Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead - until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her....
Croaker has fallen and, following the Company's disastrous defeat at Dejagore, Lady is one of the few survivors--determined to avenge the Company and herself against the Shadowmasters, no matter what the cost. But in assembling a new fighting force from the dregs and rabble of Taglios, she finds herself offered help by a mysterious, ancient cult of murder--competent, reliable, and apparently committed to her goals.
As Soldiers Live opens, Croaker is military dictator of all the Taglias, and no Black Company member has died in battle for four years. Croaker figures it can't last. He's right. For, of course, many of the Company's old adversaries are still around. Narayan Singh and his adopted daughter - actually the offspring of Croaker and the Lady - hope to bring about the apocalyptic Year of the Skulls. Other old enemies like Shadowcatcher, Longshadow, and Howler are also ready to do the Company harm.
Mercenary soldiers in the service of the Lady, the Black Company stands against the rebels of the White Rose. They are tough men, proud of honoring their contracts. The Lady is evil, but so, too, are those who falsely profess to follow the White Rose, reincarnation of a centuries-dead heroine. Yet now some of the Company have discovered that the mute girl they rescued and sheltered is truly the White Rose reborn. Now there may be a path to the light, even for such as they. If they can survive it.
She is the last hope of good in the war against the evil sorceress known as the Lady. From a secret base on the Plains of Fear, where even the Lady hesitates to go, the Black Company, once in service to the Lady, now fights to bring victory to the White Rose. But now an even greater evil threatens the world. All the great battles that have gone before will seem a skirmishes when the Dominator rises from the grave.
Having risked their lives and souls to capture the fortress of Stormgard, a band of weary soldiers known as the Company witnesses their commander's descent into madness and await the reemergence of their ancient gods.
Defeated by the Lady and cast from this world, all that was left of him was a foul trace of lingering evil. But the graveyard that was once the Barrowland contains more secrets than dead. All who would possess the power of the Dominator are drawn to the spike. A foolhardy band of thieves is the first to reach it, and a rapacious and malign spirit is unleashed on an unwary world. The forces gather, sides are drawn, and mortal men can only die as the Dark Lords battle for domination.
The tale again comes to us from the pen of Murgen, Annalist and Standard Bearer of the Black Company. Led by the wily commander, Croaker, and the Lady, the Company is working for the Taglian government, but neither the Company nor the Taglians are overflowing with trust for each other. Arrayed against both is a similarly tenuous alliance of sorcerers, including the diabolical Soulcatcher, the psychotic Howler, and a four-year-old child who may be the most powerful of all.
The soldiers of the Black Company don’t ask questions, they get paid. But being “The Lady’s favored” is attracting the wrong kind of attention and has put a target on their backs, and the Company’s historian, Croaker, has the biggest target of all. The one person who was taken into the lady’s tower and returned unchanged has earned the special interest of the court of sorcerers known as "The Ten Who Were Taken". Now, he and the company are being asked to seek the aid of their newest member, Mischievous Rain, to break a rebel army.
After the devastating battle at the Tower of Charm, Croaker leads the greatly diminished Black Company south, in search of the lost Annals. Every step of the way, the Company is hounded by shadowy figured and carrion-eating crows. As they march every southward, through bug infested jungle; rivers dense with bloodthirsty pirates; and cities, dead and living, haunted by the passage of the Company north, their numbers grow. But always they are watched by the Shadowmasters, a deadly new enemy.
For years, Glen Cook's Black Company series has built a major audience among fantasy fans. Told from the "worm's-eye" view of the soldiers and functionaries who fight in the trenches of vast sorceress wars, this epic has riveted a generation of readers. If the Joseph Heller of Catch-22 were to tell the story of The Lord of the Rings, it might read like the Black Company books.
Glen Cook, Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, und andere
Spieldauer: 28 Std. und 57 Min.
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The anthology Songs of the Dying Earth has assembled one of the most distinguished casts of authors ever - including Dan Simmons, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Paula Volsky, Mike Resnick, Robert Silverberg, Lucius Shepard, Tad Williams, Tanith Lee, Liz Williams, Glen Cook, and eleven other famous writers - to write stories in honor of the genius of Jack Vance, stories using the bizarre and darkly beautiful far future setting of the Dying Earth, near the very end of Earth's lifespan.
The vendetta in space had started centuries before "Mouse" Storm was born, with his grandfather's raid on the planet Prefactlas, the bloodbath that freed the human slaves from their Sangaree masters. But one Sangaree survived--the young Norborn heir, the man who swore vengeance on the Storm family and their soldiers in a carefully mapped plot that would take generations to fulfill. Now Mouse's father, Gneaus, must fight for an El Dorado of wealth on the burning half of the planet Blackworld.
Welcome to the world of the Instrumentalities of the Night, where imps, demons, and dark gods rule in the spaces surrounding upstart humanity. At the edges of the world stand walls of ice which push slowly forward to reclaim the land for the night. And at the world's center, in the Holy Land where two great religions were born, are the Wells of Ihrain, the source of the greatest magics.
It's cold. The wells of power are weakening and the forces of Night grow strong. The gods are real, and still have some power, mostly to do harm. The Instrumentalities of the Night are the worst of these. Piper Hecht, born Else Tage, survived a battle with the Instrumentalities. Now he's Captain-General of the armies fighting a crusade for Patriarch Sublime V. Intrigues swirl around the throne of the Grail Empire, as the imperial family's enemy, Anne of Menand, raises money to help the perpetually indebted Patriarch finance his crusades.
For four thousand years, the Guardships have ruled Canon Space - immortal ships with an immortal crew, dealing swiftly and harshly with any mercantile houses or alien races that threaten the status quo.But now the House Tregesser has an edge: a force from outside Canon Space offers them the resources to throw off Guardship rule.
The world grows colder with each passing year, the longer winters and ever-deepening snows awaking ancient fears within the Dengan Packstead, fears of invasion by armed and desperate nomads, attack by the witchlike and mysterious Silth, able to kill with their minds alone, and of the Grauken, that desperate time when intellect gives way to buried cannibalistic instinct, when meth feeds upon meth.
The City of Qushmarrah is uneasy under the rule of the Herodians - short, balding men whose armies would never have conquered the city had not the great and evil wizard Narkar been killed and sealed in his citadel; had not the savage nomad Datars turned coat and sided with the invaders; had not some traitor opened the fortress to them.
A young boy's dreams of glory and war turn into a bitter nightmare as his father's kingdom is overrun by an invading army. Lost and alone in the woods, he finds an ancient sword that promises him the ability to claim his vengeance. As he begins to take that vengeance, he comes to realize the price that the sword will demand of him. Enemies soon become allies and strange bedfellows abound as the prophesies of an age swirl into chaos.
Passage at Arms tells the intimate, detailed and harrowing story of a climber crew and its captain during a critical juncture of the war. Cook combines speculative technology with a canny and realistic portrait of men at war and the stresses they face in combat. Passage at Arms is one of the classic novels of military science fiction.