This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.
Title: Dreams of Steel
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
The Lady must pull together a whole new Black Company, as most of the group gathered in the last book were beaten. With Croaker out of the picture, she must fulfill the obligation to the Taglians and take down the Shadowmasters, her former apprentices known as the Taken.
Problem is, the Taglian leaders don't want her, or the Black Company, around any longer; and a Death Cult gets involved and tries to make the Lady the death goddess's avatar; and the Shadowmasters play their games against the Lady and each other.
"It's complicated" only scratches the surface!
My Thoughts: Spoilers Ahead Matey's!
Thankfully, we learn relatively early on that Croaker's not dead, but being held captive by the Lady's sister, a Taken and now a Shadowmaster named, Catcher? I can't keep track of which Taken is which much less when they start with the whole new identity thing and switch it all up.
Needless to say, I'm glad he's alive even if he played a very small part in this book.
I really wish I had read these back in the day when I was part of the SFBC. These books make Steven Erikson's whole Malazan Book of the Fallen series look like the bloated up pompous bag of wind that they turned into in the last 3 books. The Black Company books are superior in almost every way and as a bonus, I get answers. Well, I guess late to the Black Company party is better than never.
The reveal at the end, about the Lady's child, was almost so not there that I had to read the couple of paragraphs a couple of times to make sense of it. Little things like that are why I prefer an omniscient narrator style instead of the unreliable. But it fits with the whole tone of the series and Cook writes it so it isn't clunky, choppy or distracting.
Finally, I enjoy Cook's writing. I don't skim. Anything. It is interesting and he does a great job of hiding little nuggets of info among otherwise random things. It is kind of fun actually. All the battles, fighting and magic make it ok too *wink*