Embedded in the trunk of the scion of the godtree, it contains the essence of the maddest of the Ten Who Were Taken…The Dominator. Defeated by the Lady and cast from this world, all that was left of him was a foul trace of lingering evil. But the graveyard that was once the Barrowland contains more secrets than dead. All who would possess the power of the Dominator are drawn to the spike. A foolhardy band of thieves is the first to reach it, and a rapacious and malign spirit is unleashed on an unwary world. The forces gather, sides are drawn, and mortal men can only die as the Dark Lords battle for domination (goodreads.com).
The Silver Spike follows Darling, Raven, Case, and Silent, and what happens to them after the battle at the Barrowlands. You also get to follow Toadkiller Dog as well as the Wicker Man (identity unknown at the beginning). Other than being able to find out what happened to Darling, Raven, and Silent, the book wasn’t that good.
This is probably the worst of all the Black Company novels I have read so far. I really didn’t enjoy this one much. I found the plot to be pretty boring. It parallels the main plot and answers some of the “what happend to…?” questions you might have. The focus of the book is pretty simple: someone is out to steal the silver spike and sell it to the highest bidder. Obviously, everyone gathers to stop anything evil from getting their hands on the spike and a big battle breaks out at the end.
There are no surprises or intrigue that really kept me reading, and it is way more predictable than any of the other books. I just did by best and pushed through it. It feel like I could have skipped quite a few pages and not have missed anything.
There are new characters introduced in the book. I like some of them including Fish (who becomes creepy) and Smeds. They are pretty well developed, and Smeds undergoes some major changes throughout the story. Although I like these characters, there seem to be other characters that are underdeveloped and almost non-existent including Raven’s children and Exile (who could be an interesting character).
I really like hearing about Raven from Case’s perspective. He seems to have become an entirely new person. Raven talks a lot more than in the other books and you get to know more about his feelings towards Darling and his children. He becomes more human when reading about him from Case’s perspective.
After reading this I am hoping that some of the characters actually stay dead. If you have read any of the other books you will understand.
The book is mainly written in the point-of-view of Case, who was a companion to Raven when he was in hiding in of of the other books. You don’t get to know him too well until this book. I would rather read the point-of-view of Croaker or Lady, though Case wasn’t too bad. Some people complain because of the writing, but if you read carefully you find out that Case just learned how to read and write, so it makes sense that some of the grammar isn’t right.
I do recommend reading this novel before Shadow Games. It was the last of the books in the omnibus edition, but should have been the first. It deters from the main story line and after reading the ending in Dreams of Steel this book isn’t what you wan’t to read.
Although I did not enjoy it much, I recommend reading it anyway if you have read the others just because it ties up some loose ends. But definitely read it before Shadow Games! You may enjoy it more than I did if you read this one first.
My rating: 3/5 stars!
Recommended Edition: Buy the omnibus version of the book, which includes all three in the trilogy. It’s a great copy!
Wiki site for the book
A little information about Glen Cook and some of his books
My other reviews in this series:
Review: The Black Company (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #1) (nknh.wordpress.com)
*photo provided by wikipedia.org