cover image The Thousand Names

The Thousand Names

Django Wexler. Roc, $25.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-451-46510-8

Wexler’s debut is a slow-building but generally capable addition to the military fantasy subgenre, nicely blending military strategy and political intrigue before layering on fantasy tropes. In a world at a Napoleonic Wars level of technology, soldiers on the outskirts of the imperialist Vordanai empire are suddenly in trouble when the rebels they arm turn on them. Quirky Count Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich Mieran is sent to fix the situation; to the surprise of Marcus D’Ivoire, a cynical captain, and Winter Ihernglass, a soldier looking to escape her past, he does reasonably well. Janus brings news of political intrigues at home, along with scholar Jennifer Alhundt, who has a mysterious agenda. The scenes of military life and combat tactics are well crafted, and Winter and Marcus’s respective successes keep the story moving swiftly enough until the darker secret and elements of the fantastic make themselves known. Wexler’s story and characters do stray into the realm of the predictable at times, but fans of military fantasy should still get their fill. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (July)