The Thousand Names by Django Wexler is one of the most anticipated debut releasing in 2013. The first book of The Shadow Campaigns series will be out on July 2nd and Tor.com posted an excerpt of the book. Here's the blurb and an extract of the excerpt :)
Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steelbut where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic....
Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.
To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.
The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernaturala realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.
Four soldiers sat atop the ancient sandstone walls of a fortress on the sun-blasted Khandarai coast.
That they were soldiers was apparent only by the muskets that leaned against the parapet, as they had long ago discarded anything resembling a uniform. They wore trousers that, on close inspection, might once have been a deep royal blue, but the relentless sun had faded them to a pale lavender. Their jackets, piled in a heap near the ladder, were of a variety of cuts, colors, and origins, and had been repaired so often they were more patch than original fabric.
They lounged, with that unique, lazy insolence that only soldiers of long experience can affect, and watched the shore to the south, where something in the nature of a spectacle was unfolding. The bay was full of ships, broad-beamed, clumsy-looking transports with furled sails, wallowing visibly even in the mild sea. Out beyond them was a pair of frigates, narrow and sharklike by comparison, their muddy red Borelgai pennants snapping in the wind as though to taunt the Vordanai on the shore.
If it was a taunt, it was lost on the men on the walls, whose attention was elsewhere. The deep-drafted transports didn’t dare approach the shore too closely, so the water between them and the rocky beach was aswarm with small craft, a motley collection of ship’s boats and local fishing vessels. Every one was packed to the rails with soldiers in blue. They ran into the shallows far enough to let their passengers swing over the side into the surf, then turned about to make another relay. The men in blue splashed the last few yards to dry land and collapsed, lying about in clumps beside neatly stacked boxes of provisions and equipment.
“Those poor, stupid bastards,” said the first soldier, whose name was Buck. He was a broad-shouldered, barrel-chested man, with sandy hair and a tuft on his chin that made him look like a brigand. “Best part of a month in one of those things, eatin’ hard biscuit and pukin’ it up again, and when you finally get there they tell you you’ve got to turn around and go home.”
“You think?” said the second soldier, who was called Will. He was considerably smaller than Buck, and his unweathered skin marked him as a relative newcomer to Khandar. “I’m not looking forward to another ride myself.”