‘The Guns of Empire’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 90/100


The Guns of Empire By Django Wexler

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 10/25/2017


Description: After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich, the opposing powers have called all sides to the negotiating table, in hopes of securing an end to the war. Queen Raesinia of Vordan is anxious to see the return of peace, but Janus insists that any peace with the implacable Sworn Church of Elysium is doomed to fail. For their Priests of the Black, there can be no truce with heretics and demons they seek to destroy, and the war is to the death.

Soldiers Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass find themselves caught between their general and their queen. Now, each must decide which leader truly commands their loyalty—and what price they might pay for final victory.

And in the depths of Elysium, a malign force is rising—and defeating it might mean making sacrifices beyond anything they have ever imagined

Genres: Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy, War Fantasy, Military

The undefeated Vordeni army invades the supernatural version of winter in Russia. Will they be victorious once again, or will hostile natives and demonic weather get the better of them?

Spoiler-tastic review

Book 4 of the Shadow Campaigns Series, this series starts with book 1 ‘The Thousand Names.’ I highly suggest you start this series there, and not here.

I liked this book, and nearly loved it.

This was a return to book 1’s military campaign style. Where book 1 was a military march across a desert a la the Napoleonic French taking control of Egypt from the British, this book was like the military campaign of Napoleon invading Russia in the middle of winter. As you can imagine, it didn’t work very well. This military-style is what makes this series one of my favorite modern fantasy series. Reading this is like reading a novelization of a magical game of RISK or Civilization. This is my favorite part of the book.

We have all the old favorite POV characters return: Winter, Janus (pronounced Yanus), Queen Raesinia, Marcus, Mad Jane and the Pontifex of the Black. Some of the old minor characters return, such as Bobby and Give ’em Hell. Unfortunately, as is the nature of such a large series, not all the minor characters I really like could make a return.

Characterization in this book is a little thin on the ground. Rae and Marcus have a ‘falling in love’ plotline as their character growth in this book. Janus has a ‘I’m in a coma’ plotline. The list goes on.

Unfortunately I never got emotionally invested in any of them. None of the character development felt forced, but I wanted something more. Suffering is character development, and while some of the characters suffer it’s not very compelling. The one exception is Winter’s character growth, which I liked but didn’t love.

Plot: the plot was a little bit of military invasion of an extremely hostile country and a little bit of demonic invasion. I liked it, but I’m partial to that sort of thing.

I liked it, but Flintlock fantasy is my favorite fantasy sub-genre. Highly recommend it, but start with ‘The Thousand Names’



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