The Books of the South by Glen Cook
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company (Book #3.5-5 of 9)
Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy, Military fantasy
Pages: 670 pages (Paperback)
Published: 10th June 2008 by Tor Books (US)
Great stories and character development for The Lady, but I still have mixed feelings towards Cook’s prose.
The Books of the South consists of Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and a spin-off called The Silver Spike. Same as the previous omnibus, I’ll be doing a short spoiler-free review for each book.
Shadow Games: 3.5/5 stars
The Books of the South begins with Shadow Games, which is the fourth installment in The Chronicles of the Black Company. The story continues with the member of the Black Company marching south to Khatovar, the place of the Company’s origin. During their mission, they’re chased and hounded by a new group of enemies called the Shadowmasters. Croaker is back once again as the main narrator, and honestly, although I’ve gotten used to reading his first-person narration, I also have to admit that I get tired from reading his POV quickly. His cynicism and sarcasm are fun in small doses but not for long. Just to give a bit of data, Shadow Games is 220 pages long in this omnibus, and it took me three days to read it; I usually read around 200 or 300 pages a day. I think what made this book a bit boring was the travelogues. Almost the entirety of the novel is The Black Company marching. That being said, I enjoyed reading the characters development in this book, especially for Croaker and The Lady. The last section of this book was filled with battle and eventually ends with a cliffhanger.
“Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent.”