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Soldiers Live (The Chronicles of the Black Company #9)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  5,384 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
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 fan
Mass Market Paperback, 566 pages
Published April 15th 2001 by Tor Fantasy (first published April 2000)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This is the Last Instalment in the Series Sob Sob Sob Buddy Read (TitLIitSSSSBR™) with my fellow mercenaries Evasive, Slowpoke and Cleaver

Actual rating: 20 million stars. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I'm okay. This was the last instalment in the best series that ever was and ever will be, but I'm okay. It's not like I'm in mourning or anything. Oh no. And it's not like my life has been nothing but despair, gloom, sorrow and emptiness since I finished reading this Mostest Gloriousest Piece o
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is a buddy read with my Company brothers (sisters) Cleaver, Erratic, and Slowpoke. After all the battles we have been through I would trust any one of them to guard my back in a tight spot.

“Soldiers live. He dies and not you, and you feel guilty, because you're glad he died, and not you. Soldiers live, and wonder why.”

Soldiers live

No matter how many time I read this, the quote above still gives me chills. As you can see one of the main themes of the book is the survivors guilt. It is brilliantly devel
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fantasy-grim
*** 5+++++ ***

A buddy read with the most bad ass mercenaries at the BB&B Company!!!

What an amazing end to a series that had me on a military march from book one in the North, to the wilds of the South and the brinks of the Glittering Stones Plain.... Croaker, Lady, Catcher, One Eye and Goblin became my friends, family, comrades in arms.... Even favorite enemies will leave me with an emptiness in my heart now that our paths have to part ways... No series I have read has left me simultaneously
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Soldiers live. And wonder why.

This is both the title and theme of this very melancholy book which ties up the whole Black Company series arc beautifully, satisfyingly, and oh-so-heartbreakingly. The omnibus edition which contains this book is called The Many Deaths of the Black Company. I'd hoped that was an exaggeration. It wasn't. And yet I have no complaints, no regrets. Even as I mourn for beloved characters, everything that happened felt inevitable and "right," because Glen Cook is such
Athena Shardbearer
In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules the place of glittering stone, I remember. And they all live again.

Awww man...this is my favorite series, and you know a series has made a major impact on you when you cry at the end of the last book.
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Life is never like a canal, flowing gently through a straightforward and predictable channel. It is more like a mountain brook, zigging and zagging, tearing things up, sometimes going almost dormant before taking an unexpected and turbulent turn.

The Black Company returns from the Plain of Glittering Stone, and old and new enemies alike are ready for them. The time for the last battle has finally come, and blood and death await before the walls of mighty Taglios.

Soldiers Live was far from the bes
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Soldier's Live is the final book in the Glittering Stone cycle story arc of Glen Cook's Black Company series. It lived up to all my hopes and expectations. It delivered shock twists and turns, emotional scenes involving some old favorites, and good conclusions to almost all of the long term ongoing story arcs.

Croaker returns as annalist of The Black Company for the first time since Shadow Games and proves again why he is the best of the Company's many annalists. His wry wit and devotion to Comp
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Soldiers Live is a terrific and thrilling conclusion to The Black Company series. It speaks well of the series that I went into the conclusion with only vague notions about how the characters and plot would wrap up (if at all), and with no real demands as a reader that certain characters must live or die, or get to a certain place or with a certain person, or meet their “justice.” I feel that this book is best enjoyed with absolutely no expectations about the conclusion. Just fasten your seatbel ...more
Milda Page Runner
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Milda by: Evgeny
Wow! This must be one of the best endings I've read in fantasy series. Mind blowing! And I did not see it coming until I was there. Kudos Mr.Cook!
Fitting conclusion to this awesome dark fantasy series. This book is filled with action and suspense, grim and exiting events. Intense and very hard to put down to the very end.

I will miss you my friends!

Incessant wind sweeps the plain. It murmurs on across grey stone, carrying dust from far climes to nibble eternally at the memorial pillars. There ar
"Am I still alive?" I did not need to ask. I was. Pain was a dead giveaway. Every square inch of me hurt.

"Don't move." That was Tobo. "Or you'll wish you hadn't."

I already wished that I did not have to breathe. "Burns?"

"Lots of burns. Lots of banging around, too."

Murgen's voice said, "You look like they whipped your ass with a forty-pound ugly stick, then slow-roasted what was left over an open pit."

"I thought you were at Khang Phi."

"We came home."

Tobo said, "We kept you unconscious for four day
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, favorites, bingo17
What have I just read? I suspect I will suffer a massive book hangover for quite some time...

It's simply a superb conclusion. Some events, thoughts and philosophical bits destroyed me a little inside. In a good way.

I think this book could've been divided into two or even three if Glen Cook wanted to give a lot of details about some events or give everything a more slow approach for dramatic effect. Major deaths and events on all sides happened without us being there and really took me by surpris
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nostalgic is how I feel after finishing the last book of black company.I have started missing the guys from the company already,although Cook has said there are two more books for the black company coming out but I think, it has been more than a decade since the series has finished, and I find it hard believing that Cook will ever publish them.

Cook has managed to tie off all the loose ends in this book superbly, as far as I am concerned this is how a series should end, where in the reader gets t
Robin Wiley
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I feel as if I ran a marathon. I did it!!! I am happy. I am proud. I am satisfied.

and I never want to do it again!

It was good. It was great! It was cool and epic and I am fine with the ending.

The very big list of bad guys needing to be killed was taken care of. It was not in a Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch manor that I was hoping for, but they get dead, and THAT was the goal.

The good guys? Well, it is a war - so what do you want? They can't all have a fairytale ending. Soldiers live and ask why.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Good thing about reading an older series is that you can binge and not have to wait the requisite year or so (atleast it seems that way lately) until the next one comes out. That's about all I have on this series. From the 1st book to the last my ratings for it have steadily declined (5 stars for 1st; 4 stars for next three; rest have been 3 stars). Major gripe would be that it is one thing for characters to evolve over the course of a few books (or over a few years of story timeline) but anothe ...more
Roopam Choudhury
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, military
And so it ends, an incredible journey spreading form the Northern part of the World to its most Southernmost tip. When finished with the last page of Soldiers Live, you are left with a heavy heart thinking about the wonderful journey you had with the exemplary characters. And at the end you are also left with a smile as most characters get what they want.
The Chronicles of the Black Company is primarily the story of the mercenaries enlisted with different masters and the wonderful plot comes sec
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A perfect end to an amazing series.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
And so ends this magnificent journey. With Croaker back in the role of annalist, it's in some ways a return to where we set out. But this isn't quite the same Croaker that wrote the Books of the North and the first Book of the South, and no wonder considering what he's been through. This Croaker is overall more serious, though he often reveals the casual irreverence that is his signature as annalist.

Very early on I felt a certain mythic weight behind the story that hadn't really been present bef
Michael Campbell
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love a good ending. An ending that wraps up all the little plots nicely. An ending where (view spoiler).

This book wraps up a truly great series so nicely that I honestly hope he doesn't write anymore books set after this one. The series had it's highs and lows for me, but I gave over half of the installments five stars. I don't think I've ever do
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soldiers Live, and wonder why. 4.5 stars.

It's hard to review this book without looking back at the previous works in this series but I shall make the attempt.

In the stunning conclusion to the Black Company (though two more books were hinted to be in the works), we're treated the repeated theme of "Soldiers live, and wonder why."

Croaker returns to the position as Company Annalist and Physician, so most of the chapters are from his point of view as he writes in the Annals. The Company returns to T
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
A weirdly quiet and sedate ending to the entire series.

It's great that we have Croaker back so the series begins as it ended, but the plot is just too odd and incomplete. Everything happens too easily - I began worrying as I started the book, there were too many loose ends and nothing set up for a grand ending, and that's exactly what happened. We have the Black Company at the start overpowered as usual, as it has since Smoky started napping, with the further assistance of an even more overpower
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Series: 11/27/2005 5/10

The Black Company series' premise was very interesting - a gritty dark take on the ins and outs of a military company in a fantasy world. It didn't really live up to expectations though. I would've preferred to see more of the company rather than the focus on one individual. The series definitely has it's ups and downs. Some books are decent and others are pretty bad - it seemed to get worse as it went on. The plotting was pretty poor and the characters were one-dimensiona
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Glen Cook has done it again. You can tell, when you see that name and the words �Black Company' on a novel, that you are in for a good time. Mr. Cook knows what fans of this series like, and he is able to deliver it, consistently. Soldiers Live is said to be the last in the Black Company series of novels. I, for one, am sad. It's nice that a series actually has a closing, which too few fantasy series have these days. However, the Black Company has never been a regular fantasy series. It has an e ...more
Simon James
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a review of the series. The books mainly focus on soldering in a fantasy army. The magic system is light on details and the overall knowledge of the world left me wanting more. I commend the series for its action based approach based on the "Black Company" point of view. Recommend the first few books more than the continued saga but I did read it all. If you want to read a fantasy series full of romantic intrigue then this is NOT the series for you. If you like books about soldiering whe ...more
Sep 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Anderson
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military
Wonderful ending to a great series. The last page will stay with me for a long time.

Side note: all through the book I thought the author was making mistakes in viewpoint when he moved away from Croaker and talked about what other people were thinking. At the end, you find out why it wasn't a mistake.
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raamatut lugedes tekkis tunne, nagu tahaks autor sarjaga lihtsalt kiiresti ühele poole saada. Probleemid põhimõtteliselt lahenevad ise ja suurem enamus tegelasi saavad üpriski mõttetutel viisidel surma. Nõrk lõpp heale sarjale.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie J
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sohaib Safdar
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Started Black Company on the 21st of June 2017. Completed all 10 books today. I guess that says a lot about the works.

The characters of this series are just too real. You are connected, you feel their pain, their sorrow, their curiosity; you feel it all. You can relate to them, and that is perhaps the biggest win for the author. The world building while not too deep is still at a level that i can respect, the winner here for me is definitely the characters, their interactions, the little snippe
Steve Brooker
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
It is true that there are few fantasy books like these but I find that a bit of a mixed blessing.
Refreshingly, there is very little glorification of war and battle and the narrative deals with with critical events in a very “matter of fact” manner, which works, given that most of the books are written from a soldier’s perspective.
At times however, I found myself feeling a bit crestfallen, especially if a significant character dies with no fanfare; “What happened to X?” “Dead.” “Oh well, on with
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Fantasy Book Club...: * Soldiers Live (The Chronicles of the Black Company #10) 2 25 Nov 08, 2013 11:48PM  
Influences from Vietnam War 1 14 Nov 06, 2013 10:46PM  
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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
More about Glen Cook

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of the Black Company (10 books)
  • The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1)
  • Shadows Linger (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #2)
  • The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3)
  • Shadow Games (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4)
  • Dreams of Steel (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #5)
  • Bleak Seasons (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #6)
  • She is the Darkness (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #7)
  • Water Sleeps (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #8)
  • A Pitiless Rain (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #10)

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“Soldiers live. He dies and not you, and you feel guilty, because you're glad he died, and not you. Soldiers live, and wonder why.” 76 likes
“In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules the place of glittering stone, I remember. And they all live again.” 18 likes
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