This is a nice collection of short stories set in the world of the Dread Empire, although previous exposure to other Dread Empire volumes is not necessary. At most about half the stories "depend" on being Dread Empire, and only to the extent of adding to the story if you know a little about it.
Cook is better known for his Black Company and Garrett PI novels, but he shows here that he can work in short fiction as well.
The best stories are "Filed teeth", "Soldier of an Empire Unacquanted with Defeat", which is almost a novella, and the first Vengeful Dragon tale. All of the contents are well worth reading though.
Simply put, these tales are fun, if a little dark. Here's hoping NightShade gets around to publishing a 4th Dread Empire collection.