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The Black Company – A Complete Reading Chronology *Updated*

Note: Update(s) at bottom. 

Good day, everyone! With all the new content from our contributors, I thought it was time I released a little something myself while I continued to work on my other column ideas for the Thoughts. For today, I thought another short post about the Black Company books by Glen Cook was in order. I’m not going to stop until I make readers out of some of my followers and friends.

Moving forward from what I started with my post on Croaker awhile back, I wanted to present all of you with an accessible reading chronology for the series, being as I found it difficult to keep straight what order some books should be read in. There doesn’t seem to be that much out there about the series these days, what with it wrapping up over a decade ago.

1. The Black Company (1984) – The first book in the series is a classic unto itself and is a great introduction to Glen Cook’s world.
2. Shadows Linger (1984)
3. The White Rose (1985)

Cover image from
Cover image from Wikimedia.

The first trilogy of books, often called the Books of the North, have also been collected in The Chronicles of the Black Company.

4. The Silver Spike (1989) – This one is a bit of a misfit. It chronicles the adventures of a side group of characters after the company parted ways at the end of the third book. Various lists place it as either first or last in the second trilogy. I actually read it in between the following two books.
5. Shadow Games (1989)
6. Dreams of Steel (1990)

The second trilogy of books, often called the Books of the South, have also been collected in The Books of the South: Tales of the Black Company. These stories, generally speaking and avoiding spoilers, explore the adventures of the Black Company as it seeks to return to the lost city of Khatovar far to the south from which its original incarnation emerged centuries earlier.

7. Bleak Seasons (1996)
8. She is the Darkness (1997)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia and comes from
Cover image from Wikimedia.

These books, the first two of the four-part Glittering Stone, have also been collected in The Return of the Black Company.

9. Water Sleeps (1999)
10. Soldiers Live (2001) – Here’s to hoping the last book is as hopeful as its title suggests.

The last two books of Glittering Stone have also been collected in The Many Deaths of the Black Company.

Cover image from
Cover image from MacMillan.

There are also a few short stories set in the same world. I’ll admit, though, I’m not familiar with them but plan on adding them on after I complete the novels.

1. “Raker” (1982) – Apparently, this is an early version of an early chapter from the first book.
2. “Tides Elba” (2010) – Appeared in Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery.
3. “Smelling Danger” (2011) – Appeared in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2.

Glen Cook has also talked about two more possible novels in the series if he can get around to writing them.

A Pitiless Rain – Forthcoming with little known.

Port of Shadows – Forthcoming with little known.

I hope this list will be helpful to any of you looking to get into this classic fantasy series. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

UPDATE (5-24-19): 

I was curious to see an uptick in traffic to this old post, so I wanted to go ahead and make some additions to it on releases since I first wrote this list:

“Shaggy Dog Bridge” was released in 2013 in Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, and is set between Shadows Linger (Book Two) and The White Rose (Book Three).

“Bone Candy” was released in 2014 in Shattered Shields. It takes place after “Tides Elba,” which takes place after The Black Company (Book One), but before Port of Shadows (Book One-and-a-Half).

“Bone Eaters” was released in 2015 in Operation Arcana, edited by John Joseph Adams of Lightspeed Magazine. It is set right after “Shaggy Dog Bridge” before The White Rose.

Port of Shadows was released on September 11th, 2018. It is set between The Black Company (Book One) and Shadows Linger (Book Two), so feel free to read it whenever!

At this point, we’re still waiting on A Pitiless Rain and any other short stories that may come about. I know this addendum isn’t the most convenient way to absorb this information, so I will be remaking this post in the near future. Either way, I hope this helps out new readers!


If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

Greetings and Salutations

Hello, long time and new readers!  I would like to take some time to introduce myself.  My name is Phil and I am one of the new contributors that Jeremy spoke of in his post here.  I do have a profile set up here on WordPress, but have no blog posts on it.  I do plan to use it as I become accustomed to the blogging ways for more personal posts.

In regards to the content of my posts for Jeremy’s blog, they will primarily focus on Star Wars Star Wars was really my first science fiction love, and, despite some of the overboard modifications Lucas put it through, will always hold a special place in my heart.  I will branch out to other sci-fi things from time to time.  After all, I’m not one of those “Star Wars is the only good sci-fi” kind of nerds.  I enjoy many other sci-fi shows, including, but not limited to, Star Trek, Farscape, Stargate (the movie, SG1, Atlantis, and Universe), Battlestar Galactica (the reboot from 2003), and Doctor Who.  If there is ever a particular topic on which you would like to hear my thoughts, please feel free to leave the suggestion in the comments section.

Star Wars Expanded Universe Image from
Star Wars Expanded Universe Image from

This is all a little surreal for me.  I am so used to watching YouTube videos or reading posts and being the commenter.  To be the one asking for comments makes me feel strange, but also good (get it? anyone?).  It is my hope that this will be a successful and healthy place for my nerd knowledge to flow and help expand the knowledge of my fellow nerds.

The Road So Far… Updated

Any other fans of Supernatural out there? Image from
Any other fans of Supernatural out there? Image from

Hello again, everyone! I hope all your weeks are going well. I wanted to go ahead and announce our fourth contributor, the amazing and accomplished blogger Natacha Guyot. Go and check out her personal blog and ready yourselves for an awesome comic book post from her that will be up in the next few days.

That is all for now, but I’ll keep you all posted as the situation continues to develop. As always, thank you all for being here!

Nerdy is the New Cool

Image from
Image from

Once upon a time there existed a magical place called The Internet where nerds in all their suspender-wearing, taped-glasses sporting glory could nestle away in the basement of their parents’ homes to build massive fantasy worlds with other certified members of the Pocket-Protector Club. The expansion of this increasingly social highway brought nerds out in flocks and, suddenly, the high-waisted shuffle morphed into a sort of tribal rain dance that dared the world to bare the inner geek. And it worked. Gone are the days of being too cool to be smart.

While some stigma may cling to the nerd world, any derogatory stereotype is fading faster than the prom queen’s bottle blonde. Social outlets like Facebook and its predecessors aid in the rapid growth of the nerd army. Wielding comics and colored pencils, swords and spell cards, the formerly oppressed is rising into a place of honor, the long-awaited, shimmering tree-topper of cool. If you don’t believe me, look around. Fan-girls and fan-boys proudly proclaim their obsession with all things nerdy. You collect comics? Awesome. Did you see the season finale of Game of Thrones? Of course! Were you at the block party this weekend? *Queue scratched record track* Um…no. I was reading/gaming/imagining the nest scenario for my Warrior Elf to battle the Troll King.

Image from
Image from

Being a nerd is gaining popularity. This is fantastic news for long-time nerds, but does it also present a problem? Is it a bittersweet rise to fame escalated by shows like Big Bang Theory? Are more people claiming nerd status simply because it has become more socially acceptable to do so? Does that alter your own outlook on the characters and worlds you’ve loved forever?

Talk to me. Tell me what you think about the nerd epidemic (if it can be viewed as such).


The Road So Far…

Any other fans of Supernatural out there? Image from
Any other fans of Supernatural out there? Image from

Good day, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend in general and I hope that all of my fellow Americans enjoyed their Independence Day celebrations. Today, I wanted to give a bit of a progress report on how things are shaping up with the blog’s expansion.

We now officially have three new contributors–Candice (whom you can get to know through her personal blog, Carving Out a Space), Phil (our resident Star Wars guru who will be introducing himself shortly), and Tim (a veteran teacher who has some things to say about that). Expect to see some posts from both Candice and Phil over the next couple of days. Tim’s first post should be up within the next few days or early next week. Also expect to see more from me as the week wears on.

We have a couple of more contributors (fellow bloggers who are also fairly busy with non-blog-related life stuff) in the wings, but I’ll announce them as time goes on and we work out more post ideas. Either way, I am also very thankful to them for agreeing to help me with this project.

For now, let’s welcome Candice, Phil, and Tim to our nerdy little thought-filled space. If the spirit moves you, please feel free to comment below. See you all again soon!