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Dreams of Steel

Dreams of Steel - Glen Cook “More evil gets done in the name of righteousness than any other way.”

Last book began with only seven surviving members of the Black Company trying to recreate it. This time this number was down to just one person - the rest were dead or otherwise incapacitated. This person happened to be Lady who used to be practically a demigod; anybody who can honestly say about himself/herself the following can undoubtedly qualify for demigod-ness: "I’m no believer in fate or gods, in the accepted senses, but there are powers that move the world. That I know well. Once I was one."

Practically everybody who managed to get to this point of the series figured out Rule #1 of Surviving in Black Company Universe: do not get Lady pissed off. She is very much so in the beginning of the book and is out for revenge. This is a woman whose motto is: “The man who counts on the aid of a god deserves the help he doesn't get.”

Even though she starts weaponless, magic-less, and weak as a kitten heads are about to roll. She used to be a name to instill fear into any living sentinel being; her husband made her look gentle and nice. At one point she used his trick to calm a potential rebellion with very much shocking, but thoroughly impressive results.

So we established that Lady is not a nice person by any definition of the word. We'd probably end up swamped with useless reports about harmless people, but... A few wouldn't be harmless. And those needed their teeth pulled. The genius of Glen Cook clearly shows up in the fact that you will end up rooting for Lady despite the fact that there are much nicer people around. Make no mistakes, I am talking about a person who can (with undisturbed conscience) order beheading of her enemies and putting their heads on spikes along a road to intimidate the survivors. Yes, she - and one other person of the series - is the best bad girl of fantasy, grimark or traditional.

We finally able to get in the head of this former demigod and see her development up close and personal; as such the book is quite grim and has practically no humor or Croaker's irony. Add to this even higher level of backstabbing and double-crossing: I mentioned that when it comes to these two skills, the southerners can teach even most wicked north people a trick or two; add a new bloodthirsty power player and you have 5 star rating.