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Thread: Black Company

  1. #1
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    Black Company

    Any Comments on the "Black Company" series by Glen Cook.

  2. #2
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    Here's a review I wrote of THE BLACK COMPANY. It appeared in my free book review newsletter WORD OF MOUTH BOOK REVIEWS http://www.oe-ages.com/ARTS/Writing/joerules/

    TITLE OF BOOK: Annals of The Black Company (three book series put out by Science Fiction Book Club, I think--the individual book titles are: The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose)

    AUTHOR: Glen Cook

    PAGES/PUBLISHER/COPYRIGHT DATE: 759/TOR Books/1984

    GENRE: Fantasy

    WHAT IS STORY ABOUT (PLOT): Croaker, the descriptively named physican of a mercenary troop, tells the story of his comrades' struggles against a bunch of fiendishly evil sorcerors called The Ten Who Were Taken. Woven in with this struggle are prophecies of a world destroyer and world savior coming into existence.

    WHAT I FOUND COMPELLING ABOUT IT(CHARACTERS, IDEAS, WRITING STYLE, ETC.): This is a very character-driven story, with original and vivid characters like: One-Eye, Silent, Goblin, Curly (a bald guy, of course), Limper, Howler. And then there's Raven. Tall, dark, handsome, mysterious and brooding Raven. Well, so what if he happened to have murdered his wife? She was evil. And he's still quite intriguing.

    The characters were more than enough to keep me interested in the story, but the wide sweep of events was also great. There's nothing small about the wars spanning this tortured and original land. The evil sorcerors were described with such originality and detail that they were a constant source of menace and dread to me throughout the whole book. There was a definite build-up of stakes and emotion until the final, cataclysmic struggle--which doesn't disappoint by any stretch of the imagination.

    HOW IT MADE ME FEEL: I chose to review this for Halloween because it's a scary read, not easy or light. The bad guys drip with evil, and the good guys have their share of faults as well. This isn't a skippy, happy story, and though it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat, I didn't find it as hauntingly dark as, say, some of Stephen King's
    earlier books. The characters were *very* original, and there were definite touches of humor and bumbling inefficiency throughout it.

    CAUTIONS (HARD TO GET INTO, DIFFICULT WORDS, HARD DIALOGUE, ETC.): It took me a couple of false starts before I could get into this book. It's written in, what was for me, a very short, clipped, first person style. Glen Cook is not what you would call a flowery writer. His descriptions are short and to the point. It turned out to be an excellent, excellent device for the telling of this dark story, but it threw me off guard at first.

    OVERALL RATING: 1

    ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD (PURCHASING INFO, FIRST PARAGRAPH, FIRST PAGE, BACK COVER BLURB, WHATEVER ELSE!): I've seen The Black Company in bookstores still, even though it was written back in the 80's.

    Copyright (c) 1999 by Xina Marie Uhl

    *********************************************
    RATING KEY:

    3 -- The most awesome thing since sliced bread. I love and adore this book and would consider having babies with the writer, or at least trying (if possible).
    2 -- Excellent, excellent, excellent!!
    1 -- Great story. Definitely a keeper.
    0 -- Ok. Not particularly memorable.
    -1 -- Didn't ring my bell.
    -2 -- What the hell is this?
    -3 -- Mind-numbingly terrible.

    *********************************************

  3. #3

    The Black Company

    I just finished the first book. I liked it.. it's written in a modern way, it's easy to read, it's short and I like the first person narrative. Though I thought that there'd be lots of characters narrating, so you'd get more than one perspective and it would help you understand them better.

    Has anyone read any of the sequels. ARe there only two more? What did you think of them?

  4. #4
    A servant of Lord Arioch FitzChivalry's Avatar
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    There are about 8 more books after the first trilogy.
    And it still just as good as the first three books in my opinion.

    What i like about the black company is that finally someone writes from the point of view not of the prince, the wizard or the mighty warrior who saves the world, but from that of the normal foot soldiers who get their ass kicked in wars while the big wizards fight to save the world.

  5. #5
    Cadfael
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    Never heard of these... could I have some details... please?

  6. #6
    A servant of Lord Arioch FitzChivalry's Avatar
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    Well, it's by Glen Cook, it's about a company of mercenaries and their battles.
    Pretty gritty and harsh, the black company fight for whoever pays them and try to stay alive.
    The story is told through the eyes of Croaker the physician and annals writer of the company.
    The books are:
    first black company trilogy - The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose

    The Silver Spike

    Book of the South - Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel

    The Glittering Stone Tetralogy - Bleak Seasons, She Is The Darkness, Water Sleeps, Soldiers Live.


  7. #7
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I have seen great things about The Black Company as well. The Science Fiction Book Club here in the U.S. has a couple omnibus editions of the first 2 series.

  8. #8
    Challenge Assumptions Pluvious's Avatar
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    I have to admit the cover and title of the book "She is the Darkness" definately interested me. However, I could not get into the series.

  9. #9
    I've just ordered the First 3:

    1. The Black Company
    2. Shawdows Linger
    3. The White Rose

    I hope I've got it in the right order. I've also ordered 'Legends 2', because its got George Martins short story 'The Hedge Knight', which is set about 100 years before ASOIAF. I hope they are all good.

  10. #10
    King of the Lurkers. Moderator Keyoke's Avatar
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    Dont know how I missed this post, but..

    I've read all the Black Company books exlcuding the two newest ones (Water Sleeps, and Soldier's Die)..

    Here is my two cents on what I think of the series. I love it...but... A break down..=)

    The First three books (Black COmpany, Shadows Linger, and White Rose) are by far the best..Then, their are two books of the South.. I found these to be the weakests of the series.. Still good..but, weaker.. Silver Spike, which, is supposely by itself is actually to me, part of the first three books, and a amazing novel to boot... Order this one! FIND IT! You'll be glad you did.

    Then comes the Glittering Stone set.. The first book is ok, it recaps the second book of the South a lot, but, understandable considernig how much time has passed (Publication wise)..

    She is the Darkness, I found good... And I think the next two will be even better! =)


  11. #11
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    The Black Company

    I just finished this book, and absolutely loved it. Everything about from characters to writing style.

    I've read some mixed reviews other places about the rest of the books. So, since I got the recommendation in the first place from you guys, figured I'd ask you if the rest are as good if not better? Or do they slow down/not quite so good?

  12. #12
    King of the Lurkers. Moderator Keyoke's Avatar
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    Ahh, the Black Company, one of my favorite books, if not, favorite series.. Here is a quick run down on the books.. =)

    Shadows Linger (Excellent)
    The White Rose (Excellent)
    The Silver Spike (Excellent)
    Shadow Games (Very Good)
    Dreams of Steel (Alright)
    Bleak Seasons (Good)
    She is the Darkness (Good)
    Water Sleeps (Unread)
    Soldiers Live.(Unread)

    Saving the last two for vacation. =) Also, if you liked The Black Company, you'd will also like Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson..=)

    Keyoke

  13. #13
    King of the Lurkers. Moderator Keyoke's Avatar
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    Oops. She is the Darkness was Excellent..

    Dont know why I put Good down.. Over all, I loved the series, the first 3 books are amazing, and Silver Spike while not entirely part of the series is a MUST read.. Amazing..

    It was the Two books of the South, Dreams of Steel, and Bleak Seasons I thought were alright.. Though, when you move deeper into the series (She is the Darkness), you realize how important those books were. Despite what people say, I loved it, and I've always thought it was a amazing series. Read it! You'll regret it if you dont..

    Keyoke

  14. #14
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I read the first three and enjoyed them, for the most part. My opinion, they didn't live up to the high praise that many people gave them, but still good books.

    [This message has been edited by FitzFlagg (edited July 24, 2001).]

  15. #15
    The Black Company (Excellent)
    Shadows Linger (Very Good)
    The White Rose (Excellent)
    The Silver Spike (Good)
    Shadow Games (Excellent)
    Dreams of Steel (Good)
    Bleak Seasons (A Bit Boring)
    She is the Darkness (Excellent)
    Water Sleeps (o.K)
    Soldiers Live.(The Best in the series)

    As Keyoke said above, you'll definitely want to read Steven Erikson's Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates, which is excellent. Much better than the Black Company series.

    [This message has been edited by azaz (edited July 25, 2001).]

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