She is the Darkness by Glen Cook

(8.5/10)

The seventh novel in Glen Cook’s Black Company series, ‘She is the Darkness’, picks right up where ‘Bleak Seasons’ left off. If you’re reading it from the omnibus, it’s just a flip of a page, and you can convince yourself you’re reading one big book. That sometimes makes it hard to review, because a) it’s a continuing story and b) there wasn't ever any time between reading to separate one story from another.

She is the Darkness is the battle for Overlook, against Longshadow, the Howler and Mogaba. We’re not jumping around in time like we were in the last book, but Murgen still has the ability to go see through time what happened here and what happened there. It’s a valuable resource for the Black Company Annalist, because it means he can go get all the information he needs to write a complete account of the Black Company’s trials.

It also means we get to see everything that is going on in a world where multiple enemies are working on different fronts, and the Old Man, Croaker, has to try and guess all their moves.

Cook writes with the same gritty realism we’ve come to love by this stage, but this book doesn’t deliver as much despair as previous volumes. There is a lot of angst for Murgen as he deals with secrets revealed and his mounting responsibilities, but similarly the action hikes up a notch as the Black Company and their army moves through the Pass and on to Overlook.

This is the second book of The Glittering Stone segment of Cook’s Black Company novels, and as such it’s very much a book that moves the story along. What you would have imagined to have been major landmarks are reached and passed by with very little commotion in favour of further goals that become apparent as you read. We reach a climax and then walk straight on by to somewhere else.

I actually really enjoy that aspect of Cook’s writing. Reading a book that finishes on the climax you predicted can become a little … well, predictable. Having an author circumvent those expectations is refreshing, and taking the focus away from blood and death is always appealing in a world here some fantasy authors think all they have to do is set a thousand orcs against a thousand humans and you’ve got a story.

Yes, you probably want to have read all he books prior to reading this one. But when you get here, you are definitely going to enjoy yourself.

Review by

All reviews for Glen Cook's Books of the Glittering Stone series


Bleak Seasons
Books of the Glittering Stone
8.5

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
8.5

The tale again comes to us from the pen of Murgen, Annalist and Standard Bearer of the Black Company, whose developing powers of travel through space and time give him a pe [...]


Water Sleeps
Books of the Glittering Stone
8.5

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 [...]

More Glen Cook reviews


Port of Shadows
6.0

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
9.2

...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
9.0

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 [...]


Shadows Linger
9.0

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
9.3

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 [...]


Shadow Games
9.4

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
9.4

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 [...]

15+

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