Book Review of Dreams of Steel, a Black Company Novel by Glen Cook

A game of chess is perfect to describe the scheming going on in this book.


Dreams of Steel is a book from The Black Company, and the second book from the Book of the South subseries, written by Glen Cook. It was published in 1990. It directly picks up the story after Shadow Games.

Review of the previous books, which take place concurrently is here and here.


Croaker is dead. And after the disastrous defeat at Dejagore, Lady is one of the few survivors, who wants to avenge herself against the shadow masters, at any cost.

Meanwhile, the Shadow Masters conspire against each other, while a hidden figure wakes up, finding himself the captive of a headless animated corpse.

My reading experiences:

First, let’s talk about Taglios. It is basically India all but in name, which is kind of great to see in a book.

Look. I don’t find many Hindi books to read as it is. If a western author wants to use India as the setting of his book, I’m happy with it.

Second, I could not help but think of all the factions as playing a multi-player chess match. You’ve got the Shadow Masters, scheming among themselves, Taglios’s prince and his sister, the various factions within the company itself, and of course, the religions of Taglios which also scheme against each other.

While the idea of a six-way chess is interesting, I seriously wouldn’t want to play it, unless I’m old and have nothing to do with my life.


Despite the cliffhanger ending, this has to be my favorite book in the series yet. If I said regarding this to a previous book, then consider my opinion to have changed.

Mostly because it has a nice balance of scheming characters, and battles and skirmishes. Most of the time, this balance is missing, leading to endless schemes, or pointless battles. But here, the balance is great, so I enjoyed reading it.

Now, the Lady has more reasons to be angry. Would Croaker ever unite with her? Would the company ever become one again? Or is it the end of the company. Find out in the next exciting—

You know what? Never mind. Just follow me on Twitter, and I won’t send mercenaries after you.

Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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