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

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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: 15.5 x 3.5 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER 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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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 Laura Deanna on Sept. 23 2015
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 61 reviews
39 of 41 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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
An Awesome Read July 22 2010
By Joe B. - 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.
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Water Sleeps and Soldier's Live-- read them again and again Oct. 25 2010
By Philipp M. Reichold - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have the whole series, and while I recommend starting at the beginning and reading the whole series start to finish, I do recommend reading them. I reread the whole series start to finish, and while it could have been more sonorous, it would not have carried one of Cook's points.

Observant readers may sense a lack of continuity between stories. This is intentional. The idea is that the Annals have been added to by a variety of writers, (Croaker, Murgen, Lady, Sleepy and Croaker again, then the twins) and that each has is their own perspective, style and ax to grind. Of course, whichever one you are reading avows their own lack of bias, but that's part of the fun. You get a real feel for the individual characters as they tell the Company's story their own way.

Another idea behind the story line is that the company lives on though members die and employers betray, even though one raggedy old former captain has managed to hang on. Well imagined and amazing, though not designed for those who need fairy tale endings. All does not always end well, but we survive. Croaker's apotheosis at the end leads you to wonder about some mysteries in Bleak Seasons and She is the Darkness, but any sort of certainty would spoil the effect of the Company slipping into legend as it recrosses the Plain.

More than your ordinary slash and burn military fiction, Cook through Sleepy and Croaker takes the reader on a journey that is in places fun, exciting, amusing, tragic, and compelling while dealing with the harshness of military life in a world where everyone else is the enemy. It is always worth rereading.

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