A Shadow of All Night Falling (The Dread Empire: A Cruel Wind #1) ★★★☆ ½


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Title:         A Shadow of All Night Falling
Series:      The Dread Empire: A Cruel Wind #1
Author:    Glen Cook
Rating:     3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:      Fantasy
Pages:       256
Format:    Digital Edition



A young boy watches as his mother is burned as a witch. In consequence, he eventually goes to the Dread Empire and learns all he can of magic. Upon his return, he destroys all the sorcerers and breaks the Kingdom.

Looking into the future, he sees that the fate of the world will revolve around him and a woman. He spends hundreds of years in preparation. Said woman falls in love and marries another man. Her sorcerous brothers get involved, as does another immortal man and some armies. Varth will do whatever he has to to get the woman on his side to save the world.

But Varth’s powers came at a cost. The Dread Empire has waited for hundreds of years for Varth to be the perfect unknowing pawn and today, the cost of his education comes due.


My Thoughts: Spoilers

First off, there is a character who is named The Mocker. He starts out fat and silly and talks in the 3rd person. I would say that Steven Erikson pretty much lifted this character wholesale to create his character of Krup, the spy master of Darujistahn in his Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

You alse see a lot of pre-Black Company ideas being formed here. I haven’t read enough other Cook to tell if he trots out certain ideas in every book/series or if this is just a “fantasy” thing for him. Either way, this reads like Black Company, the Rough Draft.

It’s a fun story and I thoroughly enjoyed my time. Also a good book to shove into peoples’ faces if they ever start talking about fates, predestination, and how things are out of their control.

Thankfully, this ends much like most of the Black Company books. So it’s your call if that’s happy or not. I was satisfied with how things turned out.

★★★☆ ½


15 thoughts on “A Shadow of All Night Falling (The Dread Empire: A Cruel Wind #1) ★★★☆ ½

  1. Ok so you had me at the mention of Black Company! I am seriously into that series and Cook right now ( a newer old discovery for me). I will be starting the 3rd book soon. He definitely takes things a slower pace than I am used to, but his characters have all come together so well in Black Company. I had not heard of this series. Will be slapping it on the radar now though!

    Not yet into Erikson but is on my TBR. So no thoughts there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard of it either before searching through his bibliography. It is kind of making me wonder if this is a series that never took off and so it doesn’t have an actual ending. I guess I’ll be finding out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, there’s like 8 books in this series. But man the whole “draft edition” had me laughing. I think if the Chronicles of the Black Company series blows my mind away, I’ll end up visiting the Dread Empire, whether it sucks or nah. Okay, maybe only if the series holds up for you. You’ll be the deciding factor hahaha. You do plan on checking the rest of series right? 😛 I also got my hands on the 1st 3 books of the Chronicles of the Black Company. Well.. I mean.. it’s 3 books in one. Gosh, that’s going to be a lot of reading, but I’m definitely excited to try it out!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not realize there were 8 books. I thought it was just 3. So now I’m off to search out the others and add them.

      I do plan on reading the rest of the series until I get to the end or I have to dnf a book. Either way, you’ll get a first hand look at how they hold up to the BC, as I’ll be making comparisons the whole time I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I started this series several years ago, but didn’t like it as much as the Black Company books and ended up putting it down. I think this is the first review I’ve seen for this one apart from those on Goodreads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. with a lot of publishers putting pressure, via netgalley and like places, on bloggers to be reviewing “new” books, it doesn’t surprise me that older books get left by the wayside.

      As for Cook, I’ve got a whole slew of his series on tap and plan on cycling through them. Hopefully I keep on liking them.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ah, Glen Cook! I’ve heard his name bandied about but haven’t tried him yet. Hm….would you recommending starting with Black Company as an intro to the genre or starting elsewhere? I hated The Gunslinger, but that’s about all the grimdark I’ve read (if that’s even considered grimdark). Actually I didn’t love the first GoT either, mostly due to content issues. It just may not be my thing?? Lol But I want to give the genre and authors a fair shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would recommend Black Company as a starting place.
      For reference, I don’t like grimdark either. I didn’t like the Gunslinger and I’ve stayed away from GoT due to content as well. I qualify as grimdark something that is all about the hopelessness of the characters and I never felt hopelessness while reading BC.

      I would suggest trying the first BC book. If you like it, you’ll probably like the rest of the series and much of what Cook writes. If you don’t like it, stop. You won’t like the rest any better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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