|“||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
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.
Short stories Edit
- "Tides Elba: A Tale of the Black Company"
- "Smelling Danger"
- "Shaggy Dog Bridge"
- "Bone Candy"
- "Bone Eaters"
Chronological (reading) order Edit
All the novels and short stories are arranged below in chronological order (disregarding their publication dates):
|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|
- Port of Shadows (September 2018)
To be announced Edit
- A Pitiless Rain
SFBC Fantasy Publishing hardcovers, now out-of-print, which were not published in order:
- Annals of the Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) 1986
- The Black Company Goes South (Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, The Silver Spike) 2002
- The Black Company: Glittering Stone, Vol 1 (Bleak Seasons, She Is The Darkness) 2000
- The Black Company: Glittering Stone, Vol 2 (Water Sleeps, Soldier Live) 2000
Tor Fantasy Publishing paperbacks:
- Chronicles of the Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) 2007
- The Books of the South (Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, The Silver Spike) 2008
- The Return of the Black Company (Bleak Seasons, She Is The Darkness) 2009
- The Many Deaths of the Black Company (Water Sleeps, Soldier Live) 2010