Man it seems like Ive been reading Glen Cook forever. After reading the first two omnibus of the Black Company which in total collected 6 books and now I just finished This collection of his earlier work based on his Dread Empire series. This book collects the first three books in the series that he wrote, and a second one collects two books he wrote later but are prequels to these books. While I enjoyed reading this collection, the series doesn't hold a candle to his Black Company novels. The story revolves around a small cast of characters spread out in a very confusing world, with the story jumping back and forth when needed. He also likes to jump time periods and if you're not paying attention, its very easy to forget when the events you are reading are taking place against the parts of the story already told. One thing Glen Cook shines at is his characterization. You would be hard pressed to find similar characters in any other fantasy novel. He does a fantastic job keeping the reader on his toes and doesn't label his characters into defined roles of hero and villain. Each character in the series could easily fall into either role and often do based on the view point given at the certain time. That alone is what makes me a fan of Glen Cook. He brings a sense of realism into the fantasy genre. No more Princes, or Champions or evil Sorcerers, just people, some extraordinary put into intense situations. I would gladly recommend this series to anyone who is a true fantasy fan. I doubt any one who's not would enjoy it very much.