Monday, 7 July 2014

The Shadow Throne and the Wars of the Faltenian Succession

Back in September of last year I bought and read THE THOUSAND NAMES: BOOK ONE OF THE SHADOW CAMPAIGNS by Django Wexler (Published by Penguin Books [ISBN 978 0 451 46510 8]). I wrote at the time that 'I am currently reading a book that – in the normal course of events – I would not have even picked up and looked at before ... but the book cover was intriguing ... so I picked it up and looked at the synopsis ... and then I was hooked.'

As soon as I realised that the writer – Django Wexler (I have real difficultly believing that it is his real name, but ...) – was writing a sequel, I ordered a copy ... and it was delivered last Friday. I have already begun reading it ... and I am thoroughly enjoying it. THE SHADOW THRONE: BOOK TWO OF THE SHADOW CAMPAIGNS (Published by Penguin Books [ISBN 978 0 451 41806 7]) is set in the same nineteenth century Earth-like fantasy world as the first book, but action has moved from the Vordan colony of Khandar (a North African-style country that seems to be an amalgam of Egypt and the Sudan) to Vordan proper.

The main characters are Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass (all of whom served together the Colonial Regiment during the victorious military campaign against the The Redemption, a religious movement that had swept through Khandar, destroying all those who were not 'true believers'), Duke Mallus Kengire Orlanko (the Minister of Information and head of the dreaded Concordat or secret police), and Raesinia Orboan. The latter is the heir to the throne of Vordan, a throne which is about to become vacant.

It is interesting to note that in his acknowledgements the author mentions Simon Schama's CITIZENS (which is a history of the French Revolution) as being a 'storehouse of inspiration and detail that I shamelessly raided.' I can think of worse sources of historical inspiration!

I am currently halfway through the book at the moment, and I am looking forward to finishing it in the very near future. I have enjoyed it so much that I am already thinking about ordering the next volume in the series as soon as a publication date is announced.

I cannot give this book a better recommendation than that!

Henry Hyde has recently made a compilation of his WAR OF THE FALTENIAN SUCCESSION articles available in PDF format via his website.

The cost of the PDF download is £3.50 of which £1.00 is being donated to the charity COMBAT STRESS. I have bought a copy, and although it does not deal with a historical period that I wargame, it contains lots of very useful ideas as to how to set up and run a campaign.

Cheap as chips ... and in my opinion it is worth twice the price being asked for it!

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