Glen Cook's Instrumentalities Of The Night

Fatal Rose

Killed a Balrog
Yes another Glen Cook thread, sorry.

I've read all four books and really liked them. They aren't as good as his BC books but still very fun if you're into the Crusade history during the 13th century.

I'm huge into the Crusades (I have the Crusader cross tattooed on my arm.) and was super excited to read fantasy loosely based off it. I know Judith Tarr also wrote Crusader fantasy but after reading some of her interviews on Islam and the Crusades I was worried she went down the politically correct history revisionism route instead of being reasonably accurate to the source.

Thankfully Cook's story takes place entirely in a fantasy/different world so his deviations from history won't bother me at all. I'm huge into history and it drives me crazy when authors screw with things in historical fiction/fantasy in a way that doesn't resemble real history at all.

The series is hard to follow because it has no maps, glossary, etc. Thankfully I found a forum thread online that helped sort things out.

Beware this thread contains very minor spoilers.

So far this series seems far more similar to Dread Empire than Black Company.

Anyone else give this series a shot? Thoughts?

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I like this one. I heard the publisher dropped the series because it wasn't selling well. Last I heard, Cook did want to finish it (everything was clearly not resolved by the end of book 4) and was exploring other options for publishing, but that was a few years ago.

I didn't mind the lack of maps (Cook never seems to have them) because I ignore all maps in fantasy novels anyway.

I notice Cook has a way of writing characters that I think must be reflective of himself in some way -- not necessarily age, but something else. Piper Hecht was a lot like Croaker who is a lot like Garrett in the Garrett, PI series. (I don't know if there is a Dread Empire equivalent, maybe Bragi but maybe not as it's been a long time since I read those.)

Bill Door

Firsthanded the newest Caine adventure
I read this earlier this year...enjoyed it a lot. I can see why it didn't do well, though...the first book is not newcomer friendly at all. So many names and places just thrown at you non stop in the first 150 pages or so. If you like the The Black Company and Dread Empire novels then you should like this. It's his usual military fantasy, but with more of the political intrigue from novels like ASoIaF and Farseer. Like Sneaky said, though, the series was clearly not meant to end at book 4 and as of now it doesn't look like there will be anymore coming out. That's just a heads up for others if they were thinking about reading it.
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Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I've read all four books and really enjoyed them. Anyone know how he'll release book five?
I went looking just now (I do that every so often). And found nothing. Just threads at reddit or elsewhere talking about the series in general, arguing about the setting, and so forth.