Wexler weet op een fantastische manier fantasy en militair te combineren.
Seasoned captain Marcus d’Ivoire is the only volunteer in Khandar, a distant Vordanai colonial outpost surrounded by desert. When a religious rebellion turns the quiet outpost into a war zone, Marcus must whip out-of-practice soldiers into a functioning army. One of these rankers, Winter Ihernglass, is unexpectedly promoted, making it difficult to protect her—yes, her—secret, though her competence is undeniable. Both rely on the brilliant, enigmatic new leader, Colonel Janus, but he has an ulterior motive: a magical relic that has been the true danger all along. Wexler makes military tactics riveting, though at times the sheer detail given over to the realities of pseudo-eighteenth-century warfare (think muskets, swords, and cannons) is too much. Fortunately, at these times, a riotous battle, a perceptive character beat, or another hint of insidious magic comes to the fore.