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A Fortress In Shadow: A Chronicle Of The Dread Empire Paperback – 4 Nov 2008

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A Fortress In Shadow: A Chronicle Of The Dread Empire + An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat (Dread Empire) + An Ill Fate Marshalling (Last Chronicle of the Dread Empire)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (4 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801003
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 789,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andreas on 22 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
Although this new series isn't quite as good as The Black Company it is a great read. It is quite a bit better than his Instrumentalities of the Night series which got bogged down in uninteresting names, factions and other details.

As usual Glen Cook caters to the more mature and intelligent crowd instead of the usual teenage target group. It is not as gritty as The Black Company, but it works well regardless.

The strongest negative thing I have to say about this book is that it copies too much of it's land, language and culture from the middle east of earth while it isn't the middle east. I like my fantasy worlds to be fully fantasy and not a quasi earth world with magic. Also since he use very many arabic names it is much more difficult to remember them and get a relationship with them. If he hadn't done these things, I'd have given him 5 stars. Also people that love the romantic style of George R.R Martin might find this book slightly lacking in that regard. If these things doesn't bother you, then you'll love this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding book for Glen Cook fans 20 Aug. 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book actually is set prior to the first Dread Empire book. It discusses the roots of Bragi, Mocker, and Haroun. In the same tradition of the Dread Empire series, it describes an epic conflict of world scale where the forces of the Western cultures fight the cultures of the MiddleEastern desert tribes. Classic Glen Cook that requires thought to follow the complexity of the storyline and strong character development. The characters are neither good nor bad, rather they are amazingly human and you can see your own actions and decisions in the choices that have been presented. You may need to read the book several times to pick up on many of the nuances missed in a casual read.

I have been a fan of Glen Cook for over 20 years. I read these first books as a teenager and enjoyed them. 20 years later I have re-read them and enjoyed them every bit as much as I did the first time. The concepts and situations are timeless and applicable to any generation.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It doesn't get any better than this, though it is pretty short..... 22 Jan. 2008
By Woofdog - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I reread the Dread Empire prequels recently in this omnibus volume, and the only bad thing I can say is that average book size used to be quite a bit shorter (200 pages or so) when Cook was writing much of his stuff in the 80's. This would apply to the shadowline trilogy, the darkwar trilogy, and other stuff as well.

Cook provides a fair amount of backstory for Haroun, Bragi Ragnarson, and Mocker as well as introducing El Murid (referred to in third person in the original trilogy) and describing much of the early conflict between Haroun and El Murid and illustrating how Bragi and Mocker came into contact with Haroun.

This story tell of the appearance of a fervent religious leader who first takes over his own native areas, and begins to export his crusade into smallern westernized kingdoms. It isn't hard to figure out the archetypes for this conflict are in the near and middle-east in contact with central and western europe in what I best gather to be the early middle ages, but, as in other Cook works which draw heavily on real-world historical situations and cultures, it becomes more backdrop than a story-driving force. Several battles are described, the early role of the Star Rider in the conflict in Hammar al Nakid is illustrated (this isn't a spoiler - it happens on like page 3 or so), and overall you are left wishing there was more.

Epic Military Fantasy doesn't get any better than this, in my opinion. I think it is wonderful Night Shade is putting much of Cook's out-of-print work back in print, and cannot recommend this series highly enough.
Not nearly as good as the Black Company 16 May 2013
By farhorizon - Published on
Format: Paperback
Similar themes & grey characters like the Black Company, but the plot just doesn't hold together as well.

The many time skips & the lack of detail in most of the battles makes it hard to get too deeply attached to any of the characters or get into the pace of book/s.

The prequel nature of it makes it harder to understand (and see the meaning of some things) if you've not read the Dread Empire books first, even though they fall later chronologically.

If you are considering this as your first Glen Cook novel, I highly suggest starting with the Chronicles of the Black Company instead. Recommended only for those who enjoyed Cook's other Dread Empire books.
One of Cook's best 26 Mar. 2008
By belouski - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought the start was a little slow with the development of El Murid (and to a lesser extent Bragi, Mocker and Haroun), but the story really takes off after that. I may feel that way since the narrative is so compelling, you aren't drawn into the characters backstories as much. Having read a lot of Cook, I can't think of too many other times where he has delved as far into the early years of his characters. Generally the early years are referred to casually, almost as asides.

As good as the orignial Dread Empire stories are, the prequels are even better.
Gritty fare from the gritmeister... 6 Jun. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In his usually real way, Glen Cook has written another classic in this sub category of fantasy. Hard men and women doing hard things. Always a touch of humor, always great scenes and images coming to mind.

Our heroes are at it again, and while the book doesnt have to be read in sequence, I would have preferred to have not mixed them up sequentially. Happened that way, but the story is compelling enough to read.

Quite gripping for the most. Happily recommended for those tired of the Good vs Evil fare.
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