The Price of Valour (The Shadow Campaigns #3) by Django Wexler


Rating: 8/10

The Price of Valor finally achieved what its predecessors failed to attain: the perfect balance between military and politics. Some loose threads are being tied up at last and found their place in the bigger picture. 

That being said, I sadly struggled during at least the first third of the book. TPoV started with a battle. Given the minimalistic context and an ever growing number of new battalions and regiments, it was really hard for me to visualize the field and the scale of the conflict or to even care about the outcome, if truth be told. I was also very frustrated by the main characters’ passive attitude or poor decisions. I felt like Winter, Marcus and even Raesinia were the shadows of their former selves at the beginning of the book. However, I can only encourage you to be patient with them because they won’t fail to surprise throughout the other two thirds of TPoV.

“A great general would only fight when the outcome is a foregone conclusion. And a perfect general would outmaneuver his enemy so utterly, leave the position so completely hopeless, that the futility of fighting would be obvious to even the most dim- witted foe. The perfect victory is the battle that is decided before it is even fought, and therefore never needs to be fought at all.”

Wexler proved once again his genius and a perfect mastery of his unique cocktail of history, military tactics and politic machinations. TPoV brushes a relevant picture of the ugly aftermaths of a revolution, the ensuing chaos, the economic collapse and the rise of opportunism, mistrust and violence. And when power shifts so radically, the line is very thin between democracy and tyranny.

“Liberators are always more popular than conquerors. And a return to law and order is more welcome once people have gotten a taste for what life is like without it.”

Character-wise, and aside from the frustrating beginning, at least for me, TPoV showed new facets of almost all the major players. Faced with unexpected circumstances, way out of their comfort zone, they all had to adapt and change and learn in order to survive. Some of the greatest scenes for me were precisely those where characters finally sorted through their issues, memories or bad feelings and opened up to each other. I wish there were more of those in the series.

PS: what went wrong with the ebook?? I seriously had the impression that I was reading an un-proofread ARC. There were a lot of typos in my Kindle ebook, I lost track… I don’t know if there was some kind of mistake with my copy, or if other readers experienced the same thing but $8 is pretty expensive for an uncorrected book. 

Review by Haïfa.

Read in December, 2017.

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