The Black Company

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The Black Company
The Black Company.jpg
Cover of first novel in series, The Black Company

AuthorGlen Cook
CountryUnited States
GenreEpic fantasy
Dark fantasy
Hard fantasy
  • May 1984
  • October 1984
  • April 1985
  • June 1989
  • April 1990
  • April 1996
  • September 1997
  • March 1999
  • July 2000
  • September 2018
Media typePrint (hardback and paperback)

The Black Company is a series of dark fantasy books written by American author Glen Cook. The series combines elements of epic fantasy and dark fantasy as it follows an elite mercenary unit, The Black Company, through roughly forty years of its approximately four-hundred-year history.

Green Ronin Publishing published The Black Company role-playing game in 2004.


Main chronology[edit]

The Books of the North[edit]

  1. The Black Company: May 1984
  2. Port of Shadows: September 2018
  3. Shadows Linger: October 1984
  4. The White Rose: April 1985

The Books of the South [edit]

  1. Shadow Games: June 1989
  2. Dreams of Steel: April 1990

The Books of Glittering Stone[edit]

  1. Bleak Seasons: April 1996
  2. She Is the Darkness: September 1997
  3. Water Sleeps: March 1999
  4. Soldiers Live: July 2000

Forthcoming novels[edit]

  • A Pitiless Rain, the conclusion of the series, release date undetermined[1]


  1. The Silver Spike: September 1989 (set after The Books of the North, featuring characters who did not head south)

Omnibus editions[edit]

Science Fiction Book Club hardcover omnibus editions[edit]

  1. Annals of the Black Company (collects The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose)
  2. The Black Company Goes South (collects The Silver Spike, Shadow Games, and Dreams of Steel)
  3. The Black Company: Glittering Stone I (collects Bleak Seasons and She Is the Darkness)
  4. The Black Company: Glittering Stone II (collects Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live)

Tor Fiction softcover omnibus editions[edit]

  1. The Chronicles of The Black Company (collects The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose) (November 2007)
  2. The Books of the South (collects Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and The Silver Spike) (June 2008)
  3. The Return of The Black Company (collects Bleak Seasons, and She Is The Darkness) (September 2009)
  4. The Many Deaths of The Black Company (collects Water Sleeps, and Soldiers Live) (January 2010)

Short stories[edit]

  1. "Raker"—appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (August 1982). This was a pre-publication excerpt of chapter three from The Black Company, with slight editing differences to make it stand alone as a short story.
  2. "Tides Elba"—appeared in Swords & Dark Magic, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders, published by Eos (2010)
  3. "Smelling Danger: A Black Company Story"—appeared in the Subterranean Press anthology Tales of Dark Fantasy 2, edited by William Schafer (2011).
  4. "Shaggy Dog Bridge"—appeared in Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, edited by Jonathan Strahan, published by Solaris (2013)
  5. "Bone Candy"—appeared in Shattered Shields, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, published by Baen (2014)
  6. "Bone Eaters"—appeared in Operation Arcana, edited by John Joseph Adams, published by Baen (2015)
  7. "Chasing Midnight"—appeared in The Best of Glen Cook, published by Night Shade (2019)
  8. "Cranky Bitch"—appeared in Songs of Valor, published by New Mythology Press (2021)

"Tides Elba", "Smelling Danger", and "Bone Candy" were collected and reworked into Port of Shadows.[2]

"Shaggy Dog Bridge" and "Bone Eaters" were republished in The Best of Glen Cook, where "Chasing Midnight" first appeared.

Plot summary[edit]

The series follows an elite mercenary unit, The Black Company, last of the Free Companies of Khatovar, through roughly forty years of its approximately four-hundred-year history. Cook mixes fantasy with military fiction in gritty, down-to-earth portrayals of the Company's chief personalities and its struggles.

The main chronology spans nine novels, which can be grouped into three sections: The Books of the North recount the Company's dealings with the Empire of Lady; The Books of the South follow the Company on its journey back to its beginnings in Khatovar; Glittering Stone sees the Company achieve victory over its employer's enemies, and move on to its destiny.

Additionally, there is one spin-off novel, The Silver Spike, which follows events concerning former members of the Company and one of its adversaries.

In other media[edit]

In 2017, it was reported that a television show based on the Black Company was under development, with David S. Goyer as executive producer. Eliza Dushku was to produce and play The Lady, with episodes airing on The CW and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television.[3] As of 2021, there have not been further updates on the television show's progress.


  1. ^ Mead, Donald (January 17, 2005). "Interview: Glen Cook". Strange Horizons. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Cook, Glen (2018). "Copyright Acknowledgements". Port of Shadows (First hardcover ed.). New York: Tor Books. p. 5. ISBN 9781250174574.
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (April 24, 2017). "Eliza Dushku to Star in 'The Black Company' Series Adaptation in Works by IM Global & David Goyer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 30, 2017.

External links[edit]