An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat: A Chronicle of the Dread Empire
Two collections that tie into grim epic fantasy series.
These 10 shadowy short stories take place in the same world as Cook's 1980s Dread Empire sword and sorcery novels. “Ghost Stalk,” “Call for the Dead” and the previously unpublished “Hell Forge” form an episodic tale of a damned crew's quest to escape hell. The other stories stand alone but share settings and characters, including the despotic empire itself, which lurks as an unseen but omnipresent menace. In this gloomy world, all are subject to the whims of those above them, quests rarely end happily and comic elements are limited to gallows humor. Fans of Fritz Leiber and Steven Erikson will enjoy these unjustly overlooked tales. (Sept.)