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The Thousand Names

The Thousand Names - Django Wexler I really enjoyed this military fantasy. Even if I tended to skip over the battle bits. They were well written battle bits, they just didn't really mean a lot to me. Someone who is more interested in military history and battles might find those parts a lot more enjoyable. But, that aside, this is really good.

I was slightly bothered by the unaddressed colonialism in the novel. The setting of the book is a very thinly disguised northern Africa or the Middle East with European colonizers. Hints of the native peoples' gods makes me think Egypt, but the Desoltai (one of the sub groups of the people of Khandar) are this world's Bedouins so it's fifty/fifty. And that in and of itself wouldn't be a problem except that the heroes are all 'European' (I'm thinking Brittish, but any colonizing European country would probably fit), and the major villains are from the colony. Even the prince of the colony, whose restoration to his throne makes up the major plot of this novel, is a weak and spineless man and afforded very little respect. Combine that with the fact that the hero, though not POV character, is in the area to steal/liberate The Thousand Names which is a very powerful magical artifact from the native people and you end up with a rather troublesome impression. Now there are hints that The Thousand Names originated in Vordan/Europe but considering that the people of Khandar had been protecting it and worshiping it for several centuries, my sympathies are definitely with them.

And yet, I'm totally in. There are cross-dressing soldier women and fun adventure times.