With the Black Company series, Glen Cook single-handedly changed the face of fantasy - something a lot of people didn't notice and maybe still don't. He brought the story down to a human level, dispensing with the cliche archetypes of princes, kings and evil sorcerers. Reading his stuff is like reading Vietnam War fiction on peyote.

–Steven Erikson, author of Gardens of the Moon

Croaker standing

Croaker; the main protagonist by Mikey Patch (Irontree)

The Black Company series is a dark / military fantasy series written by Glen Cook and currently encompassing 10 novels and 5 original short stories. It chronicles the journeys of a band of mercenaries called the Black Company, the last of the legendary Free Companies of Khatovar. It is primarily narrated by the character Croaker, set over several decades of the Company's long history.

The original ten novels are grouped into three story arcs published between 1984 and 2000. The Silver Spike was initially categorized as a standalone novel, but both omnibuses classified it among the Books of the South.

The first short story "Raker" was part of a pre-publication excerpt in 1982; an adapted version of it would become the third chapter of the first novel. The other five short stories are new narratives, and were all published in various anthologies between 2010 and 2015, at least one decade after the publication of the last novel.

An eleventh novel, Port of Shadows is due for release in September 2018. A further novel, A Pitiless Rain has been announced, but as yet has no confirmed release date.

Novels Edit

Books of the North Edit

Books of the SouthEdit

Books of Glittering Stone Edit

Short stories Edit

Chronological (reading) order Edit

All the novels and short stories are arranged below in chronological order (disregarding their publication dates):

Title Type Narrator
1) The Black Company novel Croaker
2) "Tides Elba" short story Croaker
3) "Smelling Danger" short story Croaker
4) "Bone Candy" short story Croaker
5) Shadows Linger novel Croaker
6) "Shaggy Dog Bridge" short story Croaker
7) "Bone Eaters" short story Croaker
8) The White Rose novel Croaker
9) Shadow Games novel Croaker
10) The Silver Spike novel Case
11) Dreams of Steel novel Lady
12) Bleak Seasons novel Murgen
13) She Is The Darkness novel Murgen
14) Water Sleeps novel Sleepy
15) Soldiers Live novel Croaker

Announced Edit

  1. Port of Shadows (September 2018)

To be announced Edit

  1. A Pitiless Rain

Omnibuses Edit

SFBC Fantasy Publishing hardcovers, now out-of-print, which were not published in order:

  1. Annals of the Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) 1986
  2. The Black Company Goes South (Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, The Silver Spike) 2002
  3. The Black Company: Glittering Stone, Vol 1 (Bleak Seasons, She Is The Darkness) 2000
  4. The Black Company: Glittering Stone, Vol 2 (Water Sleeps, Soldier Live) 2000

Tor Fantasy Publishing paperbacks:

  1. Chronicles of the Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) 2007
  2. The Books of the South (Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, The Silver Spike) 2008
  3. The Return of the Black Company (Bleak Seasons, She Is The Darkness) 2009
  4. The Many Deaths of the Black Company (Water Sleeps, Soldier Live) 2010