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Title: A Shadow of All Night Falling
Series: The Dread Empire: A Cruel Wind #1
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
A young boy watches as his mother is burned as a witch. In consequence, he eventually goes to the Dread Empire and learns all he can of magic. Upon his return, he destroys all the sorcerers and breaks the Kingdom.
Looking into the future, he sees that the fate of the world will revolve around him and a woman. He spends hundreds of years in preparation. Said woman falls in love and marries another man. Her sorcerous brothers get involved, as does another immortal man and some armies. Varth will do whatever he has to to get the woman on his side to save the world.
But Varth's powers came at a cost. The Dread Empire has waited for hundreds of years for Varth to be the perfect unknowing pawn and today, the cost of his education comes due.
My Thoughts: Spoilers
First off, there is a character who is named The Mocker. He starts out fat and silly and talks in the 3rd person. I would say that Steven Erikson pretty much lifted this character wholesale to create his character of Krup, the spy master of Darujistahn in his Malazan Book of the Fallen series.
You alse see a lot of pre-Black Company ideas being formed here. I haven't read enough other Cook to tell if he trots out certain ideas in every book/series or if this is just a “fantasy” thing for him. Either way, this reads like Black Company, the Rough Draft.
It's a fun story and I thoroughly enjoyed my time. Also a good book to shove into peoples' faces if they ever start talking about fates, predestination, and how things are out of their control.
Thankfully, this ends much like most of the Black Company books. So it's your call if that's happy or not. I was satisfied with how things turned out.