Glen Cook – Water Sleeps

Water Sleeps (1999) is the ninth novel about the Black Company by Glen Cook and the third book of Glittering Stone. Water Sleeps is more of a standalone novel than the previous ones although its still part of a greater picture. With almost 400 pages we have again a bigger novel than we were used to as the first seven novels were just over 200 pages. Whereas the eight book, She Is The Darkness, kept the same fast pace for most of the book as we are used to by Cook, the pacing of Water Sleeps is slower. This is mainly caused by the simple fact that Cook is using more words and detail for the story. The pacing is in a way actually the same but now he finally has time not to rush it. With a new narrator this also makes it easier to give the book a different atmosphere than the previous novels.

Much more than The White Rose this is a book about resistance. The location doesn’t shift as much as before and some of the main players are different. The story starts several years after the events of She Is The Darkness in which quite some changes have occurred. Still, the character that is the Black Company remains, although we see a less soldier-like surrounding. This does prevent the setting to become too repetitive and it keeps Cook also fresh in his writing. As usual some minor characters have become main characters while major ones have become minor. The stories of Black Company are a continuously shifting canvas. Nothing stays the same. Everything changes.

Water Sleeps is a book of expectations and a certain tension. Cook doesn’t provide the many twists as we are used to but overall Water Sleeps has a strong and very steady plot which provides some insights that have been kept hidden. One could say the title fits the essence of the book. It moves, it stirs and has a great power. Highly recommended.

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