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Monday, March 30, 2015

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler (Once Upon a Time)

The Thousand Names is the first in the Shadow Campaigns series.  It is a military fantasy (or a flintlock fantasy---new term for me), and since I have a tendency to like military strategy in science fiction, reading a military fantasy kept me engaged.

But it isn't all about battles and strategy, The Thousand Names has well-realized characters, gender-bending, intrigue, and magic, too.  

The prologue at the beginning seems a little out of place and a kind of misdirection, but once I got to Part One and Winter's pov, I became more and more involved with this epic fantasy.  

I liked both Winter and Captain Marcus d'Ivoire's characters and especially liked the information they provide about the third major character--Colonel Janus bet Vahlnick, the strange, brilliant, and enigmatic new arrival who takes command.  Marcus, who has more direct contact with Janus, is disconcerted and puzzled by the man, and no one expects the direction in which Janus takes the Colonials.

Secondary characters are also well-developed, and I especially liked a couple of these, but won't tell you which ones because they are important in several ways and figuring this out is part of the fun.

I was engrossed throughout and can't wait to see if the library has the second book, but must warn prospective readers that this will appeal mostly to those who enjoy military fiction.  Even if you don't, however, this book may change your mind.

Once Upon a Time Challenge

Library copy.

Military Fantasy.  2013.  528 pages.


  1. I don't know that I have read any military science fiction. I do like military fiction on occasion, so maybe I would like this. Good character development is always a plus. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention, Jenclair.

    1. I find it odd that I can get so involved with military fiction, battles, and campaigns, but The Thousand Names has such an obvious connection to the French Foreign Legion and that is interesting, too.

  2. I had not heard the term Flintlock Fantasy either! I'm not a big fan of military fiction but I'm intrigued by this one and a great choice for the Once Upon a Time challenge!

    1. Don't you love accumulating new book jargon? Naomi Novik's Temeraire series would certainly qualify as a flintlock fantasy.