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The Dragon Never Sleeps Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in 1944, Glen Cook grew up in northern California, served in the U.S. Navy, attended the University of Missouri, and was one of the earliest graduates of the well-known "Clarion" workshop SF writers. Since 1971 he has published a large number of Science Fiction and fantasy novels, including the "Dread Empire" series, the occult-detective "Garrett" novels, and the very popular "Black Company" sequence that began with the publication of "The Black Company" in 1984. Among his science fiction novels is "A Passage at Arms."

After working many years for General Motors, Cook now writes full-time. He lives near St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife Carol.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801485
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I ordered this title sight unseen, with no prior knowledge of its storyline or quality. With "Dragon" in the title, I figured I was getting another good gritty dark fantasy novel. Even a weak Glen Cook paperback is worth paying out of print bookseller prices, so I went for it.
I was pleasantly suprised to get this particular book in the mail! Space opera is the best way to describe the genre, showing all sides of a declining, far flung insterstellar empire maintained by a remote administration. Policy is made and enacted by a fleet of dreadnaughts that are few and far between the stars. They protect their empire against remote hostile alien forces, and against the enemy within, nascent kingdoms of merchant princes scheming to master not only their own solar systems but the big catch -- capturing a stellar warship! All sides have their idealists, their practical realists, and their outright fools, and all put forward extraordinary effort to advance their agendas.
Many of Glen Cook's books have an epic scale, but this one is amazing, with hundreds of combat ships duking it out across whole solar systems, dead soldiers resurrected in their own cloned bodies, star fleets dispatched by computer, dead tactical officers' minds manifested as vertual beings that gradually lose touch with humanity, intelligent starships generating animatrons who can be seduced by a nymphomaniac spoiled heiress, manhunts over a whole arm of the galaxy, and a breathtaking chase sequence that made me think of the opening credits from the original "Star Wars". As always Cook shows us these events from the point of view of those who do the work.
Oh, the title is a metaphor. The empire of humanity is a pile of jewels sought by avariscious beings within and without.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Glen Cook is a helluva writer. He never seems to get the respect he deserves; his stuff sells well but he never seems to "break out" the way others (who may or may not be better writers) have and continue to do.
And this may well have been Glen's best book so far.
Sad it's been out of print since its single first edition, more than ten years ago.
I recall buying it, because i buy every Glen Cook novel that comes out, and reading it in basically one sitting (and even though i read nearly 1000 words/minute, that was a longish read, because this is a *big* book). Not too long after that, as we were setting out on a seven-hour drive (to an SF convention, as it happens) my wife asked me if i had anything interesting she could read on the trip. I handed her "Dragon". She protested that she didn't like Cook's stuff. I persuaded her to try it.
As we were arriving in Louisville, she looked up and said "Okay -- when can I read the sequel?"
But there isn't a sequel. It's wide-open for a sequel. The last line almost *demands* a sequel.
But Glen won't write one. And i've bugged him about it on and off at SF conventions for years -- he just grins and says "Don't feel like it" or words to that effect.
But, even given the fact that this book really *needs* a sequel and there isn't one and there apparently ain't gonna *be* one, i cannot recommend it too highly as a classic example of how to do space-opera *right*.
Would be well-worth the effort of finding a copy if you like well-written, well-thought-out extremely wide-screen Space Opera; particularly, anyone who likes either David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series or "Doc" Smith's "Lensman" books needs to read this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A newly defrosted Guardship marine would not have more questions than I had while reading TDNS. What's happening? Where are we? Who's in command? What's the plan? What does that mean? Glen Cook's created a bewilderingly complex galactic Human empire so vast its planets have alphanumeric designations, immortal warships dispense immediate judgments, and imperial enemies conspire for generations.

Alas, the story's very difficult to follow. The plots are cloaked in unexplained details and developments. The mainly nondescript characters are hard to distinguish until late in the game. Their multiple names, unusual titles, and scattered clones add to the fun. Conversations are often tersely cryptic "what the hell are they talking about?" dialogues. Obscure references to unknown history, events and technology abound. The narrative jumps from one plot thread to another and the alternating points-of-view and interchangeable locations (Cook's not big on physical descriptions) make the plot seem like a staccato series of events.

Frankly for two-thirds of TDNS, I understood the story mostly in the `big picture' sense. I often had to re-read a page or three because I'd get this feeling that I was missing something, some crucial angle. The story frequently seemed written for someone already very familiar with this universe.

Nevertheless, I rated the book five stars as I felt it was an interesting read by a true professional whose writing style - his word choices and sentence construction - is a bit too convoluted. TDNS crams three novels worth of information and details into a single intense read. Maybe the Dragon might've explained more of the details in a prequel or sequel.
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