The first in a thrilling, action-packed fantasy series that epitomizes the fight for survival…. Wexler's young adult debut is a gripping, fast-paced fantasy enrapturing readers until the end…. This ever changing world of magic is beautifully constructed with tantalizing details that evoke a variety of cultural influences. The characters are well-developed, and diversityin ethnicity, ability, and sexualityis abundant.” Kirkus Reviews
"Wexler, most recently known for his adult fantasy series The Shadow Campaigns and children’s adventures The Forbidden Library series, has another engrossing winner on his hands. The title, cover, and content, which is often violent and sometimes racy, will evoke comparisons to Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series."Booklist
"Ship of Smoke and Steel is a brisk, gritty adventure starring a heroine with genuine agency and power, despite the overwhelming odds stacked against her. The world is sharp and unforgiving, the mysteries are deep, the action is harrowing and triumphant."Scott Lynch, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora
Praise for Django Wexler's previous works:
“A standout.... There’s no time like the present to lose oneself in the military and political struggles of the Vordanai Empire.” Fonda Lee, author of Exo, for LibraryJournal.com, on The Shadow Campaigns series
“Warning: You'll probably be hooked on Wexler's insane 'flintlock fantasy' worldbuilding.” Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky, for io9.com, on “The Penitent Damned”
“Three cheers for a female protagonist who demonstrates strong leadership skills without losing the prospect of love or friendship.” Kirkus Reviews on The Fall of the Readers
“Audacious and subversive.” Publishers Weekly on The Shadow Throne
“Suspenseful, emotional, and extremely gratifying.” Booklist on The Infernal Battalion
“Wexler is an exceptionally good writer, period.” Foz Meadows, author of An Accident of Stars and Hugo Award nominee for Best Fan Writer, on The Shadow Throne
“Just as much as the delightful action scenes and the narrative drive and the fantastic approach to magic and blowing [stuff] up, Wexler’s commitment to portraying a wide variety of women matters.” Liz Bourke, Hugo Award nominee for Best Fan Writer, for Tor.com, on The Price of Valor
“Fit for the big screen.” Baltimore County Public Library’s blog on The Thousand Names
Gr 10 Up-The first in a trilogy, this fantasy chronicles the adventures of Isoka, a ward boss in the lowest slum of Kahnzoka—a fantastic Japanese metropolis. The book opens with Isoka killing everyone inside an illegal gambling house. In this battle, Isoka reveals her greatest gift and her greatest danger—she is mage-born, able to summon magical blades from the Well of Melos (Combat). Isoka uses her gift to kill those who cross her employers. She is driven in her violent ambition to provide for her sister Tori, who lives in luxury and ignorance of Isoka's work. Isoka's brutal but lucrative world collapses when her power is discovered by the Immortals—the emperor's elite magical soldiers. Taken prisoner by the Imperial spymaster, Isoka must board the ghost ship Soliton and steal it for the empire to save her sister's life. Isoka must immediately defend herself, and soon she is fighting for the lives of her hunting pack against vicious creatures as well as other mage-born fighters. As Isoka climbs the ladder of the ship's command structure, she discovers startling secrets at Soliton's heart and transforms from gangster to hero, striving to save her own life and that of everyone close to her. VERDICT This girl power-infused fantasy offers gripping action and an intriguing plot. Graphic depictions of violence and frequent sexual references make this a choice for older teen readers-Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Blinn Junior College, Brenham, TX
The first in a thrilling, action-packed fantasy series that epitomizes the fight for survival.
In the slums of the great port city of Kahnzoka, teenage ward boss Isoka is a ruthless money collector. All the money she obtains goes to support the life she has built for her younger sister away from the poverty and violence. Ancient magic has given her the ability to access the power of Melos, the Well of Combat, one of the nine Wells of Sorcery, an ability she should have declared to the Immortals years ago. When her powers are discovered, she is arrested and sent on an impossible mission: steal the ghost ship Soliton and return it to the Empire in one year's time. Unfortunately, no one has ever returned from Soliton, but if she fails, her sister dies. Isoka must not only survive on the ship, but she must also find a way to reach the captain and take control. Wexler's (The Infernal Battalion, 2018 etc.) young adult debut is a gripping, fast-paced fantasy enrapturing readers until the end. Told from Isoka's point of view, readers get deep into the magic, people, and inner workings of the ship. This ever changing world of magic is beautifully constructed with tantalizing details that evoke a variety of cultural influences. The characters are well-developed, and diversity—in ethnicity, ability, and sexuality—is abundant. From gory fights to unexpected romance, this has something for every fantasy lover.
An alluring fierceness and charm will leave readers craving more. (map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)