The Thousand Names

Thousand Names.indd The Thousand Names UK

Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel — but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic…

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.

But the fates of both of 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.

Read an excerpt from The Thousand Names.


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“Wexler has produced something unusual in the fantasy line, with a setting reminiscent of the early Victorian period, out on the bleeding edge of Empire, a world of dust and bayonets and muskets... and magic. The characters are fascinating and -all- of them have secrets. The heroes range from the noble to the distinctly ambiguous…I read it at a gulp and look forward to more."

– S.M. Stirling, New York Times bestselling author of LORD OF MOUNTAINS


"I absolutely loved it. Wexler balances the actions of his very human characters with just the right amount of imaginative "magic" to keep me wanting more."

– Taylor Anderson, National Bestselling Author of the Destroyerman Series



"Wexler’s polished military fantasy, first in the Shadow Campaign series, distinguishes itself from other epic doorstops with its unique setting, intricate plotting, and layered characters. Seasoned captain Marcus d’Ivoire is the only volunteer in Khandar, a distant Vordanai colonial outpost surrounded by desert. When a religious rebellion turns the quiet outpost into a war zone, Marcus must whip out-of-practice soldiers into a functioning army. One of these rankers, Winter Ihernglass, is unexpectedly promoted, making it difficult to protect her—yes, her—secret, though her competence is undeniable. Both rely on the brilliant, enigmatic new leader, Colonel Janus, but he has an ulterior motive: a magical relic that has been the true danger all along. Wexler makes military tactics riveting, though at times the sheer detail given over to the realities of pseudo-eighteenth-century warfare (think muskets, swords, and cannons) is too much. Fortunately, at these times, a riotous battle, a perceptive character beat, or another hint of insidious magic comes to the fore. This excellent series debut is for fans of Peter Brett, Daniel Abraham, and Joe Abercrombie." --Krista Hutley, BookList

"Extremely strong debut, flintlock fantasy at its best. ... Django Wexler’s The Thousand Names shall from now on be considered the standard set for all new flintlock fantasy to strive for." – Nick Sharps at SF Signal

"...the incredible world building, character development and yes, even the complexity of it all, will hook epic fantasy fans and leave them anxiously waiting for the next book in the series." - Sarah at Bookworm Blues

"Django does an excellent job with his characters. Each one is hard not to like and no matter who is the focus of the chapter, they are great fun to ride along with..." - Tyson at Speculative Book Review

"...Django Wexler does what needs to be done in the opening volume of a fantasy epic: he introduces the characters and sets the scene, then successfully peels back the layers and raises the stakes. If you enjoy military fantasy and/or flintlock fantasy, The Thousand Names is definitely worth a look." - Stefan at

"Strong pacing and thrilling action highlight this series debut that you can't miss. Django has said that we can expect a deployment in The Shadow Campaigns roughly once a year, and next summer cannot come soon enough." - Patermagne at A Bitter Draft

"The Thousand Names ends wonderfully with plenty of promise for the next novel in the series. I’ll certainly be back, and definitely recommend this book for anyone in the market for a new flintlock-style military fantasy novel." - Thea at Booksmugglers

"CONCLUSION: The Thousand Names is a spectacular epic fantasy debut that heralds Django Wexler as a talented author and The Shadow Campaigns series as a future flintlock fantasy classic." - Mihir at Fantasy Book Critic

"And such detail on the military life! ... From camp conditions to battle tactics, to the lines of grand strategy, the authenticity of the military fantasy is here in full flower. We get set piece conflicts of all sorts, drills, the perils of trying to form a fighting force from raw units, and believeable campaigns, even given the genius of the commander. This is far and away the best and strongest selling point of the book." - Paul at SF Signal

"Django Wexler’s debut, The Thousand Names: Book One of The Shadow Campaigns, is a fine addition to the growing number of Fantasy novels mixing magic and Napoleonic-era technology. If Flintlock Fantasy is your thing, you won’t want to miss it. If not... well... guns and magic, people. Guns and magic. There is a whole lot of awesome waiting for readers in The Thousand Names." - Jordan at Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing

"Wexler is extremely skilled at turning up the tension, and always has you wondering how his heroes are going to get out of their next scrape. Blood is spilled, limbs are lost and the cost for success is always high. And, just when you think you know what’s going to happen, he manages to pull the rug out from under you with a lovely little twist at the end. ... The Thousand Names is an assured debut from Django Wexler and a must-read if you enjoy an action-packed, page-turner." - Mike at Fantasy Faction

"Wexler has written a smart and engaging novel that's well-paced, nicely detailed and full of memorable scenes. If you're new to flintlock fantasy, then you would do well to start here." - Nerds of a Feather

"The Thousand Names is riveting debut which is bound to whet your appetite for the further installments of The Shadow Campaigns. More of the same please." - Upcoming4me

"...I enjoyed The Thousand Names a lot, and I can’t wait to see where Wexler takes the reader with future books. The Shadow Campaigns series is certainly something to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing where Wexler can take us with book two, which I will certainly be on board for." - Bane of Kings and Bellarius, The Founding Fields

"The Thousand Names has some minor flaws, but it is nevertheless an ambitious, well-written opening act. I can’t wait for book two, and I think most readers will feel likewise after reading this." - Stefan at Civilian Reader

"The Thousand Names is highly recommended. If you enjoy a more historical, low-magic fantasy story rich with details about military campaigns of the Napoleonic era, this is the perfect book for you. But there is enough here that almost any avid fantasy reader will enjoy this book." - gwyned at Writer Adept

"So . . . can you tell I liked this book? Yes? Good. Because you’re right, I liked this book immensely. If I were to have any complaints about it .. . well, the names got me like no other. Marcus. Great name. Janus? Equally great name. Winter? Epic name. I just couldn’t pronounce the last names (or the names of most of the Khandari characters) worth a bean. But on the other hand, it lent itself to a beautifully crafted world which seems normal on the surface, and slowly reveals its magic as you learn more about it. Give it a try, dear readers. I dare say you’ll enjoy it." - The Baron at The Book Tart

"If the length of this review doesn't make it clear, I loved this book. Being not particularly fond of historical fiction or military fantasy, Wexler had his work cut out for him, and he delivered on every level. With compelling characters, mysteries and secrets around every corner, and battles that are so vivid that you can almost smell the smoke and hear the impact of musket balls on flesh, The Thousand Names is a debut you shouldn't miss. Django Wexler has earned his spot on my must read immediately list from this point on." - Matt at 52 Book Reviews

"More importantly, the court intrigue and the excellently detailed battles never take primacy over character development. Wexler has given us a band of brothers — and sisters — that have depth and motivation, and are compelling to read about. The magic use in the book builds slowly and organically until the climatic end, which is a scene fit for the big screen. The Thousand Names delivers on all its promise and shows how a good fantasy novel can shake up old tropes and borrow and improve on tropes from other types of literature. It will leave you wondering why the second book isn’t already in your hands." - Brian at Between The Covers, Baltimore County Public Library

"Ultimately, what matters is that The Thousand Names is a really fun novel. It has some great characters, a great plot and a really interesting magic system that comfortably sits on the fence between the typical fantasy magic system and something different." - Abhinav at Shadowhawk's Shade

"Once the first quarter of the novel passed, I was glued to the pages and was very invested in the plight of all the characters, with a very strong fascination for the enigmatic Janus. I thought Winter’s character struggles throughout the novel made for a interesting look at gender, war, and identity. ... In the end, I was very impressed with The Thousand Names and immediately dove into the sequel The Shadow Throne. Recommended." - Rob at SFFWorld

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