Bleak Seasons by Glen Cook
You may simply have to suck it up and realise that not all books will be written in the same style or with the same flow as the majority. This does not mean they are any less brilliant, it just means you have to stop for a moment and think.
With each book of Glen Cook’s The Black Company series this is a mantra I would suggest to anyone who thinks the author is dragging the story out. Just because something doesn’t make immediate sense does not mean the book is poorly written or slow; Cook is just writing in a way that serves the purpose of the story he wants to tell.
So if you don’t like his story, go away!, because I am seriously loving every instalment.
‘Bleak Seasons’ takes place concurrently with ‘Dreams of Steel’ but is told from Murgen’s point of view, while also jumping forward four years for half of the book. Murgen, the Company’s Standard Bearer and new Annalist, is jumping through time, with no control and no understanding as to the greater purpose of it. So the reader is treated to two stories that are unfolding simultaneously, but are separated by four years which are only hinted at as the book weaves on.
Glen Cook once again brings us the realistic point of view of the soldier. The horror that was only hinted at during Dreams of Steel in Dejagore is experienced vividly and horrifically here in Bleak Seasons. Those stuck within Dejagore and the terrible actions they are witness too are enough to scar any man, and do so. And again Cook doesn’t spare us, with the actions of soldiers in battle seeming to severe them completely from the rest of humanity, if only for a little while.
This horror is juxtaposed with extreme joy which, in turn, is brought to terrible ruin by the end of the book. I was not so much shocked – as Cook has somewhat inured me to the death of characters I love – but I was desperately saddened.
I really find myself unable to get enough of Cook’s writing. The desperate horror of war as seen from the soldier’s point of view paints a new picture of the epic fantasy we so often fawn over. It changes your opinion of all that you read from that point on, leaving you craving a portion of the experience you see below you from the height of your heroes. And it changes the way you think of the nature of humanity, exposing its fragility and clarifying just how close to barbarism humanity exists.
Glen Cook has the reputation he has today for a reason; he’s a marvellous storyteller with an eye for detail that captures the attention rather than bores it, and focuses the attention down onto ground level where the hardest choices are made. You’ll be exhausted, emotionally drained, and probably really sad, but Bleak Seasons is definitely worth the read.
This Bleak Seasons book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Books of the Glittering Stone
Books of the Glittering Stone
Having risked their lives and souls to capture the fortress of Stormgard, a band of weary soldiers known as the Company witnesses their commander's descent into madness...
She is the Darkness
Books of the Glittering Stone
Books of the Glittering Stone
Narrated by Sleepy, the book continues the ever-evolving nature of the Annalist by passing the role on to yet another young, inexperienced character. But this time, and unl...
Have you read Bleak Seasons?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Bleak Seasons reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
The First Law
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body...
The Ascendants of Estorea
The Estorean Conquord has stood for 850 years. Its Advocate, Herine Del Aglios, knows that she presides over the greatest civilisation in history. But she wants more. And i...
The Drenai Novels
The Legend Druss, Captain of the Axe: the stories of his life were told everywhere. Instead of the wealth and fame he could have claimed, he had chosen a mountain lair, hig...
The Aspect Emperor
R Scott Bakker
A score of years after he first walked into the histories of Men, Anasurimbor Kellhus rules all the Three Seas, the first true Aspect-Emperor in a thousand years. The masse...
Chronicles of the Raven
The Raven have fought together for years, six men carving out a living as swords for hire in the war that has torn Balaia apart, loyal only to themselves and their code. Bu...
Prince of Nothing
R Scott Bakker
A score of centuries has passed since the First Apocalypse and the thoughts of men have turned, inevitably, to more worldly concerns... A veteran sorcerer and spy seeks new...
The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of...
Legends of the Raven
The Raven travel to a new continent in search of mages to help the ruined college of Julatsa rebuild . . . and find themselves in the midst of an ancient curse - a curse th...
The People of the Black Circle
Robert E Howard
Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become kingof Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as ...
A man wakes in the wilderness, amid scattered corpses and inquisitive crows. He has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. The only clues to his former existenc...
They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to s...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can be. Reg, an agoraphobic writer with an obsession for nineties football, plans to wait out the impending doom in his second floor flat, hiding himself away from the riots outs...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...
The Dog Stars
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...