In the acknowledgments section of the book, Django stated that this is the first book that he wrote after having heard the response to his previous volumes; contrary to The Shadow Throne, which was almost completed already before The Thousand Names publication. This is also why this book is another great addition to the series.
The Price of Valor is a wonderful balance that resulted from the storytelling direction of the previous two books in The Shadow Campaigns series. Where the first book is all about actions and campaigns, the second book focused heavily on politics and revolutions; the third book is a combination of both.
Raesinia and Marcus storyline deals with the conspiracy in Vordan that revolves around secrecy, civil war, and politics that’s similar to the tone of the second book. The second half of their storyline is really good especially when it started connected together with Winter’s story but admittedly, their POV is also where I have a few problems with because the first half of their story just didn’t grab me as much as I wanted to; sometimes they even bore me because they felt like fillers at times.
“Three men can keep a secret only once two of them are at the bottom of the river.”
Part of the reason why I feel this way is also because Winter’s POV is just so damn compelling and I just can’t wait to go back to her POV; which is also my favorite part of the book. Together with Janus, they go on a campaign reminiscent of the first book and the shifting of tones between the three POV’s brought a fantastic compelling tale that’s addictive to read.
“Liberators are always more popular than conquerors. And a return to law and order is more welcome once people have gotten a taste of what life is like without it."
Technically, although there’s always something going on in the book, the actual main plot moved at a very slow pace. This can be a problem for those of you who are looking to progress the plot with this installment, but in my opinion, this book is very important to the series because it finally closed the storyline in Vordan and also in this installment, we finally get to see the real villain of the series.
Every character development here is written really well, especially for the female characters. I’ve stated this repeatedly but if you’re looking for a military fantasy that features great female characters, read this series. Every male in this series--except for Janus--just pale in comparison to the female characters. This, of course, doesn’t mean that all the female characters are lovable, I’m pretty sure Jane was created to infuriate the readers, but luckily, her existence is crucial for Winter’s great character development so it's not moo point.
The world-building improves significantly. In my opinion, the first two book felt like reading historical fiction due to the lack of magic, in this book, not only we get to see more of the world outside Vordan and Khardan, more magic finally played a part in the plot.
This is the halfway point of The Shadow Campaigns series and so far until now, the series hasn’t disappointed me. For me, this series at this point is already better than The Powder Mage series and looking at how the story concluded here, I have a good feeling I will have more fantastic time with the last two installments of the series as the story can finally go full throttle to the main meat. Highly recommended for fans of Flintlock/Military fantasy.