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Django Wexler
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2013 Book Club Discussions > September 2013: The Thousand Names - Discussion

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message 1: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments The Thousand Names by Django Wexler

I'm extremely excited for the group to get going on this book. It's been highly anticipated, and the early reviews I've read have been mostly favorable. I've recently started on it and am really enjoying it so far.

We're going with ONE discussion for this month. Please feel free to post and contribute, but MAKE SURE TO USE SPOILER TAGS, as well as point out how far into the book you are when commenting to make sure things aren't spoiled. I'll be in contact with Django today to try and set up the Q&A session, and we'll get moving on that. Thanks everyone for contributing, and please support the author by picking up the book!

message 2: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments This is very exciting. I am going to try to get involved in this one (newbie). I don't really understand the format though. It is so hard to get used to new websites. I wonder why we couldn't get a parallel of this running on reddit. Never mind, I will work it out! yay! Hopefully I will finish my current book in time so that I can get involved in this September run.

message 3: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments It's a piece of cake - just read the book at your own pace. Hop into the discussion thread and post anything on your mind - an observation, a question, a response to other people. If you have a question for the author, pop into the Q&A thread and post there.

We do link it up with reddit to a degree - reddit technically has a SF bookclub, but it's kinda dead so this has taken over. Goodreads is a great format and it's easy to use once you get used to it. It's really low-stress and the author interaction has been a plus. Anthony Ryan was really awesome to us, and I've been talking to Django Wexler on reddit and he's a fantastic guy as well.

message 4: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Zarzyczny (bigz7337) | 1 comments Cool, I was already planning to read this book next, so maybe I'll be able to participate this time.

message 5: by Lucinda (last edited Sep 03, 2013 03:06PM) (new)

Lucinda | 57 comments Well I finally finished Prince of Thorns and started The Thousand Names last night. (PoT took me a week to read; I liked it, but, I did not love it. If you're curious as to why, my review is here ).

I am a third of the way through the book and I am really enjoying it. Wexler's world is amazing and I have enough vivid description to make it come alive in my mind's eye. There are two characters that I care about: Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich. At this point, I am trusting Wexler to treat them with care and respect I think they deserve, lol.

I am not so enamored with Winter Ihernglass, the female soldier in disguise. So far, the fact that she is a "she" is irrelevant. The role of "out-of-place ranker who rises through field promotions" could have been played by the educated third son of a poor but noble family. There is no reason for Winter to be a woman. (I am not a big fan of plot contrivances and the "hidden female", like the "hidden pregnancy", are my least favorite.)

I LOVE Wexler's battles. The Ridge battle on the road to Ashe-Katarion was wonderfully crafted. It very much reminded me of the historic Battle of Rorke's Drift (Anglo-Zulu war, 1879). I like military history, so the attention to detail and "correctness" in Wexler's action sequences are the icing on my military fantasy cake.

So far, this read gets my highest stamp of approval:
SoA photo SoA_zpsdd0c2690.jpg

message 6: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments I too am wondering where he's going with the fact Winters is a female. Is it the token strong female character that's required in today's fantasy? I hope her strength isn't just that she's a woman disguised as a man. With how well Django has been writing people thus far, I have much higher hopes than that.

message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Girton | 6 comments I finished the book this past weekend and i must say it was an enjoyable read. I look forward to adding my comments on the book.

I think Winter written as a female was intentional and may not be fully played out until later in the series. Django did a great job of putting out some teasers to wonder why things are the way they are and what will happen next.

message 8: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments I'm currently in the midst of the first major battle, and I'm really enjoying the military moving and shaking, the behind the scenes battle stuff. There's LOTS of battles in fantasy books, but this one seems more focused on tactics and being IN the war, which is awesome.

So far I'm not seeing the comparisons to McClellan - totally different types of focus. McClellan's also magical, and there's not a whole lot of magic going on - at least not so far.

message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 140 comments I'm hoping to get to read this book this month - but the timing might make that difficult. I'm right in the middle of tearing apart my current WIP and it is is pieces all around me. Until I get it back together I won't be doing any pleasure reading - but will get to this one way or another.

message 10: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments Not reading any comments for fear of spoilers! But I raced through my book (Cuckoo's Calling) so that I can read this book and participate! Starting today! (yay!)

message 11: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 57 comments I have finished this Epically GLORIOUS Military Fantasy and I'm in that "post-good-book" period of mourning. I just hate to leave a world I love knowing I will have to wait an unknown amount of time to return (please write faster Mr. Wexler).

For those who are not fans of military fantasy, fear not. The ending is wonderful romp filled with Wexler's unique magic system (view spoiler).

This is the sort of "Book #1 in a series" I really enjoy - the story arc is complete but the stage is set for the sequel. I think that is a very difficult thing for an author to do successfully. Many new books either leave too many unresolved plot points (so you feel like the editor took a long book, split it in two, and you only got half the story) or spend so much time focused only on the micro-story at hand that the world meta-story is underdeveloped (the book really should have been stand alone and any sequels feel entirely tacked-on).

There are a few loose ends; but far fewer than I feared would remain when I was about 75% of the way through the book - at that time I just didn't see how all of the plot threads could be neatly tied up.

My major complaint is that I still do not see why Winter had to be a female (view spoiler)

message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Girton | 6 comments In Regards to the Winter being female aspect i really feel there is a reason. (view spoiler). I have high hopes that she is simply not just a "Female in hiding" character type.

Also, the book was a military fantasy but towards the end there was a shift which really caught my attention. I was expecting a similarity to Brian McCellan, but ended up getting a feel more of the Black Company and also drew other comparisions. (view spoiler)

This is another great Flintlock fantasty that has me wanting to see what else this genre can produce!

message 13: by Lucinda (last edited Sep 06, 2013 12:07PM) (new)

Lucinda | 57 comments Richard said: In Regards to the Winter being female aspect i really feel there is a reason. (view spoiler). I have high hopes that she is simply not just a "Female in hiding" character type.

This is, by far, the single plot point that vexes me. (view spoiler)

message 14: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Briner (stephenbriner) | 2 comments About three quarters of the way through, really digging it so far. There are parts of the book that remind me of the Sharpe series, especially some of the prequels where the British are fighting in India and at Assaye. Whatever the case, Wexler's got a pretty good grip on Napoleonic tactics. What can I say? I love a good cavalry square.

I wasn't expecting so many female characters, but I'm pleasantly surprised. It definitely passes the Bechdel test. I like Winter well enough but early in the book I had trouble buying her constant gut-wrenching fear, given that she was supposed to be some kind of hellion before she ran away and joined the army.

The only character that hasn't engaged me so far is Marcus. He's not exactly milquetoast, but he's a little too earnest for my tastes.

message 15: by Crystal (last edited Sep 08, 2013 06:52PM) (new)

Crystal | 22 comments I have only just started, and am a few chapters in. I love this! As a suggestion, other online book groups sometimes have different discussion topics with titles 10% through, 20% through, 30% through etc. So that people can open discussion posts and discuss without fear of spoilers and can discuss the book as they are reading it, and move on to the next discussion etc. Has this been tried here and does it work/ what are people's thoughts about it. Because I'm only about 10% through and wouldn't mind discussing it with other people, but am scared to open links for fear of spoilers etc.

message 16: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments Ah, I had a look and saw that it seems that a similar approach has been done previously on other books. Can I ask how come it's been decided to go with the one discussion topic?

message 17: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments Have just finished the first battle scene. I really like all the characters so far and agree with Stephen's comment. Am really happily surprised with the female characters.

message 18: by Jon (last edited Sep 11, 2013 12:25AM) (new)

Jon (fictionalized) | 7 comments I too am only a few chapters in, but I am impressed that Wexler has me already hooked and all I've seen are talking head scenes. Every character so far just breathes life.

message 19: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments Saints and martyrs, this book is getting pretty good.

message 20: by Richard (new)

Richard Girton | 6 comments Just wait for some of the plot lines to evolve/ resolve. It will only get better and leave you wanting more!

message 21: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments I am loving it. Django was very obliging and sweet and has sent me a signed copy. I am up to page 221. SPOILERS IF YOU ARE NOT UP TO THERE. And please don't spoil for me if you are not up to 221. (view spoiler)

message 22: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 57 comments Don't worry Crystal...The answers are all after page 221. :)

message 23: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments Just finished it this evening - wow.

message 24: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 57 comments Joel wrote: "Just finished it this evening - wow."

Yes, that was how I felt. The novel, paired with the short story "The Penitent Damned" really set up a world I can't wait to revisit.

message 25: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments Halfway thru the month - what's the progress like for everyone reading it? How are you enjoying it so far? Let's keep this discussion rolling.

message 26: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments Just finished just this second. It's hard do discuss it because I'm worried that I might spoil it for others. But I really really enjoyed it and thought it was a great book! I liked all the characters as well.

message 27: by Jon (new)

Jon (fictionalized) | 7 comments I'm running behind, but I'm loving the practicality of Winter. The battles are amazing and so vivid that I have no trouble visualizing them in my head. I just got to Winter's second battle, and I was only able to put the book down long enough to come on here and heap praise on Wexler.

message 28: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments I can't wait to read more by Wexler.

message 29: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 22 comments Does the poll for next months book start soon?

message 30: by Justin (new)

Justin | 0 comments Yeah I don't have much to add other than I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I want to see more of the magic (as a POV like in the short story) and the Colonel. Also Marcus discovering Winter's secrets should be fun.

message 31: by Tim (new)

Tim Ullrich I picked up The Thousand Names simply because of this group, and I had never heard of Wexler. I just finished up and it was fantastic. I really enjoyed all of the battles and tactical descriptions- the army was practically a character itself. In the future books I really hope he fleshes out the political intrigue a little more (and it looks like he'll be doing just that by the ending).

Can't wait for October's book!

message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin  (junky8687) | 27 comments I just finished as well and thought it was very good. I found the magic system very intriguing and look forward to seeing how it will be expanding in the future.

message 33: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments The group did a good job of reading and discussing this book early in the month, but really faded late. Wish we'd had a more long term discussion going on. Thanks to those who did participate, however!

message 34: by Django (new)

Django Wexler And thanks to you all for reading! I've been staying out of this thread, but if you've got questions or comments you'd like a response to, feel free to put them in the Q&A. Hope you had a good time!

message 35: by Joel (new)

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments Thanks again for being willing to answer questions and be involved. Sorry it slowed down towards the end there - the group has been unpredictable thus far, but we're hoping with more notifications and such we'll have a stronger showing. I loved your book, gave it a pretty glowing review, and can't wait for more from you. Thanks agian, Mr. Wexler.

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