- Mass Market Paperback: 319 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (April 15, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812508424
- ISBN-13: 978-0812508420
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shadows Linger: A Novel of the Black Company (The Second Chronicle of The Black Company) Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 1990
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"Complex and compelling…It is a powerful fantasy, combining a fast-moving plot with an introduction into this world of patriarchal schism, greedy churchmen and nobles, and cynical soldiers bent on survival."
"The thing about Glen Cook is that with The Black Company he singlehandedly changed the face of fantasy--something a lot of people didn't notice and maybe still don't. He brought the story down to a human level, dispensing with the cliché archetypes of princes, kings, and evil sorcerers. Reading his stuff was like reading Vietnam War fiction on peyote."
--Steven Erikson, author of Gardens of the Moon
About the Author
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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The books are written as the chronicles set down by the Annalist of the Black Company, a mercenary band, as it traverses north and south the breadth of their world. Along the way, of course, enemies become friends, friends enemies, some are born, some die, people change. Cook manages to keep everything in his world dirty and real, with all the aches and pains and hassle and heartbreak of the new "gritty fantasy", and of course he started this series over thirty years ago.
Croaker, the Annalist and protagonist of the first several books in the series, plays the anti-hero role, and even the villains go from "Dark Lord in a Dark Tower" to protagonists themselves!
If you're looking for an engaging, exciting read that lasts through multiple volumes, this is it. Highly recommended.
The story takes place mostly in a town called Juniper, with the story going back and forth between a few primary characters you already know, as well as some new characters to follow, and they all eventually intertwine near the end. The Dominator wants out of his prison, and has planted a seed of manipulation in an attempt to break out and unleash his terror across the world.
Follow The Black Company into Juniper to see what trouble they get into this time around.
I really can't remember which book in the series this is, but so what? The Black Company series has kept me interested throughout; it's a compelling fantasy saga about a mercenary company far from its roots, fighting the battles of their employers, right or wrong (and the right side is sometimes the wrong). Swords, Sorcery, and a well imagined world. I'm on the 6th or 7th book right now, and still planning to finish. You won't be sorry you bought these.
Why is this book great (other than the writing and character development, of course)? Because you can never tell who will end up being a good guy (or gal) and how long their "goodness" will last....
If you want to embark on the fantasy ride of your life, read this series.
On to The White Rose.
The good news is that Shadow’s Linger flows much much better. It was so much easier to follow because: One, the chapters are shorter and so they didn’t feel so jumpy. Two, it is split so that some of the story is told from the annals of the Black Company and Croaker while the other half is mostly from a cowardly inn keeper named Marron Shed.
I liked Shadow’s Linger more than The Black Company for a few reasons. The first being the change of writing style, the second being Marron Shed and finally the dark craziness that is the Black Castle. That place is so creepy.
****Dark, glassy, jointless stone slid past.
“My god!” He could see into the wall. He saw bones, fragments of bones, bodies, pieces of bodies, all suspended as if floating in the night. As Raven turned toward the gate, he saw a staring face.
“What kind of place is this?”
“I don’t know, Shed. I don’t want to know. All I care is, they pay good money. I need it. I have a long way to go.”****
Set six years after the events in The Black Company this follows the company in their continued service to The Lady. Let’s just say that even though she never misses a payment to the company after years of being her go to guys they are feeling a bit downtrodden. It is hard to be on team evil for an extended period of time. These were the least interesting chapters to me in the beginning of the book because everyone is pretty unhappy. You feel that when you are reading and it sours the mood.
****“Suddenly everything was too much. This ambush tonight. Same old thing. There’s always another province, always more Rebels. They breed like maggots in a cowpie. I’m getting older and older, and I haven’t done anything to make a better world. In fact, if you backed off to look at it, we’ve all made it worse.”
He shook his head. “That isn’t right. Not what I want to say. But I don’t know how to say it any better.”
“What we need,” Goblin said in a voice so soft it almost vanished in the crackle of the flames, “is a cause we can believe in.”
“Yeah,” I said. “That, too.”****
The chapters set in the North though are exciting by comparison. There is the innkeeper in financial straits who has a mysterious guest named Raven and a deaf mute serving girl working in the establishment named Darling. SEE already you’re interested too. The best thing about this storyline though for all you Grimdark lovers out there is traveling with Shed as he goes from a completely cowardly man into a manipulator and a killer as the things in his life spiral out of control. I was completely amazed at how far he was willing to go in the end.
Things totally blew up in the end and WOW it was phenomenal the betrayals, reunions and sacrifices that the men of the company made. In the end though there was really only one side to be on and they had to choose.
Some lived, many died and others, well let’s just say I’m not counting them out yet.
No more time to dwell though as I need to get moving on The White Rose to see where this story leads.