Guns and Magic? What more could you ask for! Here’s a snippet off Goodreads to start us off!
Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.
To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.
The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.
Have you ever read a book that transported you to another world? Not just metaphorically but you truly felt like you were there? The wind and the sun being described so vividly you begin to feel them on your skin. The bustling city detailed so intricate that you begin to hear the rising vocals of a hundred townspeople. The crescendo of a cannon in the distance is not just a figment of your imagination but you can feel the booms shake your bones.
This is a very rare gift that is not bestowed on many authors. I can probably think of perhaps less than 10 books in total that have actually taken me on a journey like that.
Django Wexler has this gift. His series, the Shadow Campaigns, was recommended to me after I finished a trilogy in a similar genre, the Powder Mage series by Brian McLlellan. Both series being described as flintlock fantasy. This term, new to me, describes a genre that I feel was written exclusively for me. I have a deep interest in military history with a focus on the british expansion of the 17/18th century and the French revolution and ensuing fallout in the same time period. Flintlock fantasy takes this historical time period and moves it to fictional lands and introduces a magical element. ‘Guns and magic?’ you say? ‘Can I have both? ‘ you wonder? Yes you can, and what a combination.
Django’s first book, the Thousand Names, takes you to fictional Khandar, where an uprising has shaken loose the military occupation and leaves our hero, Marcus D’Ivoire, in charge of a demoralized army hiding in a broken fort. With the impending arrival of reinforcements their job is to take back the city but somebody might have an ulterior motive that Marcus could never predict. The more pages I read the more I realized this book was going to go much deeper than I thought. Not just a war chronicle, the magical twists laid dormant enough that I enjoyed the historical accuracy in the description of battle formations and weapons, yet laid just enough of a touch that it felt like a brand new world with elements I never expected.
Guns, magic, political intrigue, maybe a touch of romance? This book had all the elements a master story requires mixed together perfectly.
Rating – 5 Atticus stars!
Page Count -513 pages