wait what js the shadow campaigns about?? does it really have a canon lesbian? :0
Say hello to Winter Ihernglass, protagonist (there are two other POVs who do important things but it’s pretty clear she’s the central character) of The Shadow Campaigns, a flintlock fantasy series by Django Wexler:
The series takes place in a fantasy world drawn from the 1790s and early 1800s, especially the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, so it reads very differently to what you might call ‘standard’ medieval fantasy. The character-work is excellent, both for Winter (who has emerged as one of my favourite fantasy characters due to the fact that she’s just genuinely decent and struggles with the issues of responsibility and personal relationships in a way that doesn’t feel contrived or overwritten) and for all the other characters.
This is a series that absolutely takes an interest in its female characters (not that the dudes are badly-written either) and presents them in a whole range of personalities and statuses - notably, there are enough queer women in the story that Winter doesn’t feel like a token, which is something rare in most fiction, let alone fantasy. Relationships between women (both romantic and platonic) make up a big part of the series’ character interactions and to my mind they’re very well-written.
The series’ good stuff doesn’t stop there: Wexler absolutely brings his world to life with an impressive level of detail: Napoleonic military tactics and strategy take up a fairly large chunk of the series, and it’s clear Wexler understands what he’s writing about in a way most authors (even those who write historical napoleonic books) don’t. The series’ forays in Revolutionary politics show the same attention to detail, although it stays focussed on characters rather than the wider philosophical details (which I think is the right choice).
The magic (the fantasy part of flintlock fantasy) is also well-handled; it’s subtle, with a group of well-developed and sensical antagonists with more motivation than ‘let’s take over the world!’. The fourth book transitions a mostly political/military conflict into a more overtly epic-fantasy-apocalyptic one, but even then it manages to keep the conflict grounded and full of character drama.
All in all, it’s an excellent series, and one I highly recommend checking out; the fifth and final book will apparently be released some time around October 2017.