As Soldiers Live opens, no Black Company member has died in battle for four years. Croaker figures it can't last. He's right.
For, of course, many of the Company's old adversaries are still around. Narayan Singh and his adopted daughter — actually the offspring of Croaker and Lady — hope to bring about the apocalyptic Year of the Skulls. Other old enemies like Longshadow and Howler are also ready to do the Company harm. And much of the Company is still recovering from the fifteen years many of them spent in a stasis field.
Then a report arrives of an old enemy newly active again. It attacks them at a shadowgate — setting off a chain of events that will bring the Company to the edge of apocalypse and, as usual, several steps beyond.