This outing for the Black Company—either the eighth or the ninth, depending on how you count—completes the Glittering Stone trilogy (She is the Darkness, 1997; Bleak Seasons, 1996). Most of the usual crew return: Goblin, One-Eye, the female warrior Sleepy (she’s also the new annalist/narrator), the witch Ky Sahra, 14-year-old Tobo (son of former annalist Murgen), and the Company’s pilgrim/swordmaster allies, the Nyueng Bao. Murgen, Sahra’s husband, is now confined by supernatural means beneath the Glittering Plain, along with the Captain and others, but his spirit’s free to roam and spy for the Company. So, how can the Company free their companions from confinement while avoiding destruction by the various gods, goddesses, demons, wizards, etc., who are their adversaries? Tough, gritty gloom-and-doom that should entertain the fans while remaining impenetrable to outsiders.