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A Shadow of All Night Falling (Dread Empire) Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955


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Product Details

  • Series: Dread Empire
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 1955)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425063208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425063200
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marc Rikmenspoel on October 19, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This starts the Dread Empire series simply, introducing the characters who will grow and change in the following books. It is enjoyable, but the rest are more so. Still, it is necessary to read it, to make sense of the whole.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Knapka on April 12, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, I'm giving this book two stars, and by that act paying a huge
compliment to Glen Cook. Read on.
On its own merits, this book might actually deserve three or even
four stars. It's way better than 90% of the hackjob fantasy
novels out there, and beats the dogsnot out of anything by
J.K. Rowling. But my problem is this: when I mention to longtime
Cook fans that the Black Company books rock from top to bottom and
are among my very favorite novels, they invariably say, "Well,
if you like Black Company, you'll *love* Dread Empire." So I
went out and tracked down the whole Dread Empire series, and with
my first taste, I can definitively say that they do *not* approach
the standard set (retroactively) by the Black Company books,
or by the TunFaire stories.
In "A Shadow of All Night Falling", we seem to be seeing a
young Glen Cook searching for his narrative voice. That voice
is strong and compelling in all the Black Company books. In
SoANF, it's vague and scattered. The narrative viewpoint moves
around a lot, and it's hard to get a feel for any of the
characters. So from my point of view, this book is an interesting read, but
primarily in that it gives me a new perspective on Mr. Cook's body of work.
The good news is that as the novel progressed, I could see the
author gaining his footing; the last fifty pages or so were nearly
up to snuff. This bodes well for the rest of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Woofdog on July 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Note that this is now back in print as part of the omnibus edition A Cruel Wind, covering the first Dread Empire trilogy.

Having just reread this novel, I am inclined to find it very enjoyable but puzzling in the lack of a central protagonist. Major focus of the story is on varthlokkur, nepanthe and mocker, with secondary interest in the storm kings, the old man, haroun, ragnarson, and ragnarson's associates. Ragnarson's future prominance is not visible here.

While I am unsympathetic to varthlokkur's prolonged magically-certified obsession with nepanthe, he is a sympathetic character. The old man and the star rider both bring more questions than answers, a few of which might be answered later. I think there is some dilution of impact of the story with so little time being given to any major character...

This story is the first in 7 published novels in the dread empire series, and here you can already see cook's gritty, realistic depiction of human conversation, motivation, and failibility. The only quibble may be the almost transparent reconciliation of the storm kings and haroun and co.

It is a very enjoyable read, well worth ordering used or buying as the omnibus book 'a cruel wind.' Glen cook can present a tale in this form so brutally realistic and pragmatic that you may find other contemporary fantasy seeming rather superficial or artificial.
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By David A. Lessnau on June 7, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cook's "A Shadow of All Night Falling" (which I read in the Kindle edition of his omnibus A Cruel Wind) is the first of the main sequence books in his "Dread Empire" series (the other two books in the main sequence ("October's Baby" and "All Darkness Met") are also in that omnibus). This book is a very early example (1979) of Glen Cook's writing. It's a decent book (good technical writing, interesting world, interesting plot), but it's really dragged down by one element: the characterizations. Most of the book (the first 3/4) is written with descriptions instead of with dialog. Thus, instead of living the story with the characters, we're distanced from the characters and see the story more as a history. Of course, since Cook jumps back and forth across four centuries during the book, maybe that's what he intended. Also, as the book progresses and the timelines merge, the writing focuses more and more on dialog (it's still sparse at the end, though). I did enjoy the book, though, and am rating it at an OK 3 stars out of 5.
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