cover image The Shadow Throne

The Shadow Throne

Django Wexler. Roc, $25.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-451-41806-7

This audacious and subversive sequel to 2013’s The Thousand Names shifts from the previous book’s military campaign into a political intrigue that examines issues ranging from gender identity to the development of democracy. Janus bet Vhalnich has returned to Vordan City and been named Minister of Justice by the dying king. He quickly assigns Capt. Marcus d’Ivoire to be his master of arms and sends soldier Winter Ihernglass undercover in a gang of female criminals. As Marcus and Winter learn secrets about their pasts, they’re caught up in present-day intrigue, much of it caused by the Princess Raesinia: she’s working in disguise to foment revolution against the manipulative Duke Orlanko, who has all but ensured he’ll be her regent when the king dies. Wexler throws a lot into the story, but the mash-up of 17th-century technology and demon-summoning assassins comes together nicely. There are a few threads that get wrapped up a little too neatly off-screen, but readers will still be eager to see how the trilogy ends. (July)