If you haven't read any of the Back Company books, do so immediately. Don't argue with me, go find The Black Company and read it, Now! Don't start with this one though. Not that it's not a great book, it's just that you won't have a clue as to what is going on. The cover of this book should have a warning notice- Full Familiarity With The Black Company Required. If you are a fan, get ready for a great story. This is the tale of the search for The Silver Spike, the object containing the essence of the defeated Dominator. The old characters here are just like you remember them, Croaker, One-eye, Goblin and all the rest with a few new ones thrown in. Cook's ability to make you feel that you are standing just over the shoulder of his characters is a true gift. If you are a Company fan and don't buy this book, I'm going to find you and make fun of you.