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The Penitent Damned (The Shadow Campaigns 0.5)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  521 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Alex is a master thief, with dark magic to give her an edge. When she goes up against Duke Orlanko's Concordat secret police, though, she may have taken on more than she bargained for...

This is a prequel short story to The Thousand Names. It was released for free on io9 -- -- and is also available on the Kindle Store.
ebook, 20 pages
Published June 17th 2013
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(showing 1-30 of 1,478)
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This was a short but enjoyable novella set in the world of the awesome The Thousand Names.

The main character in this novella was a young thief who uses her magical powers to succeed in audacious robberies. Despite the limitations to characterisation imposed by a 50 page novella I found her to be likeable and interesting. Her powers were especially cool. I was disappointed with the focus on magic at the end of The Thousand Names and how it distracted from realistic military action but I really e
⊱ Irena ⊰
What starts as an ordinary, mildly interesting story turns out to be an extraordinary introduction to The Shadow Campaigns series world.
It surprised me, it didn't go where I thought it would, it didn't end the way I thought it would. It is the reason why I liked it. The promise of a wonderful fantasy is there.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
I read and loved Django Wexler's The Thousand Names this summer, and only found out about this short story afterward. The Penitent Damned features different characters, but it's a prequel to TTN taking place in the same world. Of course, my recommendation would be to start right out with the full length novel, but if you haven't discovered this author's work yet or want a taste of the writing before you take the leap, then this is a great way to get started. The story can be found here for free: ...more

Review originally over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: The Penitent Damned is a prequel short story that was featured for free on io9 and after reading it, I would very much recommend it to readers as well with the caveat that they might enjoy it better after reading The Thousand Names.

The story is set in Vordan and basically is a heist story. The story focuses on Duke Mallus Kengire Orlanko, Royal Minister of Information and leader of the Vordanai secret police, the all-seeing, all-kn
This short story can be found and read for free at:

Great short story with a lot of tension and interesting twists that while a bit expected are still very enjoyable! A good appetizer for Wexler's full length novel in the same universe. I can't really say more as due to its short length I won't be able to avoid spoilers. But it's short and it's free so there's nothing holding you from reading it and enjoying it yourselves!
Thought i would take a quick break while reading The Thousand Names to read this short story. What a great little short this is. It builds up a character that i hope we see again in the future. It is a short read, and there will be no spoilers here about it, but it is NOT set in the same area as The Thousand Names.
Lepa priča koja fino proširuje jednog od važnijih likova osnovnog serijala. Kratko ali slatko. Minus je jednio što je sama priča suviše kratka. Ali nekada je to i dobar znak kada nas knjiga (knjižica stvarno) ostavi željna za još više.
Wow, what a completely different writing style to the the thousand names. Its a must read just to enjoy the writing.
originally posted at:

Last year Django Wexler published his first book in The Shadow Campaigns series, The Thousand Names, which was followed just a few weeks back by the sequel in the series, The Shadow Throne, where he really had outdone himself, tranforming his storyline into the right direction! When I was adding the book on goodreads I found that there was a short story written prior to the events of The Thousand Names called The Penitent Damned, and
I usually don't like it when Kindle Singles serve as "teasers" for a much longer work or series. In this case, though, I'll make an exception. There's something about Wexler's worldbuilding that feels very fresh, and THE PENITENT DAMNED made me eager to explore this new fantasy universe in much greater detail.
Resenha publicada no blog Dragonmountbooks.

The Penitent Damned é um conto bem curto e que serve de prelúdio para o romance The Thousand Names, primeiro livro da série The Shadow Campaigns. O conto pode ser lido gratuitamente no site io9, ou adquirido, no formato kindle, no site Amazon.

Eu ainda não li a série e preferi li o conto para conhecer um pouco a escrita do Django e gostei muito do que li. Acho que o autor foi bastante direto na proposta temática do texto, abordando diversos assuntos já c
Betule Sairafi
Thief-girl uses her push and pull powers to jump around on buildings, but with a different taste than Mistborn. The action part is sandwiched within the ministry parts elegantly and deliciously. *This is not a story about food.

I will definitely be checking this series out!
Fábio Fernandes
Good and fun! It made me want to read The Thousand Names!
The Thousand Names, the first book in the Shadow Campaigns series, is on my to-read list, so I thought I'd check out this prequel short story. Very nicely done, girl thief tries to pull off a job with her magic. Don't know how it ties to the main story, but we shall see when I get to it.
3.5 stars.

If I had found and read this before reading The Thousand Names, I am not sure I would have read on and I would have been missing out, majorly. It's not that it was bad... very short and the ending was a bit abrupt and anti-climactic. Alex had the potential to be an interesting character, but the whole thing needed more character development. It was an okay story, not badly written, but I never was able to get the emotional attachment I found in the novel. It was all over far too quickl
I want to read "The Thousand Names" and this short story (maybe 20 pages) was a very good sample of what to expect. We open on the "Last Duke" Orlanko musing how he hated using Andreas because he (and his comrades) represented Orlanko's concession that his world was not as perfectly organized as he wanted. Orlanko is a man who likes everything to be in their place and to need Andreas to clean up messed that couldn't be dealt with in the normal ways rankled him.

But hey you know what they say abo
While this is prequel to The Thousand Names, I believe the people who have read the first book will find more enjoyment in it as the story illuminates some plot points of the novel as well as future conflicts (with Duke Orlanko, his secret police and the Black Priests). However, the story stands well on its own - it's short and sweet and it's FREE.

This is a prequel to a book I've already read. No worries though, it has nothing to do with The Thousand Names aside from being in the same world and some of the organizations.

Really an excellent read and a great taste of Wexler's writing. I greatly enjoyed Alex and her strange ability. I'd love to read more about her.
Very good! If you enjoyed The Thousand Names and are anticipating The Shadow Throne, book 2 in The Shadow Campaigns, this may help bridge the gap (a little). It makes me want to learn more about this unique world and the black, red, and blue priests. Especially the black, featured here. Hopefully some more shorts will come out soon!
Bogdan Lascu
Sunt bune nuvelele astea ce mai intregesc mici necunoscute din universul fantasy preferat.

Pacat ca timpul ne face sa mai uitam unele detalii, dar important ramane sa retinem esenta.

Imi place seria lui Wexler si sper sa nu fiu dezamagit de volumele urmatoare.
Jonathan David
This was a good short prequel to book 1. Bravo.
John Mordaunt
Interesting. Must read the others in this series.
Jeremy Hallum
Nice introduction to Thousand Names!
Jan 15, 2015 Barbara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Very well done but much too short.

I recommend reading this after the The Thousand Namesas there is a spoiler, of sorts, for that novel at the end of this short story.
Really great idea making this prequel short story available--it allows readers to get a sense of the authors style, which I particularly loved.

Being a new author in the fantasy genre is always iffy, but Django Wexler has done a very fine job so far. I can't wait to see what the series has to offer.
Aaron Advani
a good taster
This was a fun short story set in a world I've already enjoyed. I like that it introduces me to characters that are talked about in The Thousand Names but can't be introduced because of proximity problems. It was fun in and of itself but also makes me excited to read the next one.
Nimrod Daniel
Nice introduction to series. Django pulled-off an interesting short story, in an interesting setting which made me curious about the series.Only one book (out of five) is available right now, so it would probably take me some time to get to the series.

You know who i love? Django Wexler. this was a quick read novella, and i thoroughly enjoyed it. cool to see other "demon hosts." hope the Penitent Damned have a larger role in the main series
The Penitent Damned is a terrific short story, and a perfect introduction to the shadow campaigns and the world of the Vordan Empire. Django Wexler is a real find!
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Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays g ...more
More about Django Wexler...

Other Books in the Series

The Shadow Campaigns (3 books)
  • The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns, #1)
  • The Shadow Throne (The Shadow Campaigns, #2)
  • The Price of Valour (The Shadow Campaigns, #3)
The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns, #1) The Shadow Throne (The Shadow Campaigns, #2) The Forbidden Library (The Forbidden Library, #1) The Mad Apprentice (The Forbidden Library, #2) John Golden: Freelance Debugger

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