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The Dark Glory War

(DragonCrown War Cycle #prequel)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,668 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Four young men come of age in a time of prophecy and war....

New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole is a recognized star of military fantasy. The Dark Glory War is a thrilling new tale set in a world threatened by an unstoppable foe....

In the sacred season of the Moon Month, four young men don the masks that herald their coming-of-age celebration, a time of
Mass Market Paperback, 402 pages
Published February 29th 2000 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2000)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,668 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Dev Null
Aug 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2013 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Angela by: Navessa
Shelves: fantasy, soon
Buddy read with Cory, Jenny, Sarah, Brandi, Khanh, Rashika, Loki, Shelby, and Kathylill
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: Navessa
Buddy read with Cory, Ange, Jenny, Catherine & Kathyhill (although I don't think anyone apart from Cory and I actually finished reading it!)

I've not read anything by Michael A Stackpole before but I was in the mood to start a new epic fantasy series and the DragonCrown War Cycle came highly recommended by my friend Cory. In fact she raved about it so much that several of us decided to buddy read this! I found The Dark Glory War to be a likeable read but unfortunately it didn't wow me as much
Mar 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dissappointment
OK - well, this is "exactly what it shows on the tin" - the character with the mask? That is a plot devise throughout this novel. And it is not an interesting one at that. I like the premise behind what the novel was trying to do, but the characters had zero qualities for me to enjoy. Again, I got sucked into a novel that everyone raves about online, but I feel that our standard of what we expect is too low these days, and we will read anything if it has a gimmick or a creature that is cool, or ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
At first I thought this book was going to be lame. They wear masks and I wasn't really buying into it. The story moves at a nice pace keeping you interested in the development of the plot and characters. The ending was fantastic! Definitely non-traditional and therefore made it on my great list. I loved how politics discredits Tarrant's reputation and ultimately will leave the kingdom doomed in the future. Highly enjoyable. I tip my hat to Michael Stackpole and will read more by this guy!
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jason by: Derek
A prequel to the DragonCrown War. My first book by Stackpole and it certainly grabbed my attention. So much so that I will be reading a majority of his other works as I get the time. I'm already reading Fortress Draconis. What I like about his book is his attention to details on battle scenes. There is also a bit more gore to his books that brings a bit more reality to it.
Shari  Mulluane
Sep 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: needs-review
My review is here:

Full Review
Chander Govindarajan
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF as 50%. More superhero comic than fantasy.

First the positives:the humor and character conversations were well done, not too sarcastic or quippy, just the right amount of banter. The narrators inner monologue was balanced and well done.

Now for the negatives.

The pacing was off, it seemed the story moved more quickly than desirable, not spending time anywhere. The narrative focused only on the battles, each combat scene is detailed with descriptions of how each of our characters arced their
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very nice but generic military-type fantasy.

As the prelude to the Dragoncrown War Cycle (trilogy), I loved the premise but not the ending, especially the unwise & ultimately fatal decision to pursue the primary antagonist without sufficient military backing, leading to the really frustrating conclusion.

Still enjoyed it for the action, 40% of the characters (Leigh was often incredibly annoying & most characters were terribly one-dimensional; not enough depth) and some of the political
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a coming of age story of Tarrant Hawkins and his friends. Destiny was set for these young men if they only knew it. A chance encounter on their first test becomes a desperate struggle for survival, for they have ran into the vanguard of an invasion force. This story has excitement, mystery and magic. If you are new to the DragonCrown War series this is the one you want to start with.
Sarah J
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novels
Stackpole's fantasy book is great because fantasy is not the focus. It helps build the world and provides background for the characters, but his focus is on the mechanics of medieval war. It's a great story of how three young men find themselves on an adventure none bargained for and how they face the challenges in different ways. Stackpole pays attention to the military details of planning, leading, and maneuvering military campaigns, something often lacking in fantasy works.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Its been years since ive read this one but its never too far from my mind. When I meet someone new I ask them if theyve read this book and if they say no I promptly bring it to them. Tons of action. Its a great fantasy novel. I love stackpoles earlier stuff and this book may be his best.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Fascinating races and cultures and... a good story.
Glad we found the second when we found the first.
Eric Moreno
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Tarrent Hawkins knows he is coming of age. He knows this will mean changes for him and the start to his life-path. However, on the evening of the first celebration of Tarrent and his friends' "moon month" a "normal" test takes a completely unexpected turn and ratchets up the danger. Evil creatures are discovered where they shouldn't be and soon it is realized that war is coming to the whole continent.

So the journey with Tarrent and friends is fun; the battles are harsh but interesting. The

Daniel Millard
Feb 27, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I had such high hopes for this one. I'm a Michael Stackpole fan, and while I know he's not perfect, I've enjoyed his previous novels quite a bit. In fact, his novel Talion: Revenant was my introduction to the world of fantasy fiction. Needless to say I was eagerly awaiting the first installment in his multi-part fantasy epic the DragonCrown War. After reading his surprisingly mature Eyes of Silver, my expectations rose even higher.

Unfortunately Stackpole fell back into old habits with the Dark
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
My husband recommended this book for me, and generally I trust his recommendations. And this book was certainly fabulous for most of my reading experience. I very much enjoyed the world Stackpole created for us to immerse ourselves in - the masks were an interesting and enriching part of the story. But I felt like I couldn't really get close to any of the characters. I wanted to, but they felt formal and distant. Tarrant a little less than the others, obviously.

My biggest problem with this book
Mark Lacy
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
[2006] I read Fortress Draconis by this author. Unfortunately, I have no record of it anywhere. But when I learned that this book was the prelude to the Fortress Draconis series, I thought it would be a good idea to read it. I'm not sure that I really cared for the first person narrative style that Stackpole used in this book. But it was an interesting book. I liked the mask concept, although after a while I never pictured the characters with masks. As I got closer to the end, I wondered how it ...more
Geoff Copper
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: friend-rec, 2015
Enjoyable, if not as immersive as I wanted it to be. The pacing is good (doesn't dwell too long on the 'boring' parts, doesn't rush through the important parts), the primary characters are all easy to identify with and like, and there's plenty of action throughout.

A major thing I thought was missing was a sense of urgency - it didn't feel as though the threat of the antagonist was as pressing or all-consuming, despite the ever present hordes invading from the north. Minor gripes included the
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This was a VERY slow read for me. I would pick it up to try and read it, but I could never read more than a few chapters at a time. I didn't start getting emmersed in the story until about 2/3rds of my way through the book. Somewhere around the first 1/3rd I realized that the main character (Tarrant) really bored me, but I stuck around for Leigh and Nay because I actually liked them.. they seemed more versatile as characters.
I still enjoyed the story as a whole. It's really different than what
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge Michael Stackpole fan, but this one goes beyond that. I've often said that, to be interesting and engaging, a POV character in a first person narrative has to be something of an ass, opinionated, cocky and full of snark. With this book, Stackpole proves that isn't necessarily true.

The protagonist is a genuinely good person, nice, respectful even, but he manages to be likable without being saccharine which is no small achievement in storytelling. The Dark Glory War is a prequel to The
Daniel Rose
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Book was intersting and caught my attention and kept me enthrawled through the first half. However it was if the writer ran into a wall especially after writing this after he had written the previous three books in the series. The book seemed honestly to drag out and I kept wanting to just quit reading it as the battle sequences and story seemed way to perdictable they felt rushed and it reminded me of a movie that had potential but was botched halfway through and ended badly.

I haven't read the
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
A must read, don't miss it. One of Stackpole's finest novels to date. There is strong character representation in here, and a well-described world. Few authors can pull off a convincing first-person narrative, and Stackpole's experience in this area sets the stage for a rivetting plot. The new twist this time is that the narrator (Tarrant Hawkins) is clearly speaking about past events. This technique will whet your appetite for a sequel; definitely read this novel before the Dragoncrown War ...more
Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007
I got this and three other books (the series in full, as it were) from a friend for either birthday or christmas .....needless to say it got put on the back burner (as happens so often when you approach a series read...) until recently.

The book is entertaining and the world that the fantasy takes place in is well developed. I found the concepts that the author used to base his universe on very canon for sci-fi/fantasy but at the same time, they had that tinge of uniqueness that makes things
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A little conflicted about this one. The world is interesting and Tarrant is a likeable protagonist, but it was at times too martial for my tastes and lacked supporting character development in meaningful ways. Not to mention the lack of compelling female characters. There were maybe... three, four of any importance?
But those last ten pages, just... wow. I almost wish the story had started there and worked backwards. That was the kind of complexity I'd been wanting all along.
Overall, compelling
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis Green
May 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a great book - lots of adventure; some wild plot twists; some very interesting characters.... until the very end. I understand that Stackpole was setting up for the main trilogy, but did he REALLY have to end it like that???? (FYI, I've had this book for at least a couple of years, but kept getting side tracked when I was going to read it. Glad that I finally did, even though the ending ticked me off so badly).
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I picked this book up completely on a whim at wal-mart so I would have something to read on a plane ride to Washington DC and I absolutely fell in love with it! The author's beautiful description of the way magick is used is not only unique but far surpasses any other explaination I have read thus far.
May 04, 2012 rated it it was ok

I read this a while back so I don't remember too much of it, but I didn't think it was especially strong for the beginning of a series. Of course, I measure most such books against Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, so compared to that virtually everything is a fail. I do think that things pick up in Fortress Draconis though. This one had a lot of cliche elements, but wasn't too bad overall.
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Other books in the series

DragonCrown War Cycle (4 books)
  • Fortress Draconis (The DragonCrown War Cycle, #1)
  • When Dragons Rage (The DragonCrown War Cycle, #2)
  • The Grand Crusade (The DragonCrown War Cycle, #3)