Dreams of Steel by Glen Cook
What happens when your main character gets enthralled by the bad guy girl and no one knows? You swap to another character and have her tell the story until the main character is healthy enough to add his own perspective to the story.
Which is exactly what happens with Dreams of Steel by Glen Cook, the fifth (?) novel in The Black Company series.
Croaker is, for lack of a better word, out of it, for the better part of this story. As with most of Cook’s storytelling, the job of annalist falls to another character but still leaves room for other points of view to add varying bits of detail as necessary.
Unlike authors like Hobb and Carmody, Cook doesn’t seem to mind randomly jumping from one character to another to help tell the story. As long as it continues apace and everyone is enjoying themselves, I think he is probably happy.
And I must admit I find Cook’s style refreshing. The complete absence of a need to keep one narrative train going and ensure that you never deviate from it can get a little tedious and, when an author finds themselves only able to tell a part of the story through dream sequence or telepathy, they’ve gone and messed it up anyway.
Cook doesn’t start out trying to keep a narrative continuity, so it doesn’t matter when he does swap from bad guy to good guy to morally grey character back to good guy.
The story in this is really thrilling, and you really do become even further attached to the character of Lady. She’s determined, brilliant, and deadly, while still managing to be the most naïve character in the entire book. It is a great counterpoint, and makes her enthralling to read and someone you really care for by the end of the book.
I always worry a little when the majority of your main characters disappear for a book. I worry whether I’ll like the new characters or whether I’ll just be missing the old ones the whole time. Cook does it really well, leaving four main characters hidden for almost the entire book, their exploits only vaguely referenced at all. They are alive and are doing stuff, but we just don’t get to see them at all.
I wish that everyone had a chance to read these books. The omnibus editions that I’ve been reading are really quite beautiful to handle, even if they are a bit big and floppy. It’s nice to have the next book to jump straight in to right over the next page. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone who is interested in reading The Black Company series.
And I would recommend you read the series. Dreams of Steel is simply another example of Cook’s ability to write a story that doesn’t come anywhere near the grandiose mythic tales of Tolkien and Jordan, while still having all those same elements embedded within the story.
This Dreams of Steel book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Chronicles of the Black Company
Port of Shadows
Chronicles of the Black Company
The soldiers of the Black Company don't ask questions, they get paid. But being "The Lady's favored" is attracting the wrong kind of attention and has put...
The Silver Spike
Chronicles of the Black Company: Barrowlands, Book 1
...embedded in the trunk of the scion of the godtree, it contains the essence of the maddest of the Ten Who Were Taken...The Dominator. Defeated by the Lady and cast from t...
The Black Company
Chronicles of the Black Company: Books of the North, Book 1
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
Chronicles of the Black Company: Books of the North, Book 2
Mercenary soldiers in the service of the Lady, the Black Company stands against the rebels of the White Rose. They are tough men, proud of honoring their contracts. The Lad...
The White Rose
Chronicles of the Black Company: Books of the North, Book 3
She is the last hope of good in the war against the evil sorceress known as the Lady. From a secret base on the Plains of Fear, where even the Lady hesitates to go, the Bla...
Chronicles of the Black Company: Books of the South, Book 1
After the devastating battle at the Tower of Charm, Croaker leads the greatly diminished Black Company south, in search of the lost Annals. The Annals will be returned to K...
Dreams of Steel
Chronicles of the Black Company: Books of the South, Book 2
After the Company's defeat at Dejagore, Lady, one of the few survivors, sets out to avenge herself and the Company against the Shadowmasters, and she joins forces with ...
Have you read Dreams of Steel?
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.
Dreams of Steel reader reviews
9.4/10 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 Great Reawakening has left Latent people with a stark choice: either use their newfound magical powers in the service of the government, or choose the path of the Selfe...
The Divine Cities Trilogy
Robert Jackson Bennett
A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. &nbs...
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...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: