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The Guns of Empire

(The Shadow Campaigns #4)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  5,029 ratings  ·  326 reviews
As the “audacious and subversive”* Shadow Campaigns novels continue, the weather is growing warmer, but the frosty threat of Vordan’s enemies is only growing worse...
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace…
After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich, the opp
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Roc
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Django Wexler Definitely an influence. Also Thrawn and Pallaeon from the Zahn Star Wars books. As for your suspicions, you'll have to read and find out...

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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,029 ratings  ·  326 reviews

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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
1. Stop whatever rubbish you're doing.
2. Access the nearest book-acquiring medium in your vicinity.
3. Obtain a copy of this series as soon as humanly possible.
4. Disregard all the other books on your TBR.
5. Cry with me.

There is so much for me to say here, but as with many later books in a series, my gushing reviews are starting to get repetitive. So this time around I think I'll describe the brutally emotional process of reading the last published book in a series that is currently unfinished.

Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Flintlock/military fantasy fans
4.5/5 Stars

A fantastic penultimate installment in The Shadow Campaigns series, The Guns of Empire is my favorite book in the series so far.

The plot has grown so much in tension as all our main character finally decided to bring the fight to Elysium, the main villains home base. In a sense, this is similar to the first book, it’s heavy action packed. What separated it from the first book and made this one much better is that we already get to know the characters and because of that, it’s easier t
Django Wexler
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hey, I forgot to leave my own review! I definitely liked it. =)
Scott  Hitchcock
Best book of the series. Back to the action and imagination of book one. Lots of great new characters and magic with lots of ups and downs adding to the tension. A great epilogue twist looks to make book five a great conclusion to the series that I'll be looking forward to.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Once you've reached book 4 in a series, you have such an invested interest in the story and characters that you literally feel like your in the book going through each emotional event with them. They have become an every day part of your life, and you can't wait to get some extra time in your day to jump back into the adventure. You know deep down this can't go on forever, and you begin to cherish the time you have spent together more and more as the pages start to dwindle away. I've spent rough ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

With apologies to Django Wexler and Roc, this review is long overdue I think, but better late than never! With The Guns of Empire we’ve reached the penultimate novel in the The Shadow Campaigns and I just want to echo every positive sentiment and praise that has already been made about this book. It is a stellar sequel which succeeds in getting readers fired up for the coming finale.

As this is the fourth installment of t
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can find this review and more at Booksprens.

I wanted to love this book so badly and it truly saddened me to love it only mildly :(

Flintlock Fantasy is a subgenre I thoroughly enjoy! Mistborn Era 2, Powder Mage, the Lightbringer to a lesser extent (more “Fantasy” than “Flintlock”) were a lot of fun to read and I guess I expected the Shadow Campaigns to reach a better balance between magic and gunpowder. I know it’s unfair of me to compare this book to those series but the way we appreciate an
Mark Halse
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-priority
Tap dancing Christ! This series just won't let up! High octane adventure with demons and 18th century army tactics.

As with the last three installments this book offers excellent character development, an interesting world, twists, turns and demons! My only problem with these books are with the battle scenes. They are often overdetailed and confusing. Most times I have to wait for a character in the aftermath to explain what happened which isn't too bad honestly.

The ending was a little unsatisfy
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, fantasy
Excellent!!! Absolutely love this one! Django Wexler at his best.
Highly recommended series!
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That inspiration of Napoleon's campaign in Russia was just great. And great execution, amazing twists and turns all over the place, amazing characters (including some new ones you will love), some heartbreaking moments - all in all, I keep feeling like a soldier in the Vordan army and I love that feeling!
Executive Summary: Can I have book 5 now? Please? This series has become one of my most anticipated new releases for the last few years, and Mr. Wexler once again delivers. Don't sleep on this series!

Audiobook: I like Richard Poe as a narrator. He has good volume and inflection, and does a few voices to boot. I think this is a series that works great in audio, and Mr. Poe adds a little extra to story with his reading.

Full Review
The Price of Valor was one of my top reads last year, and I've b
Em Lost In Books
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, 5-star
Absolutely fantastic!

Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
WOW! I can't decide if this book or The Thousand Names is my favorite, but man, this book delivers. So many series start to falter midway though and end up with a lot of filler at this point. There is definitely a clear direction and build up to a final resolution. The plot is significantly advanced, answers begin to be provided. The new characters are great and the main characters just keep getting better except for Raesinia. I hate her. I know she's supposed to be some "girl power" likable her ...more
Jenna Kathleen
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-reads, fantasy
Definitely the best of the series so far.

I loved seeing more of the way the demons work and how they are all unique and different from one another. The greatest thing about this series is the distinct characters and their development so seeing this with the demons as well was fantastic.

The ending with (view spoiler). Not a major complaint.

The ending paragra
Skylar Phelps
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Guns of Empire is a major step forward for The Shadow Campaigns. It was just as good as The Thousand Names, if not more! The story keeps dragging you deeper into the world, continuously keeping you guessing what’s going to happen and all the while inching you closer and closer to the edge of your seat.

If the quality is maintained I could see this as a series I could read a dozen new installments and still not get burned out.
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell...what did I just read?

Seriously, I don't know how Mr. Wexler manages it, but this series just keeps improving...the stakes get higher, the character growth continues, and plot twists abound!

I knew going into book 4 of the Shadow Campaigns that I would get 100% invested, to the point that chores around the house wouldn't get done, and that I'd be reading well into the night. Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. Every spare moment was spent with Winter, Marcus, Raesinia, and the
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Guns of Empire was a masterpiece and a spectacular installment in The Shadow Campaigns series. The plot in this entry was by far the best. It took all the elements of the entire series and soared to exceptional heights. The story was exceptionally told, the characters were so brilliantly developed, the world-building is still so top notch, and the magic system is still so unique. I am not okay after finishing this book because those last few chapters had my head spinning!!! I encourage you, ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read this series goes from strength to strength, the author has improved his wordsmithing 100%, since his first book.

An outstanding balance of action and character building.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not as good as the last one. The characters are so likable and the story - until now - so interesting. This would probably be a 5 star book and it continues everything that I expect from the series, but
I have two major critique areas:

The motive of Janus bet Vhalnich (view spoiler)

And I must admit (view spoiler)
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Guns of Empire is the fourth book in Django Wexler’s The Shadow Campaigns flintlock fantasy series. Only one more book to go.

I liked this a lot. The over-all plot advances quite a bit, we’re starting to get some more answers to various questions, and some things were revealed that I had been waiting for. Also, the one plot thread that has been annoying me in this series was mostly absent.

I’m giving this 4.5 stars and rounding down to 4 on Goodreads. As much as I’m enjoying this, it has never
Sotiris Karaiskos
In the fourth part of the series, the story mirrors Napoleon's particularly bloody Russian campaign. Of course, the author, as he should have done, adds to the narrative of military events fantastic elements that give a strikingly different dimension to these events. Of course, we still wonder if there is a Napoleon in our story and that continues the mystery. Of course, the mirroring of the real history is one part, the second is the even greater role of the metaphysical elements that become th ...more
Robert Thompson
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I have to say that this volume was a bit underwhelming. I wanted to like it but the current motivations of the main characters are just not my cup of tea.

Janus bet Vhalnich our nonchalant master tactician is pigeonholed from the beginning as power crazed. Kind of depressing because from the start of the series, he was the only one making moves and saving everyone.

Marcus d'Ivoire is his regular old self but now with a constant Raesinia complex.

Raesinia is constantly worrying about the true plans
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dear Jango, if you are reading this, how dare you leave this amazing book at a cliffhanger!!! All I have to say is this book was absolutely fantastic, and I demand you release the next book this instant!!! Oh my God I am sad I am happy I don't even know what to say. This book was amazing and deserves 10 stars!!! The details are fantastic, the emotional toll that the warhead on these characters, the emotional attachment that I have for these characters is extremely profound. Now, I want nothing m ...more
**Warning for potential spoilers if you have not read the novel**

It physically pains me to give a Django Wexler book anything less than 5 stars, especially when the last 60 pages alone were worthy of that rating. But I just wasn't feeling the rest of the novel the way I normally do? Idk.

Nothing quite grabbed me and held my attention the way it had for the previous novels. I think that it didn't quite help that not only had I changed my opinion of Janus somewhere between Price of Valour and picki
Mark Harrison
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvellous part 4 of a superb saga as the main three heroes face heartbreaking defeats, loss of close friends, the rise of a Dark God and their own reenactment of Napoleon's failed invasion of Russia. Top drawer military fantasy novel that just delivers all you would want plus a little bit more.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy, audiobooks

I have this issue, wherein I read the first book in a series, love it, and then kind of…don’t go back to the second book. I’ve done this over and over again, with many series, some of which are still in that status – Malazan, The Unhewn Throne, Raven’s Shadow, etc. Some series, however, I stick with, and see through, and read each book when it comes out.

However, the issue I’ve had with Django Wexler’s Shadow Campaigns series is that I love the bo
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Django Wexler has this series figured out. He's got a great mix of politics and action. There's characterization and plot twists. Muskets mix with demons. It's great. I feel like the previous book, The Price of Valor, really set the tone for the rest of the series. After introductions of characters, plots, and settings in the first two, we get to really see what's happening in the series. And this is gearing up for a nice conclusion.

Winter is still a GREAT POV character. She's believable and, m
Michael Campbell
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This series has stayed consistently interesting and continues to do so. This novel is pretty heavy on the world building and delves deeper into the history and lore of the world, which I found interesting.

Character development is nice, and this is the first novel in the series to have a couple tear jerker moments for me. I still love basically every character besides Marcus, and I think that's more my own personal bias against the "White Knight" type of character.

This is also the first book wi
Blodeuedd Finland
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I do like military fantasy and Wexler does it so well. You do have to like battles to precipitate this series. Because they are on the move the entire time, fighting, marching, trying to survive.

Janus is, oh I do not know about him, his end goal and why. But he will keep on marching to destroy the church. I get that he wants to keep his country and queen safe. He is the mystery in the book.

Marcus follows his general and will think nothing about him. And I do like Marcus, he is a great general, h
Non stop thrilling ride from start to finish. Great, loveable characters and detailed military encounters build this book and the overarching, epic, storyline finishes it.

I couldn't put it down and raced on to the finish, only to get caught in an emotional rollercoaster at the end. Damn you Wexler for putting me through that. I'm not sure how I'm going to survive till august for the final installment.
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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

Other books in the series

The Shadow Campaigns (5 books)
  • The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns, #1)
  • The Shadow Throne (The Shadow Campaigns, #2)
  • The Price of Valour (The Shadow Campaigns, #3)
  • The Infernal Battalion (The Shadow Campaigns, #5)

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