Soldiers Live

Glen Cook, Author Tor Books $25.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-312-89057-5
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 together--at considerable self-sacrifice. Croaker ultimately keeps his bargain with the guardian of the Glittering Plain, the golem Shivetya, by changing bodies with him--and 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.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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