple of times, Mad Jane got so emotional, she took her band of merry soldiers and went AWOL, once going on a drunk binge and scaring all the townspeople. Also, Winter is an emotional basket case with worry over her fear of loss of her lover. And don't even get me started on the absolute ludicrousness of Winter as a lowly ranker (like a private), going from ranker to sergeant to lieutenant to captain to colonel within a few years. Oh yeah, before I forget, we have a ranker by the name of Anne Marie who, single-handedly convinces a well-manned fortress of superior troop strength to surrender using only her feminine guile.
With that said, I am still very impressed with the author's skills at writing a wonderful fantasy novel for the rest of the story. Captain (now colonel) Marcus story arc is mostly interesting; albeit, considering how he defers (and prefers) to take orders than to make them, he seems like a weak link in most military encounters. Ranker Bobby (now sergeant) resurfaces but, oddly, only plays a minor role. Queen Raesinia continues to be instrumental in resisting the brutal coup d'etat in the background while Janus flirts in and out as general of the East Army in the war effort.
Report Inappropriate Content