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Soldiers Live Mass Market Paperback – Apr 15 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; First Edition edition (April 15 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812566556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812566550
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 463 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #262,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Skillfully combining noir and military fantasy, acclaimed writer Cook may be concluding the Chronicle of the Black Company in the series's ninth book. Narrated by Croaker, the hard-boiled leader of the company, this book tells the story of the company's search for a path through the shadowgates from Hsien toward Taglios and its home. As they make their way, company members engage in numerous battles. They defeat the murderous forvalka; they assimilate some competent but untrustworthy sorcerers from Vorosh; and they continue to train One-Eye's grandson, the company's principle sorcerer, Tobo. But their journey doesn't end when they get to Taglios. There, they find they have to overthrow Lady's sister (Croaker's sister-in-law) Shadowcatcher, prevent the Daughter of Night (Croaker and Lady's biological daughter) from wreaking havoc and generally put Taglios back togetherAat considerable self-sacrifice. Croaker ultimately keeps his bargain with the guardian of the Glittering Plain, the golem Shivetya, by changing bodies with himAand within the golem body Croaker may have yet more stories to tell. Dark and surprising, Cook's latest is free of pretension, but rich in characters and world building. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

After a long stay in the land of the Hsien warlords, the mercenaries of the Black Company prepare to return to their former home, a journey that takes them once more through the shadowgates and across the Glittering Stone, where old and new enemies await them. The ninth installment of the author!s popular Black Company novels brings to a conclusion several plot threads while leaving room for new variations on a tried-and-true theme"the trials and tribulations of men and women at war against impossible odds. The author!s wry wit and flair for understatement add a level of realism uncommon to the fantasy genre. Recommended for most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Four years passed and no one died. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on Aug. 14 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The last (at least, I don't see how there could be more) book in the Black Company series.
I believe that authors make implicit deals with their readers. They don't promise that long-term POV characters, ones readers will presumably have been attached to, won't die. They don't promise that climaxes will occur as expected, won't have any strange twists, or won't involve mistakes of cosmic proportions.
But they do, implicitly, promise that deaths (and other ways of ending up) and the resolutions of plots and themes will be developed. This is the "contract" that I feel was broken in this book. It's not that lots of characters die or that the end was other than expected -- both of those things would normally be good. It's that the author doesn't seem to care, to spend more than a line or two on the (often off-stage) demise of major characters, or to develop a resolution in a way that will be artistically or emotionally satisfying for readers. The book turns into a drinking game: Who will go next and how, and how few words will Cook spend on the event?
Add continuity errors, a weird head-hopping POV (there's a structural reason for this but it still annoyed me) and increasingly weird characterization (they've never been good guys but now they're outright villians in some inexplicably stupid ways), and this book just didn't work for me. I can only conclude that the author was totally sick of the series and the characters and decided to perpetrate a nearly 600-page joke on his readers. I'm glad I got it from the library rather than deciding to pay money for this thing.
The actual final conclusion is sort of cool and offers a bit of hope, and as always there are some neat scenes and twists on fantasy tropes. I really like the fact of the casualties, though not the way they were handled, and also the suggestion that the Year of the Skulls wasn't what everyone thought (oops), but overall the book is soulless, least developed where it needs to be most.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished Soldiers Live....and just the thought that this could be the end of a marvelous series made the last few pages painful. I feel as if there has been a Black Company novel with me for a very long time. Being an author of business books does not always provide me with the time to read fiction. Besides, the Black Company books have an uncanny ability to "hide" in my house, leading to endless "before bed time" searches and days of wanting to read without being able to.
And then I found out about The Silver Spike....and got happy again....this book is on its way to me now, priority mail.
One of my favorite things about the Black Company series is that everything is not explained to the reader. One is left wondering, these are definitely "imagination" books. Still, there are so many threads left lose in the series that there is much room to go on. I would like to encourage Mr. Cook to continue adding to this series. He could start from the beginning with a book titled something like Khatovar. It would be nice to know what happened there....after all, I just spent 8 or 9 books with Croaker traveling back to the spot....and not getting there....
I know that this is more of a "pleading with the author to continue" than a review....but trust me, these books are great!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In typical fashion, Glen Cook takes his readers on a thrill-packed excursion of plot twists which leaves them never able to guess what will happen next. Cook masterfully wraps up a fabulous fantasy series with an ending that is so perfectly fitting, and yet so completely unexpected until the hints begin to drop in the closing pages.
It is a hard thing for me, like many other readers of the "Black Company" series, to walk away from the characters we've grown to know and love over the years. Admittedly, not many of them are left alive by the time Cook wraps up this book (but I won't say who). The author ties off pretty much all of the loose ends, but nevertheless leaves just enough room to permit a great follow-up series if the mood ever takes him.
I cannot find enough superlatives to express how much I have enjoyed this series, and "Soldiers Live" in particular. The series combines the best in high fantasy, with plenty of powerful wizardry, with the gritty, mundane perspective of the "grunt" soldier on the ground. If you've never tried any these books, I recommend you begin all the way at the beginning with "The Black Company." You'll soon be addicted and reading "Soldiers Live" before you realize how quickly you've devoured all the intervening books. Mr. Cook, please give us more!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now I could start off talking about how i've been a Black Company Fan for years.....well I really can't as I just read the entire series over the past 3 weeks. I guess its obvious that I obsessed over the series, it's that good. But the last couple of books in the "Glittering Stone" series really did not seem up to par with the earlier books. Maybe its because i prefer Croaker's Bitter-Old-Man version of the Annals, but I just didn't enjoy Murgen's or Sleepy's volumes as much.(I still thought they were better reads then almost any other fantasy novel) But with "Soldier Live", the series comes full circle for me. Everything in the book works perfectly for me. Croaker is back as narrator, The Company is once again an indestructable force, more of the plot is revealed, the two worst wizards in the universe pull off what could only be seen as a cosmic practical joke, and the book just flows. I started reading this book at 10 PM one night, and knew there was something wrong when I finished with the sun rising. I litteraly couldn't put it down. The book is long(500+ pages), but I never noticed the length. Quite simply this book is my favorite of the series, and a perfect send-off(probably) for The Company.(though I would not mind prequels)
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