....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 this world, all that was left of him was a foul trace of lingering evil. But the graveyard that was once the Barrowland contains more secrets than dead. All who would possess the power of the Dominator are drawn to the spike. A foolhardy band of thieves is the first to reach it, and a rapacious and malign spirit is unleashed on an unwary world. The forces gather, sides are drawn, and mortal men can only die as the Dark Lords battle for domination.
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©1989 Glen Cook (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
I just downloaded all the Glen Cook novels and am loving them. I'm a huge George RR Martin fan so I like the grittier side of fantasy. Jonathan Davis does a awesome job reading this one, even though Marc V., who read the first three was good, I just like Davis better, wish he read them all (especially the Rachel Butera fiasco).
Environmental Engineer and Disc Golfer
I have to preface this by saying Croaker is awesome, and Mark Vietor was born to read the Black Company.
However, now that I have finished the entire series, I look back at this one as my favorite. Johnathan Davis does an excellent job as the narrator, and it is a worthwhile departure from Croaker's voice and tale. I liked the new characters (notably toad killer dog's POV), and the plot was concise and interesting. This did feel like a later insert (which it was chronologically), but it flowed with the overall arc well.
If you only read the Books of the North, and SS, that may be good enough. The Books of the South and especially Glittering Stone slow the plot waaaay down, and although you find out more history of the Company, they just aren't as good as these four ~10 hour books. The plot just flies by.
If you've ever wondered what Mcconaughey doing an impression of the Dark Knight sounds like this is the book for you. The narrator does get easier to tolerate as the book goes on, but he is constantly prone awkward pauses in the middle of sentences. It's like he's reading commas in places that shouldn't have them.
That being said, the book is good enough to suffer the narrator.
The narrator could have dropped the cheesy southern accent.
"A nice little spin-off"
Story – 4/5
This is a nice little spin-off from the main Croaker story arc; following Darling, Raven and Silent instead. This book can probably be read as either book 5 or 6, given that it is a spin off, and book 4 left us with a very open end. I chose to read it as book 5, as it is set in the same period of time as book 4, and was published in this order.
There is a lot of fighting and battles between evil and….well…not so evil… in this book and it all builds up very nicely throughout until the final couple of hours, where it will have you hooked like I was. The “grey” characterisation that Glen Cook employs is prominent once again and very nicely done – the only black and white characters seem to be the Dominator and Darling. The prose is excellent, but concise and the entire story is very fast paced as a consequence. A very nice addition to the Black Company books.
Performance – 4.5/5
Jonathan Davis may have been a change of narrator from the first 4 books, but this is fine, as it is not from Croaker’s perspective any more. I actually found him to be equally as good as Marc Vietor, the only negative being that his reading could have been a little quicker.
His voice acting is excellent and distinctive, and he adds to the dark tone of the story very nicely. If you are not a fan of strong American accents though, you may want to listen to the sample before purchasing.
Overall – 4/5
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