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Port of Shadows (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1.5)
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Group Reads > Sept-Oct, A) Cooks Port of Shadows

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message 1: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Glen Cook's Black Company.... with a keen eye toward Port of Shadows, the new episode due out Sept-11th 2019.

A Black Company books are fair game.


message 2: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Kindle is 13 USD... cripes. Well, I pre-ordered anyway.


message 3: by Richard (last edited Aug 25, 2018 06:18AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Richard | 760 comments I know, right.


message 4: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 402 comments $13 is a little steep for an ebook, new or otherwise. That’s the same price as a paperback release, and given the choice, I’d rather go with paper. I figure $5 - $8 is fair.


Richard | 760 comments For me, this is a problem in two parts.

First, the price on the e-book is a tad excessive, and the pre-order price on the hardcover isn't any more desirable.

Second, this book takes place in the middle of the Black Company saga. It's been over ten years since I've read the climax and conclusion to the final book. So needless to say my recollection is more than a tad fuzzy. Also take into account that Cook isn't known for catching you up to speed. He is known for dropping you in the deep end and letting you sink or swim.

Patience is going to be my course of action. Mostly because I feel like this demands a re-read of the series. Which wouldn't be a bad thing. Cook is top shelf.


Richard | 760 comments *I just noticed the pre-order price of the hardcover is now $17. It was hovering around $20 for the longest.


message 7: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
All Black Company books are fair game... so if any want to wait/pass on the new one, pls consider (re)reading any other


message 8: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "For me, this is a problem in two parts.

First, the price on the e-book is a tad excessive, and the pre-order price on the hardcover isn't any more desirable.

Second, this book takes place in th..."


IIRC, this one is going to slot in between books 1 & 2 -- The Black Company and Shadows Linger -- so I'll probably just reread the original trilogy, but add the new one at the appropriate point.

I did preorder the eBook. Yeah, $13 is a bit higher than I'd prefer, but eh, it's a price I'm willing to pay if I'm planning to read the book right away or in the very near future.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Richard wrote: "For me, this is a problem in two parts.

First, the price on the e-book is a tad excessive, and the pre-order price on the hardcover isn't any more desirable.

Second, this book takes place in th..."


You can also cheat, like I am going to do: join a buddy read with a group of friends that just finished reading the main series :)


message 10: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
By happy coincidence, The Black Company is Tor's current free eBook download. Here's the link; you do have to register:

https://www.tor.com/2018/08/27/downlo...

Also, note that the deadline is 08/31, so move expeditiously ...


message 12: by Clint (new)

Clint | 303 comments Oops. Joseph beat me to it


message 13: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Got mine, though I had the hard copy. Others should grab it! Quick


Richard | 760 comments Got mine!


message 16: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Fletcher continues to pot. Here's is his final one (if he doesn't tackle Port of Shadows)

https://www.blackgate.com/2018/09/04/...


message 17: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Port of Shadows Kindle is available now


message 18: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
OK, started Chronicles of the Black Company and will take a break at the appropriate time to insert Port of Shadows.

Since I did it for Kane, I'll do it here as well: My history with Glen Cook.

The time: The summer of 1990. I had recently graduated from college, moved to the Twin Cities and gotten an apartment with a friend of mine, the logic being that we'd spend a bit of time living in the big city & working crappy, low-paying jobs while we figured out how to spend our lives. I ended up working at a store called Shinder's -- it was a small chain (about a dozen stores, all in the Twin Cities & suburbs) of book/magazine/comic/RPG/sportscard stores. (Although there's a non-zero chance that in those pre-internet days, the entire chain was being supported by sales of naughty magazines and adult videocassettes. But anyway.) Because of my personal inclinations, I was more-or-less in charge of the paperbacks (especially the SF section), games and comics. I don't know what drew me to them, but I remember we had all six currently-extant Black Company books (The Black Company through Dreams of Steel) on the shelf, so one day I picked up The Black Company, started reading it, and bought and plowed through the entire series in a week or two. Then reached the end of Dreams of Steel, where it said, "To be continued in Glittering Stone". The first book of which would not be released for another six years. So, yeah, this whole "Why haven't they published the next book in this series?!?!?" thing? Not new.

(Actually, so far Glen Cook holds the record for longest wait between installments, at least of things I've read -- there was close to a 25 year gap between the last couple books of the Dread Empire series, although there were extenuating circumstances. And that record might get blown out of the water now that Diane Duane is apparently back to work on The Door Into Starlight.)

I've read much of Cook's other work over the years -- the Dread Empire, a bunch of the Garrett, P.I. books, several of his standalones -- but the Black Company has always been my first love.


message 19: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "OK, started Chronicles of the Black Company and will take a break at the appropriate time to insert Port of Shadows.
Since I did it for Kane, I'll do it here as well:..."


Love these testimonials. I'd like to hear more from the others out here.

This group got me going. I didn't discover the Black Company until this group had a group read back in (Nov Dec 2014).

Really enjoyed that (review): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 20: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jack wrote: "[First off, for Joseph: Fellow Minnesotan here. I walked by the downtown Minneapolis Shinders (at 8th and Hennepin) on the way to work every day for a few years. I never made it in there, and now it's too late because Shinders is gone and I don't work in Mpls anymore.]"

[waves from window]

The store I worked at was the one in Bloomington -- it was opening just about the same time I moved there, which worked out exceedingly well for me.

I did stop in the downtown store on a relatively regular basis -- it had a larger book section than the suburban stores, and also got a lot of imported & small-press magazines that never made it out to the suburbs -- Cemetery Dance, Interzone, etc., etc.


Richard | 760 comments For many years I'd had seen used copies in the local bookstores; never piqued my interest. This was the '90's and at that point I was reading door stop epic fantasy: Jordan, Goodkind, etc.

It wasn't until I had enlisted in the Army that I was formally introduced to The Black Company. This was back in the very early 2000's. It was a hit with all of the guys that liked to read. So when I came home I managed to round up used paperback copies locally and was able to read from The Black Company to Soldiers Live without a break.

Been a fan of Glen Cook ever since.


message 22: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
OK, finished The Black Company last night, so switched from the omnibus to Port of Shadows. I'm enjoying it so far -- the voice is still very much there. A couple of early comments: First, there are occasional sections set back during the time of the initial White Rose war (before the Lady & the Dominator were defeated for the first time). Not sure how those bits fit into the notion that these are annals written by Croaker & others; maybe there'll be an explanatory note later?

Second, although this fits chronologically between The Black Company and Shadows Linger, I'm not sure yet if a first-time reader would want to read it at that point in the sequence -- I'm wondering if it might prematurely give away some reveals from Shadows Linger or The White Rose. (Not a problem for me, obviously.) But as I said, I'm enjoying it.

(Oh, and on a tangentially-related note, this also inspired me to dig out my copy of Mythic Vistas: The Black Company Campaign Setting, just so that I could see the map and read some of the setting entries.)


message 23: by Clint (new)

Clint | 303 comments I’m brand new to Black Company. This group forced my hand to pick it up. A free copy of book 1 helped as well (although, if I go digital it’s actually cheaper to pick up the first Omnibus versus buying books 2 and 3 individually, so I shall have two copies of book 1).

Book 1 was pretty okay. It took some time for me to get into it, but when I did, it cracked. I would give it four stars, but it dragged its feet too long and had a bad habit of telling instead of showing; buuuuuttttt, I can see the growth potential with the book and I have a feeling it is a series that will get better, and I predict hitting a Plateau near the middle books where it struggles to keep pace with previous books.

Such is the way of these things. I will give The Black Company a few more books and get some (prediction here) good mileage out of the series.


message 24: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
A good place to stop (at least temporarily) would be at the end of The White Rose (book 3) -- that's the end of the original trilogy. The story that begins with book 4 (and continues to the end of book 10) is its own thing.

Yeah, there's a fair amount of telling rather than showing -- I think that's a function of the conceit that Croaker is recording everything in the company's Annals -- but I think that in this case it works, since everything is being filtered through Croaker's voice.


message 25: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
And I finished Port of Shadows and moved on to Shadows Linger and (as I said in my review), while I liked it, I would not recommend that a first-time reader read it in chronological sequence -- I think it spoils too many reveals from later in the initial trilogy.

Conversely, if you read the original books years ago, you probably don't have to reread them before picking up this one -- it's a very self-contained story.


message 26: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
I'm about 12% though Port of Shadows.

Prior this, I've only read The Black Company (i.e., #1 f the series), so reading this #1.5 episode makes sense for me.

Port of Shadows has the same voice and style as #1, but I definitely agree with Joseph in that there is a ton of milieu assumed to be known by the reader that it takes some effort to "hold-on".

That said, it is still very readable. I recall feeling slightly overwhelmed with #1 anyway.

If I am not lost yet, Port has alternating chapters jumping back and forth from "a long time ago" to "modern times" or more obscurely "once upon a time." I was naively not paying attention to the chapter titles for a while...which was confusing.

Cook doesn't harp on the time jumps in the prose.... just the Chapter titles. This seems to be his style. He gives just enough and assumes you'll get "it."


message 27: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
S.E. wrote: "I'm about 12% though Port of Shadows.

Prior this, I've only read The Black Company (i.e., #1 f the series), so reading this #1.5 episode makes sense for me.

Port of ..."


I'll be very interested to hear what you think when you finish the book; and especially interested to hear your thoughts if you do proceed further in the series.


message 28: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
And for myself, I just finished Chronicles of the Black Company and was reminded of just how much I like these books (and how occasionally weird they get).


message 29: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Lol. Im 50per done and agree with the Bewitched episode take. Still waiting for many threads to align. More soap opera than adventure


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Jack wrote: "I finished up Port of Shadows this afternoon. I liked it, but I only gave it three stars. I'll copy my short review here:

This book was a good read, but I wanted to like it more than I did. Perha..."


I always thought Darrin was an idiot. You words do not inspire me to start this book :)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Jack wrote: "Evgeny wrote: "Jack wrote: "I finished up Port of Shadows this afternoon. I liked it, but I only gave it three stars. I'll copy my short review here:

This book was a good read, but I wanted to li..."


I saw Bewitched in reruns. As well as I Love Lucy. And some Honeymooners. I probably would not be alive today had I seen this during the original run.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 15, 2018 05:01PM) (new)

If you care for my advice try the following reading sequence:

The Tower of Fear by Glen Cook -> The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook -> A Shadow of All Night Falling (Dread Empire, #1) by Glen Cook (series) -> The Tyranny of the Night (Instrumentalities of the Night, #1) by Glen Cook (series)


message 33: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Yes, I can totally see the Bewitched comparison as well.


message 34: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 329 comments So got a little news for y'all: I and 2 of my mates can now proudly strut the annals of time as once members of The Black Company. That's right - we are listed among the deceased members tombstones in PORT OF SHADOWS. My name does not quite resemble my own, but it is the name bequeathed me by none other than Steven Erikson, who also promised to slay the three of us in an upcoming book.

My life is full - I have made it into a book beyond the copyright, title, and dedication pages.


message 35: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jason M wrote: "So got a little news for y'all: I and 2 of my mates can now proudly strut the annals of time as once members of The Black Company. That's right - we are listed among the deceased members tombstones..."

Congrats! I'll raise a glass to your memory at the earliest possible opportunity ...


message 36: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Which one is you Jason? And can you decode others?


TUDÈLE LAGLEIZE: Unblemished by too pedantic a regard for the truth

SLEEPY EYES: Overcome with ugliness

FANCY PRANCE: Even if I die in the gutter I have to fall forward

GUUST NOLET: Cross-dressing in plain sight

HIKA NOLET: Redheaded cross-dressing demon whisperer These sisters had been seriously nasty. Hika may have fallen to friendly fire

FLEA HJALTI: Inflexible Irresolution

DROUGHT: Evil is hard work

INGRATH BAT: A cowbird’s egg in a nest of lies

FADE SHULABAT: A Child of Mist and Darkness

MINKUS SCUDD: Put to death with special indignity Executed, not slain by enemy action, for criminal stupidity

OTTERS: The proud do not endure

THREE APPLES: We are none of us infallible, not even the youngest among us

WILT: I do not think that he will have been improved by death

COPPERHEAD: He heard the stars

SERGEANT POOR: Getting on with the ass-kicking

MISTRY: Worn weak with lack of wonder

BACHIMEN: He had to blink


message 37: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 329 comments I can decode only us 3 unfortunately. Drought, Wilt, & Sergeant Poor. Since Erikson first said he'd use us, he determined our names. My bud Drought (real name) obviously fits MBOTF perfectly. Our other buddy's name is Rich, so Erikson said 'You're Sgt Poor. ' Then he looks at me and says my name is the only challenge, it doesn't fit... Wilt, I'll call you Wilt.

So... I'm so damn bad I can't improve any more than I already am. 😁😆


message 38: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Jason, I reserve the right to call you Wilt hereafter


message 39: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Just wrapped up Port of Shadows. Started really strong...(first 1/3rd) then left me more confused than impressed. Kept waiting for a punchline (or few competing ones), but was just served a mess. Need to review soon. Remarkably little tension, conflict, or consistency.

I’ve only read the first book. So chronologically I am on track, but perhaps I would be more excited to continue if I had skipped this.


message 40: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
I'd say do continue at least through the original trilogy -- they're quite good, and might make sense of some of the events in Port of Shadows.


message 41: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Joseph, Lol. Well I already own the next two (ie 2,3 of the original set) so Ill probably give them a try.


message 42: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Im curious if readers who had already read a bunch of Black Co books thought they gained new insight from Port of Shadows.

Thoughts?


message 43: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
I think the big new thing in Port of Shadows was the sections set in the time when the Dominator was still ruling -- we've never seen that before -- but if you haven't already read the original trilogy, at least, you don't really have context to understand everything that's being revealed. I agree with Jack -- for first-time readers, it probably makes sense to save PoS until after you've read more in the series.

(And because of the way he structures it, it's very possible to treat it as a "lost" volume of the Annals that doesn't get rediscovered until long after the events it chronicles.)


message 44: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Spoiler question .... re: the meaning behind the Port of Shadows

(view spoiler)


message 45: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 329 comments BTW - I will answer to Wilt. Nothing further.


message 46: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new) - rated it 3 stars

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2344 comments Mod
Ok, Posted my review on Port of Shadows.

I'm glad to have read it, and will likely read Shadows Linger eventually (already own it), but otherwise concur with Jack and Joe that it would be best read after reading more of the series.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Since Croaker is in effect a journalist, and his story shallow and obscure, I shamelessly use the term Fake News to describe the story.


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