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Soldiers Live

Chronicles of the Black Company, Book 9
By: Glen Cook
Narrated by: Marc Vietor
Series: Black Company, Book 9
Length: 19 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

Non-member price: $36.54

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Publisher's Summary

When sorcerers and demigods go to war, those wars are fought by mercenaries, "dog soldiers", grunts in the trenches. And the stories of those soldiers are the stories of Glen Cook's hugely popular Black Company novels. If the Joseph Heller of Catch-22 were to tell the story of The Lord of the Rings, it might read like the Black Company books. There is nothing else in fantasy like them.

Now, at last, Cook brings the Glittering Stone cycle within the Black Company series to an end... but an end with many other tales left to tell.

As Soldiers Live opens, Croaker is military dictator of all the Taglias, and no Black Company member has died in battle for four years. Croaker figures it can't last. He's right.

For, of course, many of the Company's old adversaries are still around. Narayan Singh and his adopted daughter - actually the offspring of Croaker and the Lady - hope to bring about the apocalyptic Year of the Skulls. Other old enemies like Shadowcatcher, Longshadow, and Howler are also ready to do the Company harm. And much of the Company is still recovering from the 15 years many of them spent in a stasis field.

Then a report arrives of an evil spirit, a forvalaka, that has taken over one of their old enemies. It attacks them at a shadowgate - setting off a chain of events that will bring the Company to the edge of apocalypse and, as usual, several steps beyond.

Glen Cook is the leading modern writer of epic fantasy noir, and Soldiers Live is Cook at his best. None of his legion of fans will want to miss it.

©2000 Glen Cook (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Dark and surprising, Cook's latest is free of pretension, but rich in characters and world building." ( Publishers Weekly)
"The author's wry wit and flair for understatement add a level of realism uncommon to the fantasy genre." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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Profile Image for DDTAN
  • DDTAN
  • 16-10-2013

Finally, Croaker & The Black Company Returns!!!

What did you love best about Soldiers Live?

The return of Croaker as annalist of The Black Company and also Marc Vietor as narrator.

I soldiered through the last four books just to get to this one, because I knew The Black Company that I fell in love with in the first four books would finally return.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It was Croaker by far. His annals/perspective of The Black Company, to me, is why I fell in love with the series in the first place.

Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

Marc Vietor, to me, is the best narrator of the series. He adds grittiness to The Black Company that the other narrators of the series could not match. His portrayal of Croaker is simply perfect.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the phrase: "Soldiers live..." uttered throughout the book by Croaker, to be deeply profound. And it particularly moved me when Croaker uttered it for the last time: "Soldiers live and wonder why."

Any additional comments?

I now understand why Glen Cook wrote the last four books with different annalists. I think it was to give this well seasoned version of Croaker more flavor to contrast the younger Croaker from the earlier books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jared
  • 26-07-2016

Must listen for fantasy fan

This is about as good as it gets for epic fantasy series. On the same level as wheel, thrones, first law, blood song.

Do it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh
  • 22-03-2016

Rushed ending... disappointing.

The great long plot sputters to an end with a fart rather than a bang...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • emett holloway barfield III
  • 18-07-2019

Best Modern Fantasy

This is a must read for old Enders. I prefer thus series to Amber and put it just under Lord of the Rings. The performance was astonishing. I will give the series a year and start out over.

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  • Think about this
  • 06-06-2019

Amazing wrap up

Amazing wrap up for the Black Company. My favorite guy, Croaker was back telling this one with his mature witticisms making the bittersweet story a real treat. This series had all the right stuff all the way through, and this last book never ceased to startle me while breaking my heart. The end though was unique and satisfying, Marc Vietor does a wonderful job as Croaker, and the aging Croaker was perfection.

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  • Martin
  • 11-02-2019

can't stop crying. it is over.

loved it more and more as time went on. greatest series I've ever read. seeing it all finished makes me want to cry :(

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  • Justin J Padinjaremury
  • 17-11-2018

A great end to an epic series

There is much to digest here, and much that comes abruptly, but there is closure of a sort, when the dust settles, and the book is done.

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  • huntml
  • 07-09-2018

A very good, engrossing epic.

Not a perfect story. There are some holes in the plot and some issues with the characterizations. But overall a very good, very entertaining, engrossing, well-written epic military fantasy. I especially like the primary device of framing most of the narrative from the perspective of the various annalists. A clever way to provide for overall continuity while allowing for interesting and illuminating changes in perspective.

And I like how the world and its cultures/religions/mythologies are South Asian derived, something relatively uncommon in epic fantasies.

Can't wait for the next book!

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  • Kristian Mosti
  • 20-08-2018

It just feels so real

I love this story. In every character I find something I recognize, something that makes me go "I know him, I served with him".

The black company tells a soldier's tale from the point of view of a real soldier, not some author's idea of what a soldier ought to be.

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  • A User
  • 14-02-2018

A fitting end to an excellent series.

I am sad these characters will not return. The Black Company books are a tour de force for great fiction and a realistic depiction of the camaraderie of fighting men and women.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-07-2018

A beautiful ending

A perfect ending to the series, wonderful narration and a story made even greater with its completion