Kindle Edition, 515 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Roc (first published July 2nd 2015)
One of the biggest books on my “Books I Meant To Read But Somehow Didn’t Get To” from 2015 was the third in the Shadow Campaigns series, The Price of Valor by NW Author Django Wexler. I have a big habit of reading the first book of a series, enjoying it, then never quite going back to the rest of the series. However, generally, if I like the first book in a series enough to read the second, I’ll continue reading throughout the course of the series. This was the case with The Shadow Campaigns, where I found the first book, The Thousand Names, to be exceptionally fresh, interesting, and well written. The second novel, The Shadow Throne, was equally as enjoyable.
Thankfully, my patience (ok ok, laziness) paid off, and The Price of Valor was exactly what I wanted, and needed, to revitalize my feelings towards the genre. Wexler manages to avoid the “more of the same” feel that a third book in a longer series could fall victim to, keeping things feeling fresh. The book was, for the majority, much more mild and slower moving than the first two, fewer battles, fewer major events, and a lot of character development. Luckily, Django handles this very well, the interplay between Winter and her peers, her lover Jane, and her superiors enthralling, and it’s impossible not to cheer for her. Winter is one of the more relatable and likable characters I can think of, despite being not remotely relatable to me (can’t say I could ever find myself in the same situation).
The action picks up later in the book, and when it comes, it’s hot and heavy. Django does a really great job with the military aspects of the novel, but when things break down to the actual action, it’s exciting, nerve-wracking, and a total page-turn situation. The book picks up in intensity as it goes, and finishes with a flourish, followed by some very intense moments, and one of the more “oh snap!” epilogues I’ve ever read.
Overall, I did not feel the book was the best in the series, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. The ending really kicked things up a notch, but despite the lack of ‘action’, the rest of the novel stayed interesting and fun, as well as incredibly smooth to read.