- Gebundene Ausgabe: 288 Seiten
- Verlag: Night Shade Books (1. November 2008)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1597801402
- ISBN-13: 978-1597801409
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,5 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.258.777 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat (Dread Empire) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. November 2008
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Glen Cook has been heralded as the godfather of modern heroic fantasy; his influence on the genre is unquestionable. But long before "Garrett, P.I.", before "The Instrumentalities of the Night", and before "The Black Company", there was "The Dread Empire"..."The Dread Empire", a gritty world of larger-than-life plots, nation-shattering conflict, maddening magic, strange creatures, and raw, flawed heroes, all shown through the filter of Cook's inimitable war-correspondent prose. "The Dread Empire", spanning from the highest peaks of the Dragon's Teeth to the endless desert lands of Hammad al Nakir, from besieged Kavelin to mighty Shinshan, the "Empire Unacquainted with Defeat", with its fearless, masked soldiers, known as the Demon Guard.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Born in 1944, Glen Cook grew up in northern California, served in the U.S. Navy, attended the University of Missouri, and was one of the earliest graduates of the well-known "Clarion" workshop SF writers. Since 1971 he has published a large number of Science Fiction and fantasy novels, including the "Dread Empire" series, the occult-detective "Garrett" novels, and the very popular "Black Company" sequence that began with the publication of "The Black Company" in 1984. Among his science fiction novels is "A Passage at Arms."
After working many years for General Motors, Cook now writes full-time. He lives near St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife Carol.
Vereint werden die Geschichten einzig dadurch, dass sie in der gleichen Welt spielen, allerdings an so weit verstreuten Orten, dass eine bestenfalls oberflächliche Verbindung besteht. Einige der Geschichten sind geradezu grimmig realistisch und erinnern so an Autoren wie David Gemmell, andere sind in völligem Gegensatz dazu in Stil und Inhalt aber ähnlich Märchen oder vielmehr Sagen, und wieder andere sind beinahe schelmenhaft und nehmen sich auf augenzwinkernde Art selbst nicht völlig ernst. Insgesamt wie gesagt eine etwas exzentrische Mischung, von der man sich fragen muss, welchem Leser sie in ihrer völligen Heterogenität wohl zusagen dürfte.
Stilistisch werden die Geschichten durch eine äußerst lakonische Erzählweise geeint, ähnlicher einem gesprochenen als einem literarischen Bericht. Der Vorteil dieses Stils ist eine große Dynamik der Geschichten und eine rasche Entfaltung der Handlung, von der mehr vorhanden ist, als man bei dieser Seitenzahl erwarten würde, wer aber mehr als skizzenhafte Beschreibungen oder ausführliche Exkursionen in das Innenleben der Protagonisten erwartet, wird enttäuscht werden.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Before each new story the author also includes some thoughts as to the story being told such as where it first appeared and some history of himself in those times as he was writing it. Maybe I'm just a bit of a homerish fan of Cooks, but I really enjoyed this book and there are some great small stories that could have easily bloomed into bigger stories. Some of them also cross over into the time line of the main Dread Empire saga and were pretty neat to add to the flavor of that world.
If you are old fan of Glen Cook and have missed this or the Dread Empire series I highly recommend it. If you are new to reading Cook's work try it out as well as the Black Company and Garrett Detective novels.
The stories vary in tone and engagement. Some are harder toned than others, some more mythic, and some more engaging. Almost all fall clearly under the sword and sorcery milieu, with their gritty feel, petty quarrels, ambiguous protagonists, and rampant, unbridled, and unapologetic sexism.
The collection opens with "Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat" (1980). In this dreadfully dull and unengaging tale, a soldier from the Dread Empire hangs about with farmers while seeking a new life. I found this the single least engaging story in the book, and also the longest. Once past it, I found the remaining stories far more engaging and gripping.
"The Nights of Dreadful Silence" (1973) is a Bragi Ragnarson story. A wizard has been promised a payment by the king of his own daughter, but the king refuses to honor his word. Bragi stumbles into the argument on the wizard's side, and trickery ensues.
"Finding Svale's Daughter" (first appearance) is a fairytailish story. To be honest, I had to skim this story to remember anything about it. It's competent, like oatmeal. Its very palatablility renders it unmemorable.
"Ghost Stalk" (1978) is the first of the Vengeful Dragons stories. The Vengeful Dragon is a terrible ship, full of horrible crew, who do horrible things (trigger warning, especially terrible things to women), and meet their doom due to terrible magics. This, and the following Vengeful Dragon stories, make an excellent set. This story is also noteworthy for having the genetics of the Black Company running through it.
"Filed Teeth" (1981) is as close to a Black Company story you can get without actually putting a label onto it saying, "the Black Company." Although set in the world of the Dread Empire, it could easily be ported to the North. All the elements that would come to set the tenor and tone of the Black Company are laid out right here. Of all these stories, this is the only one which I had read in my youth, having received "Dragons of Darkness" for Christmas.
"Castle of Tears" (1979) is a Ragni Ragnarson story. This time, he goes looking for a legendary object to save a princess.
"Call for the Dead" (1980) is the second Vengeful Dragon story. Continuing where the first story let off, the damned crew are "rescued" by a wizard from a black throne. Motifs here will reappear in the Black Company's southern adventures.
"Severed Heads" (1984) is a story of vengeance where not a single word is wasted. It's a damned tight story, from beginning to end, and shames every other tale in this collection. This story also requires a trigger warning. If you can keep going, then do.
"Silverheels" (1981) is another fairytale like story. A man, a talking pony, and a talking kitten have quite an adventure in very few pages.
"Hell's Forge" (first appearance) is the final Vengeful Dragon tale. The crew is summoned by yet another evil wizard for more evilness, only to learn that any deal with the Vengeful D. crew is a bad, bad, bad deal.
All in all, I found the collection both satisfying and enlightening. I really do need to read more sword and sorcery.
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.
- "Introduction" by the author tells the history of his Dread Empire efforts.
- "Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat" (Berkley Showcase, 1980) is about a deserter from the Demon Guard who is looking for a new life.
- "The Nights of Dreadful Silence" (Fantastic Stories, 1973) considers the perils of cheating a sorcerer.
- "Finding Svale's Daughter" (first publication) puts Svale into a risky situation.
- "Ghost Stalk" (F&SF, 1978) is the first Vengeful Dragon story, in which an Itaskian sorcerer hunts for the pirate ship.
- "Filed Teeth" (Dragons of Darkness, 1981) reveals the quest of a former Itaskian sorcerer.
- "Castle of Tears" (Whispers, 1979) follows Bragi on a search for the daughter of Duke Greyfells.
- "Call for the Dead" (F&SF, 1980) is the second Vengeful Dragon story, in which a powerful sorcerer brings the ship and crew back for a mission.
- "Severed Heads" (Sword & Sorceress, 1984) takes a headstrong woman after a rapist.
- "Silverheels" (Witchcraft & Sorcery, 1971) was slightly revised to make it a Dread Empire story, but is still about a daring kitten.
- "Hell's Forge" (first publication) is a new Vengeful Dragon story, in which the gods recall the crew for an unusual task.
These tales come from the author's earlier works that led to -- and supplement -- the Dread Empire novels. The Dread Empire novels are being reprinted after decades of neglect. Yet only few fans knew of his short stories. More short works are collected in Winter Dreams.
These stories also demonstrate the author's skills in combat stories as well as humorous prose. Of course, any fan of the Black Company and Garrett Files series would recognize these aspects of his style.
Highly recommended for Cook fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of magical talents, human perseverance, and a touch of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
This is a very good collection, and makes for some really good hours of reading. You don't have to be familiar with the rest of the series to enjoy this book - in and of themselves they are great fantasy short stories and easily stand on their own. I really enjoyed this book!