The Shadow Throne is the second book in The Shadow Campaign series and it’s really not an exaggeration to say that this is almost a completely different book in comparison to the first book. Where The Thousand Names focused mainly on campaigns and actions, The Shadow Throne centered on a revolution in the city of Vordan; filled with scheming and politics.
The plot began weeks after the end of the previous book and it’s filled with an abundance of political machinations. Django showed his strength as a writer that actions are not his only strength, he clearly shows us here that his characterizations and plotting are superb. The only problem I had with the first book was that there are some moments where the action scenes were drawn out for too long without actually focusing on the characters first; this problem vanished completely here.
The actions this time occurred only twice, in the middle and the last part of the book and honestly speaking, they’re really short. In fact, I have a feeling that if you’re someone who gave the first book 5 stars rating, this would probably be a weaker book for you. Luckily I’m not of them. I found the changes in storytelling direction essential for the continuation of the series. This doesn’t mean that the actions are poorly written, the siege sections in this book was intense and well-written, I also think the pacing is much better and is are only two moments that bored me a bit here.
The one thing that definitely excels in comparison to the first book is the characterizations. The female characters in this book are very well written, for everyone who’s looking for great LGBT representation in an adult fantasy, look no further, you’ll get it here. Winter is slowly becoming one of my favorite heroines ever, not yet there but she’s on the way. The new POV character, Raiseinia is another well written, but my favorite of the series so far is actually a non-POV character, Janus. Even Marcus, one of the main POV character, is inferior compared to this enigmatic and calm military genius; I can’t wait to find out more about Janus because there’s so much mystery around this guy.
I mentioned earlier there was two moment that bored me in this book. To say it without any spoilers, there was slightly too much romance for my taste and also, the preparation for the final action sequences in this book was drawn out a bit too long while the climax sections lasted only for 5% of the book.
The Shadow Throne is a different kind of book from its predecessor but for me, it was superior to the last book and highly addictive to read. Depending on the remaining three books, there’s a HIGH chance that The Shadow Campaigns will be included in my lonely list of favorite series of all time. Once again, recommended for fans of flintlock/military fantasy.