Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself....
In a war that makes no sense, ten armies fight separately against a single foe....
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers....
Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs....
Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval....
A young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows....
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian....
When Soren is plucked from the streets and given a place at the prestigious academy of swordsmanship, he thinks his dream of being a great swordsman has become a possibility....
It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs, once thought of almost as gods, were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict....
Welcome to the world of the Instrumentalities of the Night, where imps, demons, and dark gods rule in the spaces surrounding upstart humanity.....
Across the mountains called the Dragon's Teeth, beyond the chill reach of the Werewind and the fires of the world's beginning, above the walls of the castle Fangdred, stands Windtower.....
The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors....
Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld....
The journey through the Serpent Spire won't be easy, but Corin won't stop until he gets his brother back....
A tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend....
Among the scattered fringe cities bordering the Cienbal desert, the true name of the Monster of Karth is spoken only in whispers...RAZ I'SYUL ARRO....
In just a few short years, Richard K. Morgan has vaulted to the pinnacle of the science fiction world. Now he turns his iconoclastic talents to epic fantasy, crafting a darkly violent, tautly plotted adventure....
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 Lady is evil, but so, too, are those who falsely profess to follow the White Rose, reincarnation of a centuries-dead heroine. Yet now some of the Company have discovered that the mute girl they rescued and sheltered is truly the White Rose reborn. Now there may be a path to the light, even for such as they. If they can survive it.
The second book in the now three-decades-old Black Company series, which still remains a good read. Cook did something innovative for the time, which was to unshackle himself from the usual good-vs-evil conventions of fantasy, and write something darker and more subjective. As the lead narrator, a soldier/healer/annalist named Croaker puts it: "I do not believe in evil... I believe in our side and theirs, with the good and evil decided after the fact, by those who survive. Among men you seldom find the good with one standard and the shadow with another."
Cook’s style here is similar to the first book, a hard-boiled account that doesn’t waste too much time on world-building or character backstories, but simply relates events as they seem important to Croaker. The background is a standard fantasy world, with castles, swordsmen, taverns, wizards, crypts, undead creatures, and powerful sorcerers, but there’s something about the world-weary, grunt-level view of it that I found refreshing. Croaker and his friends aren’t the heroes sitting at table with Elrond in Rivendell -- they’re the rank-and-file out patrolling the slums for masters they don’t love, putting down uprisings by unwashed rebels with their own dubious leaders, and the cynicism shows.
The first book wandered across a landscape of battlefields and took a while to cohere around a narrative, but this one has more continuity. The Black Company is now in a city in the far north, investigating a strange new threat to The Lady. However, Raven and his charge, Darling, a girl who may be the reincarnation of someone with the power to destroy the Lady, have come back into the picture, and Croaker is finding it harder to hide this secret from his powerful employer. There’s also a second storyline, which follows a cowardly, put-upon innkeeper named Maran Shed, who desperately needs money, and learns of a dark way of making it. Shed’s financial-management skills, however, leave something to be desired, and his actions soon create problems for everyone.
I enjoyed the Black Company storyline, which fills in some of the side characters a little more, and contains an eerie magic battle scene reminiscent of the first book. The Shed plotline, which has a bit of a horror story feel, is written in the third person, and I liked seeing Cook develop a flawed but not-entirely-unsympathetic character and give him an eventual shot at redemption. Naturally, the two storylines come together, and Croaker is forced to make choices about his own redemption. There are a few weak notes, in the form of a rushed climax, but I’m curious to see how things will play out in the next entry in the series.
In sum, if you’re in the mood for “gritty” fantasy that’s a little more streamlined and episodic than certain other hefty series, this one is a good, brisk read. I should also note that I’ve gotten to appreciate the “grizzled” voice of audiobook narrator Marc Vietor, who has come to be Croaker in my mind.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Audible has done a great job bringing this series to audio. I can't wait to buy the next one
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Shadows Linger to be better than the print version?
I enjoy listening to the audio version because I can take it with me when I am going for a walk or other activities that doesn't let me read, or if I am tired I can rest my eyes but still enjoy the story via audio. I wouldn't say the audio edition is better than the printed, as they both have their value, but I will say I enjoy the audio version greatly and am grateful for it.
What did you like best about this story?
This second installment, like the first, share similar themes that I enjoy. It continues to tell a tale of the necessities of sometimes having to commit acts of evil in order to survive, that desperation can drive a person to do things that are abhorrent under normal circumstances. And how one has to live and cope with these hard decisions, and one day, hoping for redemption and atonement.
Have you listened to any of Marc Vietor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes, I previously listened to the first installment of the Black Company series. I think Marc did a better job than before.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Marron Shed's journey and redemption.
Any additional comments?
One of my complaints in the first installment: "The Back Company" was the fact that it was somewhat difficult to follow at times, leaving the listener somewhat confused as to what is exactly happening in the story. Thus, I am happy to say that "Shadows Linger" did not have the same issues. From beginning to end, the story flow nicely with smooth transitions from one scene to the next, and from chapter to chapter it was very easy to listen to.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Again, Glen Cook gives a an adventure novel in trompe-l'oeil, situated eight years after the first book.The Black Company is present, of course. The narrator is still Croaker, the physician, warrior and chronicler, growing older and wearier; wondering about the souls of the Company and of his friends.
But the real subject of the book is an innkeeper, Maran Shed. Cowardly and irresolute, Shed consciously allows himself to be manipulated into the blackest evil. Cook's talent is in letting us follow Shed's own analysis of his descent, his own disgust with himself. Gradually that disgust grows to outweigh his fear, and he slowly climbs back up from the pit of his own soul. I haven't read as credible an incredible character in a long time.
Highly recommended. I'm now awaiting tome 3!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you read the Black Company you need to read this second book. It puts and end to a story with the beginning of a new thread.
The story snuck up on me. Early and even up to a quarter of the way through I felt the story was dragging. However this is a sign of an artist at work as it was not dragging but providing a rich back story for what was to come.
What I had thought to be fluff was pure gold. Croaker and company then proceeded to put closure around several story lines. Then in the final moments a new wide open story is begun with a rich and well developed cast of characters behind it.
If the next six books are as well crafted as the first two it will be an investment well made. The black company is such a nice departure from the traditional fantasy Orcs, Dwarfs and Elf's staple but remains true to even the most dedicated fans that everyone should give it a chance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a continuation of the Chronicles of the Black company in the north. It is amazing and also sad at times.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was amazed at how addicted I've become for these books. fifteen words, fifteen words.
Love the story of darkness, people succumbing to fear, carnal desires, but then still attempting to find redemption. Fighting for right even though they are not 'good people'.
This story builds on the first book very well. It is a different tale though, revolving more around conspiracy and betrayal than the first. There's plenty of excitement and action, and the narration is at least as good as the preceding novel. If you liked the first book definitely give this one a read.
This book was great. I am really enjoying this series and the reading. It is quickly becoming a favorite.
Different from the first story – but not in a bad way at all
Story – 4.5/5
Where the first in the series has a constant retreat from an overwhelming rebellion force and regular epic fights and battles, this 2nd novel is centered around a less epic problem, which develops into an even bigger threat throughout the story. There is also an element of setting the story up for the next novel in the initial trilogy (out of the 10 books)
The narration/story telling is split between the only narrator of the first novel (Croaker) and a new character called Shed. Glen Cook shows his skill at character development as you see Shed (a timid inn owner) develop into a new confident man. At times I thought the development was too quick, but I had to keep reminding myself that months were passing between chapters at times, and not days, and in reflection, the pace was well balanced.
There are still plenty of fights, and a larger scale battle towards the end for those of us who love the action, but this series is really developing into something special, and the more familiar with the main band of characters that we become, the more enjoyment we get out of the story. The ending of this story leads very nicely into the 3rd novel, which I won’t waste my time in downloading.
The entire story flowed smoothly and at a nice pace, with no confusion for what was going on (like the beginning of the first story). Glen cook writes in a concise way, but this does not take away from his excellent use of the English language.
Performance – 4.5/5
I had a few minor issues with Marc Vietor in the first novel, which were ironed out by the end. In this novel, I had no issues with the voice acting or performance whatsoever - which could be due to being used to him by now. His dark and dramatic tone of voice suits the style of the story quite nicely.
Overall – 4.5/5
1 of 1 people found this review helpful