Book Review: ‘The Thousand Names’, by Django Wexler

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.

‘The Thousand Names’ by Django Wexler is the first in The Shadow Campaigns.   


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