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The Ethereal Squadron

(The Sorcerers of Verdun #1)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  29 reviews
It’s 1916, and the world is on fire.

The Great War has already consumed much of the globe, but a second, secret war between sorcerers threatens to crack it in two. The ruling families of Germany and Austria-Hungary, those with the chill of magic in their blood, will stop at nothing
Kindle Edition, 361 pages
Published December 26th 2018 by TCK Publishing
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Pat Patterson
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I obtained this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.

First, a word about the artwork: competent. The cover art, in color, shows an amazingly clean figure of (perhaps) uncertain gender, in uniform, with a background of what might be trench warfare and a skyline of burnt-out buildings. The figure is carrying what may be an Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle, although the sling attachment is not correct for that rifle. At any rate, it is not the rifle issued to the characters in the book, the SMLE Mar
Kelly Willcoxbrackeen
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Different, but good

This WWII story mixed with magic is in this case a great mix. It has a nice pace to it and it’s worth reading
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ethereal Squadron is a quite different of a read for me. I am not normally a reader of fantasy fiction, but devour anything historical I can find. I was not sure how this book would be with the combination of the two. With it being set during World War I, I had to give it a try. I am so glad I did. I thought it was a pretty good story. It was refreshing to read outside my comfort zone.
I give Ethereal Squadron four and a half stars. I would be interested in reading more by this author in the fut
Sarah Wellish
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am picky about my historical fiction, but Shami Stovall's tightly-woven war story won me over with its excellent pacing, strong characters, and suspenseful storyline. The sorcerers' magic is interesting and novel without dragging down the plot; sorcery is one of several tools that help advance the characters' goals, but the book's primary focus is on the interpersonal relationships between the characters in Geist's unit. Each supporting character was unique and had their own charms, but they c ...more
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, historical
The Ethereal Squadron is part of The Sorcerers of Verdun series, and it starts off with a bang! To put it very simply - sorcerers exist, and they are fighting in WWI. Now, if you're a history buff, just be prepared for this story to be different to the books you may have read prior to this. This is, after all, a fiction book. Saying that though, the realism that is portrayed by this author is second to none. From situations to characters, they all have the ring of truth going on, which just kept ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We start mid-battle in WWI before the Americans had officially joined the fight… and the novel concludes still during WWI before the Americans join, so there is room for sequels. The main character is a female impersonating a male to enlist in the military, kind of like Mulan, but she’s got some magic herself instead of a comic-relief magic dragon. The Mulan reference only describes her entrance into the war, because we gradually learn she had some real secrets to hide and not just her gender. I ...more
David Gundersen
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, I was a little dubious of the use of magic in a WW1 setting. This is cleverly explained in chapter one and by the brutal end of chapter two I knew this book was something special.
Geist is a fantastic female lead character and is convincingly drawn by Stovall. The other characters are just as memorable especially antagonist Prince Leopold who is particularly evil and unhinged and adds a genuine sense of threat to the story. No one feels safe. It had to be this way, being set in The
Bruce Parrello
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully Crafted Historical Novel

Reading this book, I was continually struck by the skill of the writer. The revelations were well-paced, so you never felt frustrated or lost. The characters were all distinct personalities, so that it was easy to remember who was who. The tension was always high without inducing hopelessness. The romantic subplots felt real, the feelings familiar rather than routine. All of these are signs of excellence in craft. I found the book difficult to put down, and I
M.R. Graham
I really loved this. The colorful cast, every character distinct and interesting, a truly unusual and fascinating magic system, all wrapped in alternate history.
Ally Swanson
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a captivating, entertaining, historical and fantasy adventure read!

I was very intrigued to find a book filled with historical and fantasy content on the same page. This definitely made the book thought-provoking, compelling, and fascinating!

One of the best features of this book is the significant amount of accurate, intriguing World War I time-period detail that the author weaved into this book. It is no wonder Ms. Stovall has a degree in history and is well-versed in the culture a
John Stovall
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book on multiple levels.

First, it is an excellent period war story, with a distinct WW1 feel to it; there is a u-boat battle, a zeppelin fight, some trench warfare, etc. These "period battles" are combined with a general touch of details about WW1 like the slang, outfits, and weapons, that give this a perfect WW1 feel. I'd talk about some of the later WW1 style things but it would be spoilers.

Secondly, it is an excellent "band of brothers" style warstory, focusing on a sma
Leah (White Sky Project)
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
Exciting story, great characters, awesome magic concept. I enjoyed this book!

It had an intriguing storyline and a great heroine. I mean, use of magic during the war? And a powerful sorcerer disguising herself as a man to fight in that war? Pretty exciting stuff. I really liked Geist. She’s strong and determined, but also imperfect and vulnerable. I liked the balance.

The book was also fast-paced and didn’t drag at all, with new and interesting bits popping up as you progress in the story. I enjoy
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect historical fiction to get me excited, frankly. I did not expect a WWI setting to be interesting.

But Stovall has absolutely nailed it. The horrible thrill of the unique combat experiences of that war is appropriately grotesque without being gratuitous, somehow. The nail-biting anxiety of constant looming threat is viscerally real. The interpersonal dynamics of the team, the small makes and breaks of trust, the hard-forged alliances and petty, suspicious rivalries. Nailed it.

Davis W. Edwards
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Good action, likable characters, and a great theme. I loved the book and looking forward to more by this author.
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
When I read the summary for The Ethereal Squadron and I saw that it was going to be about world war one I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not but as I read Star Marque Rising by Shami Stovall and really liked it I thought I would give it a shot. The part about fighting a war with magic is another thing that drew me in.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading it but I was very surprised to learn that I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. There was action from the first page
John Tang
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
***No Spoilers, you’re welcome***

Some people are finnicky eaters, but I am a finnicky book enjoy-er.

That being said, this book was #EnjoyAble and a very emotionally satisfying read. Ethereal Squadron has everything I look for in a book: well-developed plot, characters I resonate with, friendship, kick-ass action and intermittent profanity. I don’t like including spoilers in my reviews, and I am being purposefully vague, but let me just say, this book was so good it almost made my brain explode.
The Ethereal Squadron is an alternate history fantasy novel that reimagines WWI if there were magic. We follow Geist, a young woman who has disguised herself as a man in order to fight in a squadron of sorcerers, as she embarks on a mission to learn more about the Grave-Maker Gas (a horrifying weapon combining technology and magic). It is an action-packed, plot-driven story that will appeal to fans of war fiction that emphasizes fighting and strategy.

Personally, WWI and WWII are not my favorite
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story takes place in World War I, but with the added twist of some people being able to use magic. The magic system is well thought out, giving unique abilities and adding unique challenges to wartime missions. The story is original, with compelling characters, and was very enjoyable from start to finish.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really great concept and execution.
I found myself thoroughly enjoying the world Shami Stovall had created.
The characterisation was strong, perhaps the MC internal dialogue could have been more developed.
I highly recommend this to, I guess, everyone. A wartime gritty fantasy, what's not to love?

Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I totally enjoyed this alternate history military fantasy. My rating: 4.75.

Florence Cavell has special specter sorcery skills that come in handy by allowing her to “ghost” through bullets, barbed wire and more. This gained her the code name ”Geist”. All of her Ethereal team mates are named after their powers, and each one has a special skill that helps them succeed as a team. Geist returns from a devastating battle where she learned of a horrendous new weapon in use by the Germans and lost membe
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s 1916—almost cusp of World War I. While millions of military personals from Europe and other countries of world are engaged in the great war, the legendary Ethereal Squadron: a joint US-UK division of the allied powers’ mightiest sorcerers is up against the powerful ruling sorcerers’ families of Germany and Austria-Hungary in a secret war. Florence Cavell is a woman sorcerer disguised as a man and acts as the team lead of the Ethereal Squadron where she’s known as Geist. After losing her who ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review coming soon!
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great mix of magic and history

This book combined the best aspects of magic and history to create the start of a great new series. I can’t wait for the next book.
Wendy C Frederick
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Different war time stoty

This book is a combination history, fantasy and romance. I wish it has a little more back story. All in all a good read.
Erin Grey
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this World war 1 twist where magic is a complicated weapon of war. The setting drew me in and I loved the characters. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Russell Gray
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shami Stovall has provided consistent entertainment in every book I've read so far, namely the Arcanist series. This book was enjoyable, even though I wouldn't quite say that I entirely vibed with it.

The main character is a woman masquerading as a man to fight in a fictionalized WW1. I quickly became skeptical that this character could maintain her disguise for the year leading up to the story, especially since there are about a half dozen dire situations that almost get her revealed early in th
M.T. DeSantis
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read an excerpt and follow the Goddess Fish book tour here.
This isn’t what I usually read at all. However, I really enjoyed it.
I didn’t go into this as a war historian who knows a lot about WWI. In fact, just the opposite. The last time I had a discussion about WWI might have been in high-school history class. I have a general familiarity with the war and its various facets. That didn’t stop me from enjoying this book.
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2019
Charles Prince
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2020
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Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tact ...more

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The Sorcerers of Verdun (2 books)
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