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Oct 28 2013 12:00pm

The Black Company Reread: Soldiers Live

Glen Cook Black Company Soldiers Live It’s been a long old road but the end is in sight. Stay with me for just one more post, I promise not to get all sentimental until the last couple of paragraphs…

The thing is though, if I hadn’t already read these books I would have thought that Water Sleeps would have been the last we saw of the Black Company. I know there was mention of Soulcatcher, Narayan Singh and the Daughter of Night but even so, it just felt like a natural ending (even more so now I’ve had a couple of weeks to think about it). The war may still be going on but the Black Company has reached the end of its journey, especially now that they can’t get to the place they’ve been marching towards for the last few books. What could possibly happen next?

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Oct 7 2013 11:00am

The Black Company Reread: Water Sleeps

Glen Cook Water Sleeps Black Company I am so sorry for another delay in the long march towards Khatovar; not going to bore you with the details here, suffice it to say that despite all my best efforts… Here we are and my face is suitably red. Thanks for bearing with me!

It was completely unintentional on my part but it’s funny how fiction and real life can dovetail sometimes. She is the Darkness saw a large chunk of the Black Company (and assorted hangers on) become trapped, by Soulcatcher, with Khatovar closer than ever before. Imagine being that close… In the meantime, all sorts of stuff conspired to keep Khatovar just beyond my grasp as well. I’ll bet that I dealt with it better than Croaker did though…

I’m ready to get back on the trail though and so are the remnants of the Company hiding in Taglios. Let’s pick up Croaker, and the rest, on the way shall we?

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Sep 16 2013 12:00pm

The Black Company Reread: She is the Darkness

Glen Cook Black Company She is the Darkness So my wife saw me reading this the other day, took one look at it and said, “that looks like Michael Jackson on the cover.” Now I’ve seen it, it can’t be unseen so now I have no choice but to share it with everyone. Enjoy…

Anyway. After giving myself a massive headache trying to get my head around Bleak Seasons (seriously, drums pounding behind my eyeballs, the works) I was a little wary about She is the Darkness. There’s also the point that it has been years since I’ve read a series all the way through like this and, eight books in now, I’m starting to experience a little fatigue. That’s not to say that I haven’t had a great time re-reading, because I have. Let’s just say that I might be breaking out the “emergency David Eddings books,” once the reread is done, for a little lighter reading.

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Sep 2 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: Bleak Seasons

Bleak Seasons Black Company Glen Cook Bleak Seasons marks the beginning of the final plot arc in the Black Company series. It also marks the point (at least in my editions) where the cover art stops being all cartoonish and 1980s fantasy, instead becoming a little more like the series that Cook actually wrote. Go on, take a look at this cover and then go back to my post on The Black Company and look at the cover there; you can’t deny it, can you?

It’s not something that I’d normally talk about (being more about the books) but it feels like such a change that I thought I’d see if you guys had any particular preferences. Do you like the later covers or are you a Raymond Swanland cover kind of person? Me? These Books of the Glittering Stone covers are where I’m at.

But anyway, back to Bleak Seasons

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Aug 19 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: Dreams of Steel

Glen Cook Black Company Dreams of Steel Another fortnight, another Black Company reread and Khatovar grows ever closer. Keep an eye open here and you might even see it for an instant (even while the people who want it the most can’t see it at all, aren’t we lucky?) There are still a few more books to get through yet though, just stay patient for a little while longer…

Shadow Games left everything on a massive cliffhanger didn’t it? Croaker overplayed his hand and his luck eventually ran out with the Company and its Taglian armies either stuck in Dejagore or on the run after a devastating enemy counterattack. Could it get any worse? Well it certainly did for Croaker (carried off by Soulcatcher) and Lady (buried under a pile of corpses). I don’t know about you, but I think we’re owed some answers here. Dreams of Steel does a lot more than that though; something absolutely huge is on the way that will take the rest of the series to play out. Ladies and Gentlemen, the endgame starts here (disclaimer: go easy on me if I’m wrong, it really is like I’m reading these latter books for the first time).

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Aug 5 2013 10:00am

The Black Company Reread: Shadow Games

Glen Cook Black Company Shadow Games As of right now, I am officially heading into territory that I haven’t stepped foot in for a number of years. The promise of Khatovar lies in the distance but there is a lot of pretty much unknown territory to cover first. And can the remnants of the Company even make it that far? Only seven men were left at the end of The White Rose after all…

Okay, maybe that’s over dramatising things a little bit. With another five books to go (and blurbs easily found online) we know that Khatovar will be reached by at least whoever is telling the story at the time. I guess what I am trying to say is that Shadow Games marks a whole new beginning in the history of the Black Company and anything could happen here on in. Exciting isn’t it?

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Jul 22 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: The Silver Spike

Black Company Silver Spike Glen Cook Before we get started, apologies once again for the gaping hole that I left in last week’s schedule. I really didn’t mean for that to happen and I’m sorry that it did. Fingers crossed that there won’t be any more (the next post will be on August 5th) Anyway…

You’ve all probably had enough of me spouting the “reread rules” by now, I’m getting tired of it, but as The Silver Spike is a (relatively) stand alone read it’s worth going over them again for anyone who’s just popping in for this post in particular.

This is where I would normally point you at Wikipedia for a handy synopsis but it has totally let me down on this score. Instead, here’s a very quick summary of my own:

All that is left of the Dominator is a silver spike embedded in the son of the God Tree. It’s not there for long, though, after a band of treasure hunters make off with the haul of their lives. What can they do with it, though? The city of Oar is in lockdown and the Limper is outside the walls with an army of his own. One thing is for sure, whoever gets their hands on the Silver Spike will be the new Dominator… Can anyone halt the malignant influence of the Silver Spike?

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Jul 1 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: The White Rose

The White Rose Like I said in my last post, I’ve only read this series once and I’m looking forward to reading some of these books again but having it feel like it’s for the first time. I just didn’t expect that feeling to come around so quickly…

With The White Rose it felt like I was in brand new territory. I knew how the book was going to end (that much I do remember) and I knew where the remnants of the Company go afterwards. It’s just all the bits in the middle that I couldn’t quite place. Apart from Toadkiller Dog that is—there’s a name that will always stick with you (all the more so since I read the book and got reacquainted). So I read The White Rose and found that the big question I had to ask myself afterwards was, “awesome book but where did the hollow feeling come from all of a sudden?”

The White Rose left me feeling me feeling a little weird for two reasons. One was only to be expected but the other…? Let me tell you about it.

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Jun 17 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: Shadows Linger

Shadows Linger by Glen Cook As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only been able to read through this series once (and that was years ago) so there are going to be books coming up where it will feel like I am reading them for the first time. I’m actually looking forward to that feeling.

Shadows Linger is not one of those books. I’ve read it a few times now and it has become my favourite book in the whole series (yeah I know, even though there are books that I can barely remember reading). For me, Shadows Linger is the most personal book of the series by a long way and that’s something I hope to talk about a little here. It’s also awesome for a whole load of other reasons which will be mentioned as well.

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Jun 3 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: The Black Company

The Black Company Read The Black CompanyThanks for joining me on this trip and apologies again for the slight delay in getting going. We’re all good now though; we’ll be heading north for a bit (and about as far north as you can go) and then turning round and heading south until we reach the spot where it all began. Just a couple of very quick things before we head off.

I’m going to assume that if you’re here for the trip then you’ve read the book and will know what happens in it. So, in order to free up more space for discussion, I’m not going to lay out the plot here although of course I will refer to it. If your memory needs refreshing then have a look at the plot summary on Wikipedia which I found to be very thorough and covers all the bases. With this in mind then I realised that avoiding spoilers isn’t that much of an issue. I mean, we’ve all read the book haven’t we? Just bear that in mind though if you haven’t.

All clear? Right, let’s go.

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May 20 2013 9:00am

The Black Company Reread: A Revised Schedule and Primer

The Black Company by Glen Cook reread on

Thanks, all, for joining me on this trip to Khatovar. Those of you who have made this trip before know what’s coming and are probably as excited as I am about travelling to familiar locales and meeting old friends (and enemies...) once again. Those of you who are making the trip for the first time... Well, keep your eyes open and you should be fine. Just be wary of the talking menhirs, they like to play tricks on unwitting travellers.

Here’s the thing though. We’re not going to set off just yet.

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May 15 2013 11:15am

The Long Road to Khatovar: A Black Company Reread

The Black Company by Glen Cook reread on

The Malazan books are said to owe a great debt to Glen Cook’s Black Company series so it was fitting, in a way, that I first became aware of the books whilst browsing Amazon and trying to decide whether to kick off my Malazan reading with Memories of Ice. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, do not start reading the Malazan books with Memories of Ice; it just doesn’t work and you only end up with a headache.) But back to the books that I actually want to talk about….

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