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The Dragon Never Sleeps
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The Dragon Never Sleeps

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  976 ratings  ·  81 reviews
For four thousand years, the Guardships have ruled Canon Space - immortal ships with an immortal crew, dealing swiftly and harshly with any mercantile houses or alien races that threaten the status quo. But now the House Tregesser has an edge: a force from outside Canon Space offers them the resources to throw off Guardship rule. This precipitates an avalanche of unexpecte ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Night Shade Books (first published 1988)
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Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This is a buddy read with my fellow die-hard Glen Cook fans: Choko, Eilonwy, and Sarah.

Of all the books I read this one most probably has the highest number of subplots per page. It feels tightly packed with them like this:
Tightly packed
For this reason it is very hard to see the overall picture and even harder to give a plot outline. Actually when I mentioned outlining the plot in the review to my buddy readers they sincerely wished my good luck and all the moral support they could provide (right, guys?). Wi
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
We Love Glen Cook so Much We'd even Read Historical Romance if He Wrote it Haha Just Kidding then Again Maybe not Buddy Read (WLGCsMWeRHRihWiHJKtAMnBR™) with my fellow GC worshippers Choko, Evgeny and Eilonwy

I was going to go for a 4.5-star rating, but then thought: "What the Shrimp! This is the most beautifully confusing book I've ever read! Let's be bold! Let's be audacious! Let's go for 5 shrimping stars!" And here we are.

Friendly warning : this is one of the crappiest reviews I have e
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the Glen Cook Cult at BB&B! We are on a path to reading everything he has ever written!!!

Wow!!! What a book!!! You know when people say "I have no idea what I read, but I loved it!"? I had never understood the saying, until this book. Not that my ignorance as to what I was reading lasted too long - by about 50% I was pretty sure I was in the vicinity of where the author wanted to take us.

It had been a really, really long time since a book slapped me over the hea
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

When I read the blurb on this book, I got excited. Like all my friends know,I love Glen Cook; man does not do much wrong in my opinion. Some even call me a Glen Cook groupie. I wouldn’t take it that far, but I enjoy his novels. Can’t lie about it. So as I visualized Glen Cook writing a space opera with ancient, sentient warships, fanatical crews of deathless soldiers, a vast interstellar empire with conspiracies galore, and a universe spanning Web for t
Dirk Grobbelaar
An interesting book. One that, I believe, is more complex than some are giving it credit for. At its heart this is a space opera (with all the prerequisite elements of intrigue and military science fiction in attendance). However, the underlying themes are often subtle and even confusing. The fact that Cook isn’t telling the story in strictly linear fashion makes it a tough(ish) read, but it isn’t a tome and everything is actually kept surprisingly lean considering the extent of the story.

I had

I'm clearly never going to manage to write a review for this. :-(

But it was good!
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, favorites
After finishing The Black Company series by the same author I got myself into a huge book hangover. Nothing was working, so decided to try another book by Glen Cook. Some even regard this as his masterpiece.

The learning curve is steep and challenging. Glen Cook does this in the first volume of the Black Company too. He throws you into the middle of things and you have to sort out what is happening. No one and nothing holds your hand. I heard similar things of Malazan (in which Glen Cook helped i
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good futuristic hard space opera. Star Wars Trilogy meets Run Silent Run Deep with a dash of Enemy Mine. Huge cast of complex—occasionally opaque—characters, some of whom are clones of themselves. Expansive setting on a galactic arm scale. Technologies and speciation which boogle the mind. All encased in excellent prose.

Make no mistake: this is not light reading, but it is fully engaging. A well-developed story of love and war in the distant future. All the more amazing because it was fir
Andrew Durston
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Good stuff! Very Space Opera/WH40K ish feel. Interesting concepts and cool characters. Would love to see more in this universe ...
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Glen Cook is one of my favorite fantasy authors but I had a hard time getting into this science fiction work. Cook has a unique style, and when he applied it to a futuristic tale here it took me quite a long time to get the feel for it. By that time I had lost a lot of interest in the overall story. I kept reading, though, because the characters are fascinating and the setting is indeed visionary. So, some very good qualities but not a great story line. At least to me.
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Cook's sci-fi masterpiece. A single stand-alone book creates a vivid setting, at least three sets of characters whose paths cross (as uneasy allies and as adversaries), and war across the stars. Cook manages to write plenty of unsavory characters, but you'll root for most of them before this story ends. Dizzying.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-own-it, sci-fi
I am in a huge book slump... and it continues with this one. This book was really confusing and difficult to get into... about 150-200 pages in you'll start to have an idea of what is going on. There are tons of characters, but none that you'll actually care about. The story was OK, but it just felt really long. I couldn't wait for the book to be done with.
May 2013 bookgroup selection.

This was a difficult plot to get into. An overly complex ship naming convention, a political hierarchy that was not immediately clear, planetary systems with long names that began with letters and ended with numbers, cities that I couldn't figure out if they were cities or planets, a cast of characters scattered across a substantial universe, and that same cast of characters who had cloned themselves so more than one copy is running about. Toss in 'artifacts', lost
Luke Stark
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read my profile info in order to understand what sort of reader I am and decide for yourself if this review has value for you.


I really enjoyed this book. I find the characters interesting and the interaction between them really engaging. There are a lot of moving parts but I never got lost, and there isn't a clear "good/bad" character divide....everyone has something they want and they plot and scheme to achieve their goals. Its a lot of fun!

Think of this book as space opera, almost Dune-like
Jerry Schwartz
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished
I've read most of Cook's work, and enjoyed them all, but i really had to force myself to finish this. This one is confusing and vague on so many levels. It's like he expects you to know and recognize this world without any kind of explanations about it's people and workings.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is, I think, my favorite sci-fi novel. It reminds me of both Dune and Star Trek, a galaxy of largely independent noble houses, patrolled by invincible starships with immortal crews.
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
a classic.

hypercondensed space opera that could only have been written by Cook.

gets a bit choppy towards the end, but no less brilliant for it.

nothing is like this.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This undeservedly obscure book is one of the best examples of space opera from its time.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
3 and a half , what a glorious confusing time to be had reading this book! Read this if you don't mind being confused for half the time and love intrigue!
Shaun Travers
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best space opera books I have ever read.
Micah Kramer
As a whole I found the book largely disjointed and hard to follow. It also felt pretty flat with little to get excited about. The end was contiguous enough to constitute "action" that was a little more enjoyable in that it offered a reason to pick the book up other than to just finish it, but it wasn't really worth the slog through the rest of the story. The majority of what I got out of this book was exposure to a writing and composition style I hadn't yet encountered.
John H.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First book I've ever read of Glen Cook. I had to reread the first chapter a couple of time to get the gist of the opening but once that was accomplished the story pulled me along a great space opera story.
I had to read a review on here to figure out what the book was about, because in the 20 minutes I spent trying to get into this book, the text really didn't do a great job of it. Too many characters, too much jumping around, too much unexplained lingo. Not for me.
Edmund de Wight
Feb 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Let me start by saying that my 1 star rating is NOT an indictment of Glen's writing skill or the quality of the book. This is TOTALLY because I personally didn't enjoy the story.
I honestly hate giving a low score to a book that isn't bad in its own right but instead just didn't interest me. It's the limitation of the grading system. 1 star means 'I didnt like it' and that's all I'm saying.

I've read a lot of Glen Cook's fiction. I was manic about the Black Company and enjoyed The Dread Empire an
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I came across Glen Cook's works by pure chance. After reading some Black Company novels I went after his SF titles :)[return]Story is about conflict taking place in a (very) distant future where Canon space (known space) is controlled by infamous Guardships. Guardships are sort of a "living" ships - they are powered by ever-evolving AI that keeps record of all past battles [which makes them very very difficult to destroy] and are commanded by (human) immortal crew. They rule with the iron fist a ...more
Joe AuBuchon
"He lies ever upon his hoard, his heart jealous and mean. Never believe he has nodded because his eyes have closed. The dragon never sleeps." --Kex Maefele, speaking to the dire Radiant

So opens Glen Cook's tale of a self-perpetuating human military society. The Guardships have solved the problem of succeeding generations losing the idealism of a founding generation -- memories are periodically recorded and impressed on a new clone when the original dies. When an individual of sufficient merit re
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Bit puzzled about this one. Got it from a recommendation on the RPGnet forum from somebody, dont remember who, that liked it very much.

Me? I'm unsure. Lets forget for a moment that the book is dated; written in the 80s, you have several instances on the plot of "and then he gave her a tape" :-P

But... I dont know. Stylistically I find it very flawed. It is a complex space-opera setting with complots inside intrigue inside doublecrosses... an enormous cast, a complex situation in-setting. All that
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In which Glen Cook gives us his version of the Dune series. We have noble houses fighting for position in a static "empire". We have "outsiders beyond the borders who want to shake up known space. We have invincible armies that keep the status quo going. We have mysterious aliens in jars. We have clones. (Clones galore, actually)... Pretty much everything other than sand worms and the Bene Gesserit.

Add to this Cook's usual style of spare writing that skips a lot and demands much from the reader
Joshua Bizeau
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Timothy Blaisdell
A fine piece of sprawling space opera by Mr. Cook. Sharp character development, deviously plotted politics, classic gunfights between unspeakably large space armadas, and sturdy, overarching thoughts regarding the history of seemingly invincible empires and the complex revolutions that seek to overthrow them as seen through the lens of an unfathomably immense space-time context. The struggle between the righteous species warrior Turtle, the underhanded, self-assured Lupo Provik, and duty-driven ...more
Bridger A-10
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ancient warships, sentient and still manned by the fanatics that first crewed them, guard the vast interstellar empire of Canon Space without the consent of it's population. Any threat (ANY threat) to the empire is dealt with by obliteration via beam cannons or freeze-dried infantry battalions. All things considered, it's pretty obvious why some of Canon's inhabitants might want to make a deal with the devil and try to upset the system by dragging in barbaric "Outsiders" from beyond the empire t ...more
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Glen Cook was born in New York City, lived in southern Indiana as a small child, then grew up in Northern California. After high school he served in the U.S. Navy and attended the University of Missouri. He worked for General Motors for 33 years, retiring some years ago. He started writing short stories in 7th grade, had several published in a high school literary magazine. He began writing with m ...more
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