The Thousand Names

Narrated by: Richard Poe
Series: Shadow Campaigns, Book 1
Length: 22 hrs and 13 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (845 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about The Thousand Names

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Military Fantasy

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.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

90% battles and 10% character development

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.

24 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lesbian relationship becomes a focus of 2nd book

If reading about same sex relationships is not your thing then you do not want to start this series. With that said the book is an okay listen. Wexler tries for a deep story told from many viewpoints but does not quite pull it off. The characters are interesting but still seem like that... characters. It also seems that Wexler either has adjectives that he likes and uses over and over or he does not know their synonyms. Hearing a favored word several times becomes jarring.

The failure on the story side is saved by the wonderful narration. The only downfall Poe has is that his female characters still sound like males. I have listened to many male narrators who, while not being able to get the pitch of a female voice are still able to get the feel of a female voice so that they don’t sound male.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good. Not great but quite good

If you could sum up The Thousand Names in three words, what would they be?

solid military fantasy.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I spread it out over three days.

Any additional comments?

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A flintlock fantasy that's worth sticking with it

Captain Marcus D'Ivoire is captain of the 1st Battalion of the Colonials, the Vordanai empire's colonial garrison in a land where rebellion has suddenly exploded. His job has just become much tougher, and it's not made easier of the new colonel. Marcus, as senior captain, has been running the regiment since the death of Colonel Juarez. He's happy to be relieved of the paperwork and extra responsibility that goes along with that, but Count Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich Mieran turns out to be a very odd character indeed. He's here to put down the rebellion, but he has another mission, too, that he isn't telling anyone about.

Winter Ihernglass is a ranker in that same army. Winter's little secret is that she's a woman--she disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Colonials to escape her past. She relies heavily on not being noticed very much. When changing conditions see her promoted first to sergeant and then to lieutenant, it's very much a mixed blessing. She needs to make herself into a leader of men and take responsibility for leading her company into battle against the rebellion.

Our main viewpoint characters are Marcus and Winter, but we do get a few scenes from the perspective of the "other side," specifically the Vordanai-trained rebel general and some Khandari priestesses.

The story itself is very effectively setting up the beginning of a multi-volume fantasy epic. It's a flintlock fantasy, with government and social institutions appropriate to that time period and technology level, and the people are humans. Other than that, nothing about the politics or culture suggests that this is in any way set on our world. The world-building is good, the characters are complex, and the religions feel real. That last point is a pet peeve of mine; too often in fantasy worlds one sees "religions" that mainly reflect the author's modern skepticism and hostility to whatever flavor of religion they were raised in, with no apparent awareness that other intelligent, honest people might think--and believe--differently, especially in a radically different environment than our present day. It's not a perfect book. There's a lot going on here and sometimes it's hard to keep up. At times, Winter's success in hiding her gender, for so long, and then when she is promoted to command of a company and the higher visibility that brings, strains credulity.

Stick with it, though. It's an enjoyable book, and rewards persistence.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fun new series! YES!

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Immersive & Surprisingly Addictive

Wonderfully creative and well-written! As someone who has never read a book detailing napoleonic military tactics, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. Cannot wait to listen to book 2. And thank you Wexler for giving us Winter.

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one part was good but the rest was terrible

while the Morrison part was very good the Winter Part is terrible making me skip nearly half the book just so I didn't have to hear it

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kind of boring

there was a war for nothing, someone got special powers, everyone goes home. was waiting for the book to "get started" maybe book 2?

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Good start to a series that gets better

I just listened to this for the third time. I love the series, though I think this book is the weakest in a series that gets better with every book. The very beginning drops you into a story in a slightly confusing way, with minor characters you can't keep straight that aren't very relevant to the rest of the book, and introduces the fantasy element. However, that fantasy element is then put on the back burner for much of the early part of the book, and it focuses on 18th-century-esque military life and battles with muskets and bayonets. I like military fiction with a heavy focus on tactics and a sense of the realism of military life, but that section might be less engaging at first if you don't already like that sort of thing. It gets better as it goes on, in particular when it introduces more and more fantasy elements. I think the series is well narrated, and all of the characters' voices fit the characters. Overall, if you find yourself feeling a bit "meh" about this book, please give the next one a try.