The Penitent Damned by Django Wexler (The Shadow Campaigns)

In a completely unsurprising turn of events, when I finished Django Wexler’s The Shadow Throne, I was really hoping to be able to read some more by the author. His other main series is for younger readers, but luckily for me, Wexler bears the same love for short stories that I do.

Enter The Penitent Damned, a book that takes place before The Shadow Campaigns series begins, but with no real bearing on the overall story (except for some fascinating looks behind the Concordat curtain).

The story is short, and tells the tale of “Alex … a master thief, with dark magic to give her an edge.” She and her master are lured back to Vordan City by a price that cannot be ignored for two of the greatest thieves the world has ever seen. Wexler writes clean, fluid prose, with high importance on the thrill of sneaking through the dark, and relying on your wits and magic to survive.

The Penitent Damned bears none of the drawbacks of some short stories, drawing instead on the ease of his longer works set in the same universe. The inevitable fight scene is wonderfully intense, and the ending is absolutely not something I saw coming.

Available on io9 if you want to read it for free, or very cheap on Amazon and other e-retailers if you want to throw a few cents at the author, The Penitent Damned is a must read for Django Wexler fans, sheds some light on the dark workings of Duke Orlanko for fans of The Shadow Campaigns series, and is bound to entice new readers into the wonderful world of Django Wexler’s writing.

8/10 A must read for Django Wexler fans.

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