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The Thousand Names

Written by: Django Wexler
Narrated by: Richard Poe
Length: 22 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With this stunning series opener, Django Wexler leaps to the upper echelon of today’s best fantasy authors. The Thousand Names opens his Shadow Campaigns series with a tale of bloody rebellion that will reshape an empire -- and a world. Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass see their fortunes rise under the command of military genius Janus bet Vhalnich. But Janus’ obsession with the supernatural portends a dire fate for the realm.

©2013 Django Wexler (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Start to a Fantasy Series!

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I was SUPER enthralled every time I was listening to it. I tried to listen only when I was doing chores and stuff and ended up just sitting on my bed and listening rather than doing anything. The storyline is really compelling and the characters are ones you really root for. However, I thought there could have been a bit more explanation at the end and I thought the first little bit was a bit thick with explanations. I also feel like there could have been a better handling of the races of the two warring factions because it reads really white but probably shouldn't based on the setting.

I enjoyed reading about the war and military tactics (which I wouldn't typically say because that's not really my thing) but I felt like the beginning had too much of an emphasis on it. I understand that it was to show us the life of a Captain (Marcus) versus the grunt (Winter) but it made for a bit of a dense read at the beginning when I should have been swept away. It took me a v long time to get past the first part (almost a month and a half) instead of the couple of hours it should have been. Once the focus shifted more to the characters and how they would have to survive the campaign (rather than the campaign itself), I found myself unable to turn the audiobook off. I was blowing off other reading responsibilities just to listen to this one. And it's the characters that really saved this one for me.

I loved Winter and her story. I felt super connected to her and am really glad we got her perspective on events. I also liked how her story intersected with Marcus and Janus. I think it was honestly the characters and their thoughts, feelings, and motivations that kept me so heavily invested in the story. And they are the reason I will be continuing on with the series (in book form, since I own the rest as hardcovers).

I thought the world-building was a little lacking. I felt like the magic system wasn't fully explained and thrown together at the end to give us some sense of "resolution" but it definitely wasn't enough. I feel like this one was bogged down with battle details rather than expanding upon the religious sects, the magic, and the history. I would have liked to know a bit more about all these things -- especially since they seem to have a large impact on the rest of the story. I think it was wise to keep the characters in the dark at the beginning, but that didn't mean we the readers had to be in the dark for the whole novel. I think we needed more from Janus's perspective (and not through Marcus and Winter) so that we could have a clear picture and focus but instead it just felt as though there was a need for a magic system so it got clumsily added to the end of the story.

I was anticipating something more from this one and even though I enjoyed actually listening to the book and the characters, I feel like there was too much battle details and not enough magic system/world-building for me to truly be satisfied. I am hoping there will be more in the next one, especially with an epilogue like that, so I am looking forward to reading The Shadow Throne!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Series - Do not miss

I cannot overstate how great this series is. The performance by Richard Poe is masterfully done. I was hooked at the first book, this one, and eagerly awaited the release of the others. It has enough that a fan of fantasy fiction will recognize, but treads enough new territory to seems fresh. I have been a fantasy fan for over 30 years and found this familiar and fresh at the same time. The pacing, the world building and plotting are all top notch, weather we are deep in a battle sequence or finding out more of the inner worlds of the characters.

I cannot recommend this series enough, you will not be disappointed.
#Audible1

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Battle scenes and details...

I like the book a lot and will buy another but the battle scenes. They were too long and detailed. Ugh. I found myself fast forwarding through them. It was still a little slow but well written. Overall... I enjoyed it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good overall but drags a bit

Enjoyed the story but there are times it seems to drag out a bit because of heavy exposition breaking up the action.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Well Done!

Given to a bit of a staggering slow start, and the lesbian in the army is an archetype that in previpus years might be merely enjoyed is now a more worn and weary concept. That said, the series is a very interesting idea with a colonel who could be the military version of sherlock holmes in manner and cleverness as well as his flaws short of the opium addiction.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathleen
  • 2014-11-15

90% battles and 10% character development

I like battles in my fantasy novels as much as the next person, but in this book, the purpose of the characters is to provide a vehicle for the battles rather than the fighting helping to define the characters and move the story along. Would have liked more character and plot development. Narration was pretty good. I'm almost done and not sure if I will go on to the second book.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Johnathan W. Hill
  • 2014-04-24

Great Military Fantasy

I love military historical fiction. I love fantasy. I really loved Django Wexler's freshman outing in "The Thousand Names".

Rather than your typical fantasy setting, this one takes place in what could easily have been a campaign during the Napoleonic Era in a far away desert locale.

The characters are very well thought out, and the POV character do not overshadow other main characters at all. In my opinion, the most interesting character isn't even a point of view character.

The "fantasy" element, other than the imaginary setting, doesn't make itself really known until two-thirds of the way through the book and even then the magic system is much more subtle and mystical than I was expecting. Don't expect to find a lot of powerful "battle" magic here.

Mr. Poe's performance leaves little wanting. He has this deep rasp that just seems to go with the musket military setting. The only complaint I have is that I wish he had done a little bit more distinctive voices for the characters, especially the male characters. After a point, they all began to have the same inflection and tone and it became difficult to distinguish who was talking.

I look forward to the next in this installment.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • M. McCormick
  • 2018-03-17

Lesbian relationship becomes a focus of 2nd book

If reading about same sex relationships is not your thing then you do not want to start this series. With that said the book is an okay listen. Wexler tries for a deep story told from many viewpoints but does not quite pull it off. The characters are interesting but still seem like that... characters. It also seems that Wexler either has adjectives that he likes and uses over and over or he does not know their synonyms. Hearing a favored word several times becomes jarring.

The failure on the story side is saved by the wonderful narration. The only downfall Poe has is that his female characters still sound like males. I have listened to many male narrators who, while not being able to get the pitch of a female voice are still able to get the feel of a female voice so that they don’t sound male.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Justin
  • 2014-01-20

Good. Not great but quite good

If you could sum up The Thousand Names in three words, what would they be?

solid military fantasy.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I spread it out over three days.

Any additional comments?

the story is interesting and well paced. the author may not be a Brandon Sanderson or a Patrick Rothfuss but still did well. Bearing that in mind the only two things that I found annoying in the story itself were. 1 the two POV characters personalities seemed to have been taken somewhat to extremes, one is the solid workhorse captain gallant and loyal to a fault and not overly bright. the other is the woman running away from an unpleasant past and pretending to be a man to join the army, pessimistic and haunted. 2 there are no surprising twists, there are always plenty of hints to see them coming. Also while this is not a bad thing you can picture the commanding officer as a Pendergast who joined the military.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 2017-05-17

A flintlock fantasy that's worth sticking with it

Captain Marcus D'Ivoire is captain of the 1st Battalion of the Colonials, the Vordanai empire's colonial garrison in a land where rebellion has suddenly exploded. His job has just become much tougher, and it's not made easier of the new colonel. Marcus, as senior captain, has been running the regiment since the death of Colonel Juarez. He's happy to be relieved of the paperwork and extra responsibility that goes along with that, but Count Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich Mieran turns out to be a very odd character indeed. He's here to put down the rebellion, but he has another mission, too, that he isn't telling anyone about.

Winter Ihernglass is a ranker in that same army. Winter's little secret is that she's a woman--she disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Colonials to escape her past. She relies heavily on not being noticed very much. When changing conditions see her promoted first to sergeant and then to lieutenant, it's very much a mixed blessing. She needs to make herself into a leader of men and take responsibility for leading her company into battle against the rebellion.

Our main viewpoint characters are Marcus and Winter, but we do get a few scenes from the perspective of the "other side," specifically the Vordanai-trained rebel general and some Khandari priestesses.

The story itself is very effectively setting up the beginning of a multi-volume fantasy epic. It's a flintlock fantasy, with government and social institutions appropriate to that time period and technology level, and the people are humans. Other than that, nothing about the politics or culture suggests that this is in any way set on our world. The world-building is good, the characters are complex, and the religions feel real. That last point is a pet peeve of mine; too often in fantasy worlds one sees "religions" that mainly reflect the author's modern skepticism and hostility to whatever flavor of religion they were raised in, with no apparent awareness that other intelligent, honest people might think--and believe--differently, especially in a radically different environment than our present day. It's not a perfect book. There's a lot going on here and sometimes it's hard to keep up. At times, Winter's success in hiding her gender, for so long, and then when she is promoted to command of a company and the higher visibility that brings, strains credulity.

Stick with it, though. It's an enjoyable book, and rewards persistence.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • JPaladin
  • 2015-06-23

Fun new series! YES!

Finally a new series that I'm excited about!

This is a promising first book that I hope will lead to a great series. Its edges are soft (no hard emotional punches or grit in this plot line) it is a fun book with enjoyable character development, plot, and ideas.

While there are some extended military/battle scenes, there is also plenty of personal story line and interesting development of a grand mysterious magical/religious conflict.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • steve
  • 2019-07-11

I didn't know where this was going,

I didn't know where this was going, which was good. I recommend. The characters are well thought out and the twists keeps you going.



  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • blfarris
  • 2019-01-20

Well written and moves well

Well written and moves well as it builds another reality through imaginative and arresting scenes with well developed characters.

Dialogue flows smoothly through most of the book and backstory is enticingly sparse and engaging, rather than overbearing.

I found the use of female characters both a stretch and alternately predictable. Nobility in the actions of leaders was encouraging and not tritely contrasted with pervasive corruption.

Warning that offensive language may be off-putting, but not used gratuitously.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Forkrul Assail
  • 2018-09-27

Well Written, Just Not For Me

Overall, this book was well written and has some interesting premises. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me. The setting and characters are well described and fleshed out, which I appreciated. However, I wasn't all that into them. There was a lot of dialogue and believable interactions, but they didn't draw me in how I wanted to. Some of this may be attributable to the narrator, who was ok, but not great. He didn't do well distinguishing characters by voice/tone, so it was sometimes hard to follow who was saying what. The action scenes were well written, but again, they didn't draw me in. The magic in this book was somewhat interesting too, but again, too little and much too late to really be a factor in my overall enjoyment.

Overall, this is a good book, but for other folks. I do not regret listening to it, but I also do not feel compelled to listen to/read the next in the series. Django Wexler is great, just not in the ways I prefer.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 2018-08-18

Great Story but Sub-par Narration

Great book with rich characters and a great pace. Filled with a great balance of action and character development. The only downside was a poor choice in narrator. Even with that I plan to start on the second installment of the series immediately. I would have easily given this book a 5 star rating down the list if one of the more capable narrators would have been enlisted to tell the story. I definitely recommend picking this book up.