With this stunning series opener, Django Wexler leaps to the upper echelon of today’s best fantasy authors. The Thousand Names opens his Shadow Campaigns series with a tale of bloody rebellion that will reshape an empire -- and a world. Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass see their fortunes rise under the command of military genius Janus bet Vhalnich. But Janus’ obsession with the supernatural portends a dire fate for the realm.
©2013 Django Wexler (P)2013 Recorded Books
I love military historical fiction. I love fantasy. I really loved Django Wexler's freshman outing in "The Thousand Names".
Rather than your typical fantasy setting, this one takes place in what could easily have been a campaign during the Napoleonic Era in a far away desert locale.
The characters are very well thought out, and the POV character do not overshadow other main characters at all. In my opinion, the most interesting character isn't even a point of view character.
The "fantasy" element, other than the imaginary setting, doesn't make itself really known until two-thirds of the way through the book and even then the magic system is much more subtle and mystical than I was expecting. Don't expect to find a lot of powerful "battle" magic here.
Mr. Poe's performance leaves little wanting. He has this deep rasp that just seems to go with the musket military setting. The only complaint I have is that I wish he had done a little bit more distinctive voices for the characters, especially the male characters. After a point, they all began to have the same inflection and tone and it became difficult to distinguish who was talking.
I look forward to the next in this installment.
I like battles in my fantasy novels as much as the next person, but in this book, the purpose of the characters is to provide a vehicle for the battles rather than the fighting helping to define the characters and move the story along. Would have liked more character and plot development. Narration was pretty good. I'm almost done and not sure if I will go on to the second book.
solid military fantasy.
No. I spread it out over three days.
the story is interesting and well paced. the author may not be a Brandon Sanderson or a Patrick Rothfuss but still did well. Bearing that in mind the only two things that I found annoying in the story itself were. 1 the two POV characters personalities seemed to have been taken somewhat to extremes, one is the solid workhorse captain gallant and loyal to a fault and not overly bright. the other is the woman running away from an unpleasant past and pretending to be a man to join the army, pessimistic and haunted. 2 there are no surprising twists, there are always plenty of hints to see them coming. Also while this is not a bad thing you can picture the commanding officer as a Pendergast who joined the military.
Finally a new series that I'm excited about!
This is a promising first book that I hope will lead to a great series. Its edges are soft (no hard emotional punches or grit in this plot line) it is a fun book with enjoyable character development, plot, and ideas.
While there are some extended military/battle scenes, there is also plenty of personal story line and interesting development of a grand mysterious magical/religious conflict.
Surprisingly good novel. The story follows an army , but I wouldn't really consider it heavy military fiction. While the overall plot will carry throughout the coming series the book itself ties up fairly well. There are a few teasers that are thrown out for each of the main characters that will hopefully not be drawn out for too long. The narrator has an excellent voice for the story and I personally had no problem distinguishing different characters or emotions. I will definitely purchase the next in the series.
The story is packed with action and adventure, but also has great characters of every type that are very relatable. As a major bonus, the narration is excellent. There were times when I sat in my car in the driveway listening because I needed to know what would happen next!
I thought that I just didn't like this time period as a setting. Thanks to this book I'm now all but obsessed with it. The narrator is fine but many of his voices sound very similar which can be confusing. Otherwise great, I'm starting the next one immediately.
Woman dresses like a man, and becomes a man, but better! Sorry, it's boring and predictable (and very unrealistic). I understand this is fantasy, but you have to account for the physical differences between women and men (menstruation, strength, body shape, etc). The author was probably trying to give the main character a flaw to create sympathy, but I feel it is a trope. The story was good but the characters were weak. I wasn't down with the lesbian love stuff either. Didn't finish.
Yes, I would read / listen to The Thousand Names again (though I'm already busy listening to the second in the series). So well written and so well narrated, I don't think I've felt blown away by a book like this maybe ever. The characters were compelling, consistent, even when they did something you didn't like, you could usually understand why. The story made sense, suspenseful in all the right ways. As Sanderson might say, it delivered on all the promises in a satisfying way. Even the cliffhangers for the upcoming books in the series were frustratingly fun. I dunno, it really spoke to me (hah hah... puns). But seriously, it was right on the money. Not perfect, but better than most of what I've read. Man, I'm giddy thinking about it.
How do I answer this without spoilers? I guess I'll just say, I loved Winter's first real test. Gave me shivers. Lots of the action scenes gave me this feeling. It's rare for prose to give me chills but Wexler's fights and battles really struck deep for me. Other reviewers have complained about the exhaustive attention paid to military detail. I say, this story would have been sorely lacking without it, and his balance of minutiae and broad strokes was spot on. So yeah, Winter's first test was a stunning example, I felt like I could have been there. All the other action scenes were just as good, but I'll never forget the first.
His voice is well suited to this kind of work. I feel like he is a good match for a book of this style, as well. His character voices are mostly quite good. Very consistent as well, when he delivered dialogue I could often tell who was talking just by his voicing of the characters. Five star performance for me.
I could go on but seriously, this is currently my favorite book. I desperately hope the rest of the series holds up. If I had one complaint, it would be that it's a little thin on foreshadowing early on. I'd love to say more, but no point writing a book, about this book... bottom line, I recommend it emphatically.
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