Here’s something different, a map of a fantasy series I haven’t actually read: The Dread Empire saga by Glen Cook. Cook is best known for his Black Company series and the more recent Instrumentalities of the Night sequence, but Dread Empire is his first work of epic fantasy.

Dread Empire

A map of the western world in The Dread Empire. Please click for a larger version.

The Dread Empire series consists of eight novels and a short story collection. The series is set mostly in the lands to the west the Dread Empire, for which Glen Cook uncharacteristically provided a map in the books. However, he later removed maps from the original books and did not provide maps for the later books, which focus on the Empire and the lands to the east.

The Dread Empire series consists of:

A Cruel Wind

  1. A Shadow of All Night Falling (1979)
  2. October’s Baby (1980)
  3. All Darkness Met (1980)

A Fortress in Shadow

  1. The Fire in His Hands (1984)
  2. With Mercy Toward None (1985)

Wrath of Kings

  1. Reap the East Wind (1987)
  2. An Ill Fate Marshalling (1988)
  3. A Path to Coldness of Heart (2012)

An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat (2008, short story collection.


Cook originally wrote the series as a “main series” (the first three books), a prequel duology (the next two) and then a sequel trilogy which would wrap things up. However, his only extant manuscript for the proposed third sequel book, The Wrath of Kings, was stolen after he completed it. Cook was so demoralised that he chose not to rewrite the book or work on a further three books he had planned for the series. It was almost a quarter of a century before he could finally bring himself to complete the series for good.

I plan to read the Dread Empire series next year, so will try to update the maps as I go.

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