THE THOUSAND NAMES

Posted: May 9, 2017 in Book Reviews

By Django Wexler

513 Pages

The Thousand names are mysterious. I still do not really know what or who they are. But Perhaps that is Django’s way of getting me to buy the next book in this series titled The Shadow Campaigns. And you know what, it might just work.

A group of Religious fanatics known as the Redeemers have rebelled and taken over a city in the great Desol, which is a large desert that spans the land with no end. At least we do not know where it ends. The entire story takes place in this desert with really no other information about this world other than there is an ocean. And there is this massive deadly desert.

Janus, The newly arrived Colonel has been sent to the desert to restore order, suppress the rebellion and gain back control for the king. This story revolves around the 3 Characters Colonel Janus, captain Marcus D’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass. The army is not happy and filled with a bunch of fresh recruits with virtually no training and it seems it is up to these three to get them in top shape and train them. Winter enlisted not expecting to be in command of anything but soon ends up getting a promotion in the field and faced with earning the trust and respect of those whom are under winters command.

There are 2 main groups of people in this story. There are the Vordanai and the Deslotai.

The Deslotai are the desert people who are at war with the Vordanai. They are described as a grey skinned people and their leader is called the steel ghost because he always wears a mask of steel. This Steel Ghost seems to have the ability to be in multiple places at once and appear and dissapear at random.  Among this group there is a smaller group of people led by a mysterious woman simply called mother. This is a group of women priests who have a mysterious magic about them.

Janus

A military leader who seems to be nothing short of insane and secretive. Every decision made seems to be a death sentence for the army and yet somehow they manage to come out victorious every time and survive. Despite this there are many who do not trust him. They are all convinced they are going to die with every move.

Janus seems to be a man of dedication and focus to the objective. He is over obsesses however with what is called the thousand names, all we know about it is that these names are a source of great power and delve into the world of the super natural.

Marcus

A man of honor and integrity committed to doing what is right. He has tried and tried to understand Janus’s orders but can never really understand but despite this he follows them to the best of his ability.

Winter

I want to take some time to focus on the character of Winter because Winter is, I feel, the most interesting character in this book.

Winter was raised in a prison through no fault of Winter’s, but because Winter was basically an orphan. Winter eventually escaped and ran off to join the army. Winter however has a secret which so far has been kept a secret for quite some time. You see Winter is not a man, but in fact a woman.

Being in the army is Dangerous for a woman as she would not typically be allowed in. She found herself in a situation that made the military her only escape. Throughout the book she is haunted by re-occurring dreams of how she betrayed and failed her best friend who was married off to a brute and abusive man. She continues to dream and have visions of her last moments with her.

After a battle she finds an injured woman, name Feor. She takes her in and does her best to hide her from the rest of the army as she takes compassion on her but must hide her presence. It turns out this was going to be a literal life saver for her down the road as well as that for one of her most trusted soldiers by the name of Bobby, who as it turns out is also a woman.

I really liked the character of Winter as I felt that her story reflected well on the challenged woman have faced in military. Her desperation to keep her secret and just to survive I felt comes across quite well and authentically.

Once she has been placed in command her insecurity really comes through as she tries to be confident in herself while trying to gain the trust of those under her command. She comes across as a strong character, but with all the flaws that make us human. She was by Far my Favorite Character.

I would say however that this story loses some points for not much in the way of actual world building. All we really know about this world is it has a big desert, and there are religious fanatics. It would be nice to have more knowledge of this world.

Other areas I really liked and enjoyed is the mystery behind who and what the Redeemers are. The idea of a mysterious cult of dark magic users revolting is fascinating and while a theme that is repeated in many fantasy books it is one I have never tired of reading. Every author’s take on this theme is unique and entertaining in its own right and Django Wexlers is no different.

This one is well worth the read and I do recommend it to anyone, While not an outstanding book it is still a good read which gets a 6.5/10 book worms from me. I certainly look forward to getting the rest of the series in the near future and finding out how this all plays out in the end and maybe even learning more about what this thousand names I keep hearing about is all about.

 

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