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A Cruel Wind(The Dread Empire (main sequence))
Introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. Cover by Raymond Swanland.
A Chronicle of the Dread Empire
An omnibus collection of the first three Dread Empire novels: A Shadow of All Night Falling, October's Baby and All Darkness Met.
The war that even wizards dread begins with A Shadow of All Night Falling. Across the mountains called Dragon's Teeth, beyond the chill reach of the werewind and the fires of the world's beginning, above the walls of the castle Fangdred, stands wind tower, from which the Star Rider calls forth the war that even wizards dread. A war fought for a love. The love of a woman called Nepanthe, princess to the Storm Kings...
When the leaves turn blood and the wind turns bone, it is time. A time for doing things dark and strange; the time of October's Baby. The princess bears a child to the winged thing and the cries are heard far beyond the peaks of Dragon's Teeth. Nepanthe and Mocker wait, but for what, they do not know.
At empire's end, Mocker finds old friends in the halls of death. Nepanthe finds new lovers in the fields of blood and bone, while the war-child wields the sword of truth. The Star Rider's dread secret is at last revealed, where All Darkness Met. And so it ends. Though end is but a wizard-word for new beginnings...
A Cruel Wind is an omnibus edition of the first three Dread Empire books (A Shadow of All Night's Falling, October's Baby and All Darkness Met), which were published before The Black Company books. I think it's great that Night Shade Books decided to publish this omnibus edition, because these books are difficult to find nowadays.
These Dread Empire books were quite small and compact, so it didn't take long to read them. They were interesting, well written and fascinating fantasy books for adults. Although these books weren't as excellent as The Black Company books, they were quite original and enjoyable books. I think it's great that Glen Cook doesn't recycle basic fantasy elements in his books. He has his own voice and he knows how to write top quality fantasy (I think I could say that these books were more interesting than many other fantasy books).
I can recommend A Cruel Wind to all Glen Cook fans and other fantasy readers. If you've never read any books by Glen Cook, this omnibus edition is a good starting point.