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The Many Deaths of the Black Company Paperback – Jan 5 2010

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The Many Deaths of the Black Company + The Return of the Black Company + The Books of the South: Tales of the Black Company
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (Jan. 5 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324016
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Cook's talent for combining gritty realism and high fantasy provides a singular edge."  --Library Journal on Water Sleeps

"Cook provides a rich world of assorted races, cultures, and religions; his characters combine the mythic or exotic with the realistic, engaging in absorbing alliances, enmities, and double-crosses."  --Publishers Weekly on Bleak Seasons

About the Author

GLEN COOK lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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By Conor on March 2 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They don't call it "The Many Deaths of the Black Company" for nothing. Glen Cook's final two books (so far) provide a bittersweet ending to many of our favourite characters' stories. He pulls no punches, nor does he ever get too sentimental. Like his characters, he's experienced and seen too much to get poetic now, and that's exactly how this reader likes it.
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By A. Volk #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on Feb. 4 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK, technically it might not be the conclusion as Glen Cook has stated there might be a couple more books in the works. But this pair of books wraps up the story of the Black Company under Croaker. After an excellent start, the series went good-OK, then sort of fell off the rails in the last few stories. Cook picks them back up and reinvigorates the series with a healthy dose of action and solid characters. Sleepy is the new annalist of the Company, as well as the defacto Captain after the events of the previous book. The first half of this book is her efforts to bring back the old captain, Croaker, so as to fulfill a debt to company brothers and then get busy fulfilling debts to those who betrayed the company.

Sleepy's chronicles are well done and interesting. In large part because Sleepy is an interesting character with a keen tactical mind. That makes for good reading. Some of the old cast (Goblin, One-Eye) are still around, but it's really Sleepy who runs the show along with Murgen's wife. In the second book, Croaker returns with Lady and the two of them set out to return to Taglios and set things straight with old foes. Ultimately though, Kina keeps rearing her (literally) ugly head, forcing Croaker and Lady to make some tough decisions. This second half of the book is full of some interesting moments, but it's also rushed in places (particularly as it goes on) and suffers from some heavy-fisted plot manipulations to make everything fall into place. But things do eventually fall into place, leaving me a satisfied reader after well over 2,000 pages of the entire series of the Black Company.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
The Conclusion of a Military Fantasy Noir Epic Jan. 8 2010
By John T. Miller IV - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. The Black Company, dirty deeds done dirt cheap." So begins the Chronicles of the Black Company, perhaps the first book ever published in a genre that is now called Dark Fantasy.

The Many Deaths of the Black Company is an omnibus containing reprints of the second half of the Glittering Stone saga, a four book series continuing the tale of the Black Company, which was first published between 1996 and 2000. If you have not read the original Black Company series, the characters and plot may prove overwhelming. I recommend you start with the first novel, Chronicles of the Black Company. You will not be disappointed.

"Water Sleeps" and "Soldiers Live" are the books contained within The Many Deaths of the Black Company. They conclude a series which has been nearly two decades in the making. While initially published to little fanfair, The Black Company is now viewed as a revolutionizing force within Fantasy literature. His works are known for their mature and realistic setting, epic scope, military focus, morbid humor and gritty prose.

The original editions of these two books are now extremely rare and regularly sell for 30+ dollars each. This is their first republication in the modern era, get them while you can. Rumors abound that Glen Cook plans a return for the Black Company but these books have yet to materialize. Until then: Here ends the annals of The Black Company.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An Awesome Read July 22 2010
By Joseph A. Buono - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Word of warning: if you like your fantasy fluffy and with elves, stay far away from the Black Company!

Glen Cook's Black Company novels are meaner than a basket full of rattlesnakes and tougher than old boot leather. It's a dark world full of evil sorcerers, all of whom fear the men of the Black Company. They are a band of veteran mercenaries for whom kicking ass and taking names are all in a day's work, and impossible missions just another nut to crack. This is down to earth epic fantasy that trudges through the mud and the blood.

The Many Deaths of the Black Company is the fourth of four omnibus editions. If you haven't read any of these books yet, start with The Chronicles of the Black Company, and then the Books of the South and The Return of the Black Company. Many Deaths contains the novels Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live, the last two books that wrap up the series (although Cook stated in a 2006 interview that he has two more unpublished ones, A Pitiless Rain and Port of Shadows). You will have much more enjoyment starting from the beginning.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A fitting end March 15 2011
By Jeff K. Tillman Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though the last few books had some spots that were hard to get through, "The Many Deaths of the Black Company" pulls you along and keeps you guessing. Though I finished this book less than a month ago, I'm already going back through the series. If you read the first three omnibuses, you obviously had every intention of finishing the series but let me encourage you by saying that "Water Sleeps" and "Soldiers Live" are among my favorite books of the series. If you haven't read the other books, obviously do so first because nothing in these books will make sense otherwise. In closing, this is a perfect end to an almost perfect series.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Soldiers Live. And Wonder Why... Nov. 20 2010
By Micah J. Hill - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Soldiers live. And wonder why... Its a great theme and fitting for this Glenn Cook series. Rather than going out with a bang, some of the Black Company members live on. Not in a heroic or exciting manner, but with sadness and sense of loss.

The first three Black Company books were brilliant and delightfully disturbing for me. Glenn Cook left the typical realm of fantasy and abandoned the stories of kings and elves. The focus on realistic military fantasy was a nice change of pace. Years later I believe we see the effects of Cook's writings when reading Erikson, GRRM, or Abercrombie.

All that being said, I think this series really fizzled out. Im not sure I fully believe these later stories of the Black Company needed to be told. The last novels dragged out slowly and became hard to read. The drudgery of everyday living of the soldiers became depressing to me after 10 novels. Aspects that were new and intriguing in the first novels were now commonplace. I understand that a lot of this was intentional from Mr Cook, but Im just not sure why these final novels were written. I respect and admire Mr Cook, but I would like to see him move on to less tilled ground. Eventually that which was once groundbreaking becomes well trod.

Soldiers live and wonder why. The Black Company novels live on and I wonder why...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The End of the Black Company! Dec 5 2013
By Jason F. Smith - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a long time fan of the Black Company, and while the later books (Bleak Seasons, She is the Darkness, Water Sleeps, and Soldiers Live) are not as good as the first three (Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose), they are still in a class by themselves. This collection includes Water Sleeps and Soldier's Live. Great stuff. I've passed it down to my children, and they have all read them as well, multiple times.

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