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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read - great introduction to flintlock fantasy
A new subgenre of fantasy for me, I have to say I enjoyed my first foray into ‘flintlock fantasy’ an enormous amount. Having never read anything of the subgenre, all I had to go on were the amazing reviews of this, and those of Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy. I had no idea what to expect, and I am glad that the gamble paid off. The book was...
Published 6 months ago by Jack

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars split opinion
Opinion for this one is a bit split, but I'm leaning towards the better side of average overall.

The beginning of the book I found a bit of a slog to read; info-dumps, awkward names and the lack of any movement didn't convince me early on that this was something I'd want to continue reading.

Once the plot gets moving though, the main strength of the...
Published 1 month ago by perfectly_calm


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read - great introduction to flintlock fantasy, 12 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A new subgenre of fantasy for me, I have to say I enjoyed my first foray into ‘flintlock fantasy’ an enormous amount. Having never read anything of the subgenre, all I had to go on were the amazing reviews of this, and those of Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy. I had no idea what to expect, and I am glad that the gamble paid off. The book was fast-paced, and I seemed to blow through it very quickly.
I’ve come to find –recently in particular- that I am a great fan of military fantasy, which I think The Thousand Names should certainly be classed as. The fact as well that it challenges the traditional ‘sword and shield’ fantasy trope, made the read a voyage of discovery for me.
I engaged with the plot quickly, enjoying the fact that ‘magic’ was considered mysterious by the protagonists and was therefore side-lined to a certain extent. While the twists were a little predictable in places (at the risk of spoilers, one of the characters not being what (s)he seemed), the ingenuity displayed by the protagonists in various of the tight spots they found themselves in was incredibly entertaining.
Overall I found the book very entertaining, in large part for its focus on the military and campaigning aspects. The way the sequel was set up in the last chapter makes me wonder whether or not I will enjoy it to the same extent. On the strength of The Thousand Names however, I am certainly willing to give it more than a chance.
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3.0 out of 5 stars split opinion, 28 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Opinion for this one is a bit split, but I'm leaning towards the better side of average overall.

The beginning of the book I found a bit of a slog to read; info-dumps, awkward names and the lack of any movement didn't convince me early on that this was something I'd want to continue reading.

Once the plot gets moving though, the main strength of the book comes to the fore: its characters. The two POV focus-points, Marcus and Winter, are given backgrounds, real personality and are the kinds that make understandable decisions as the plot progresses: they're likeable, and really helped turn large parts of the book into compelling reading for me that otherwise wouldn't have been.

The plot itself isn't particularly interesting, the Arabia-esque desert style setting works fine, but most of the book simply follows an army from engagement-to-engagement. Action set-pieces a-plenty are fine, though verging on getting a little tired toward the latter half, but do serve effectively to broaden out the POV characters and the interesting set of secondary characters, particularly the mercurial Colonel Vhalnich.

The final stages of the book introduce a magic system. Subtly hinted at earlier in various chapters, its final revelation isn't exactly spectacular – the religious overtones not helping one bit – but was effective enough, despite a tame "boss-battle", that I'd be interested in finding out the next part in the stories of Winter, Janus and the captain.

I'm not exactly running to The Shadow Throne (the follow-up novel), but I'll get to it at some point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get it, read it and enjoy it, 30 Nov. 2014
By 
Ap Bettinson "monkeymonkey" (norwich,uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I loved it! this is a great read and there is so much to like about it. Ok, it definitely does not have the depth of some other fantasy I've read (that's why only 4 stars) but it doesn't really need it. It's just a enjoyable bit of fun which does not take it's self too seriously and is all the better for it. My only query is that when I first saw this book on amazon it had a lot of 1 and 2 star reviews (mistaken reviews I think after reading it) and when I eventually came to buy it those reviews seemed to have vanished.....strange that. I wonder if mine will too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New Author with a solid start, 24 Aug. 2013
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A debut author from Del Rey that not only brings a brand new world to the fore but really picks up on the whole Flintlock Fantasy that fan's have been crying out for. The world is imaginative and with a tale that feels like it's the beginning of an epic series (with the careful world-building alongside giving the reader chance to know the world through two of the main characters initially) all round is set to give you something special.

As with Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, the scope is huge, the cast massive (with something for everyone) and when added to pace alongside prose that will more than keep you glued all round makes this something pretty unique. Throw into the mix that this debut is massively impressive alongside the twists and turns within really is giving people the chance to get in on the ground level so early on. With luck, Django will continue to work on the success of this, learn lessons from some of the problems within and won't be struck down with the infamous book two curse.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Thousand Names, 18 July 2013
By 
Steve D (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I took a chance on this book, and had reasonably high hopes for it, but my overriding feeling towards it for most of its 500+ pages was 'meh'. It's a military fantasy, which has immediately caused people to draw comparisons to the likes of Glen Cook and Steven Erikson, which is what suckered me into buying it. Sadly, it's undermined by its drab characterisation and totally predictable storyline. And when I say totally predictable, I mean *totally* predictable. If it had been a movie I would've been throwing things at the screen because it was so obvious what was going to happen. Even the big 'twist' is completely obvious from very early in the book. Okay, there was one bit that took me by surprise and - unsurprisingly - it was the best part of the book. But it didn't last long.

In a George R. R. Martin stylee - something which is getting old now - each chapter is told from the point of view of one character, whose name appears at the beginning of each section. However, there are only two main characters, one of whom - Winter Ihernglass - is vaguely interesting, and the other - Marcus D'Ivoire - is so bland and boring that I found each of his chapters a trial of patience and endurance. Winter is a woman posing as a man in the army and even though she is the more interesting character, Django doesn't do nearly enough with her situation. In fact, he gets around all of her potential problems by having her buy her own tent so that she doesn't have to share with anyone.

This is a military fantasy, so you expect battle scenes - and they are there, lots of them. But they are written without any flair or sense of peril. I never once felt thrilled or tense and, because I didn't care about the characters, I was never bothered about what happened to them, and the progress through the campaign seems to flow along far too easily. The dialogue is another weak point, usually involving one character asking another 'How are you feeling?' or, more likely, 'What shall we do now?'. There's no zip, wit or punchiness that makes good dialogue, to my mind, and therefore the characters remain flat and stale.

Coming off the back of reading Anthony Ryan's storming Blood Song, where the author took standard fantasy tropes and worked absolute wonders, I feel that Wexler has taken a fairly innovative setting (desert-based with Napoleonic technology) and missed the mark by a fair way. There was real potential here, I think, but it's been lost somewhere along the line. This is the first of a series, so he can always put it right. At the moment, though, this Django is still chained.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I really want to give this a five, but I try to be mean., 24 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This isn't Sharpe.
It's a sort of Joe Abercrombie type of a Sharpe (you know, the real Bernard Cornwall books; I do hope I've got his name right, that'd be embarrassing...)

but yes, a Joe Abercrombie version. so it's kind of like a book which is gritty and realistic; I love gritty and realistic. but it's not really either.

the goodies are unilaterally good. the baddies are simply bad. the twist isn't very unexpected.

but like the aforementioned JA, it's a really good story, with engaging characters who have their own voices and motivations. the world is to simplistic to compare to Steven Erikson, Robert Jordan or GRRM, but it works.

in this post game of thrones fantasy genre, where awful books are churned out to cash in, this is a good story and a very enjoyable read. there isn't much better.

actually, the red knight by miles Cameron is much better.but if you've read that, this is also pretty good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really great stroy telling!, 11 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Very well written novel, obviously it’s a fantasy taking place on a world of Mr Wexler's own creation, but I enjoyed the fact that he draws heavily on 18th Century ideas of arms and warfare. It’s not written as though by a military historian, just a well-constructed and interesting story. I liked the main protagonists and enjoyed the way their characters were developed. If I could give it an extra star for just being so damn enjoyable I would. It's got me hooked and I will definitely read the series.
Thanks to this author for writing such a wonderful piece of escapism.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Real page turner, 10 Oct. 2014
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This doesn't contain the usual grit and black humor I aim to read in a book of this genre, but I couldn't stop reading it. There was nothing particularly striking, the story or character's didn't blow me away. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, really well structured, very down to earth, and the military aspect is really entertaining. Looking forward to the next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rip-snorting Fun, 10 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Bought it at a foreign airport as I was out of reading material. Didn't have high hopes, turned out to be a lot of fun with a good storyline and strong characters.

There's enough tactics to make the battles seem real but it doesn't get bogged down in detail.

Looking forward to the next installment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent storyteller, 1 Jun. 2014
By 
John Grimshaw - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Thousand Names: The Shadow Campaign (Shadow Campaigns Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A plot of some complexity, well written and with enough twists to satisfy even the jaded. The next ionstallment is eagerly awaited.
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