I was trying to think of a cool topic to write to you about but I’m coming up blank. All I can really think about is how I want to finish reading the The Price of Valor by Django Wexler.
I’m going to buy you this fucking book so we can geek out together.
You’d better read it.
There is homework though: there are two books before it. I’ll buy them for you also.
The first book in The Shadow Campaigns is named The Thousand Names, and its a portal into a vast world where black powder cannons and magic meet. The book opens on a distant continent of Khandar with our cast being the Colonials, an army that is waiting for help. We meet several of our characters here: Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass. It’s pronounced eern-glass; I asked the author (he doesn’t know how to pronounce d’Ivoire). They have recently been pushed back by a native army and they patiently await their new leader and reinforcements.
Meeting these characters and the world felt effortless. I was a little confused at first because the last few books I read had first chapters that were history lessons. But no, Django has a subtle way of telling me what I need to know and not making it feel like hefty exposition. His world is grounded, his lore is grand, and most importantly to me his characters are human. I feel like I can know them and connect to them, and their plights feel real to me.
The story is spearheaded when the new colonel arrives and drives the army back out to the field. While he must push them to complete their military objectives, there is more at work as the colonel has further ambitions than just completing their campaign. There is more at stake, and everyone is involved. Their quest will take them in pursuit of their mysterious goal: The Thousand Names.
The next book following that was The Shadow Throne. We meet a slightly new cast but we are back in their native country, and we learn about the turmoil there. But most importantly it sets up the first book almost to be like an entire prologue! Its very cool. The second book explodes with new places, characters, and it connects the story and lore together. Django has a deft hand when it comes to penning convincing characters, scenarios, and nations.
The next next book is The Price of Valor and I’m not telling you a fucking thing! Go, quickly, catch up to me because I wanna geek out with someone so bad and I already tweet at Django a lot.
I picked The Thousand Names up randomly one day at Powell’s because I’m pretty sure Steven Erikson is done writing.
The internet says, “Oh no no, he has books coming! Someday! Keep hoping and keep waiting!” Well, I am waiting. The Fall of Light has been promised and pushed back and promised and pushed back. I’ll wait for your Steven, like a battered husband.
And then this one book was like, “Hey you! Yeah, you! You like magic? You like muskets? Do you enjoy fancy made up words like Khandarai and ahb-naatham!? Read me! Available now.”
I liked these books so much I gave one of my characters in Rogue Trader a saber and flintlock pistol and ran around calling myself Marcus. The character died promptly because its the year 40,000, but I made my point.
So your mission Emily: catch up.