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The Black Company

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  • weapon-zero
    Wanderer of the Mittel March
    • Dec 2003
    • 13

    The Black Company

    I don't know if this is relevant in this section, sinc I am the first post, but hay, someone's got to give it a shot.

    I would like to talk about Glen Cook's Black Company Chronicles.

    I am a long date fan of MM's work, and honestly have never found anything that hooked me in other fantasy novels (except maybe in that forgotten realms trilogy about Drizzt the dark elf, but it looked like a cheap recap of Elric...). But I finally I found what I was looking for.

    This novel is brilliant, plot wise, but the writing style might put some people off.
    It's about a company of mercenaries that get a new job, to work for a dark emperess called the Lady, and fight their way for her domination. It's hard to give it justice without revealing the twists in the plot, since this company is neither good nor evil, it just does its job and a lot happens to them.
    The story is written under the form of the company annals in first person, by Croaker, the company physician, and he relates all the situations the company faces during their battles and sieges.

    Swordfights, minor and major sorcery, and a lot of twists and turns in the political plot. One thing I loved is that fighting was not the best way to win a war. Malice, spying and treachery, that is the key. Great for all those who are tired of fantasy novels that take readers for an idiot (hum... tolkien... hum...), since war is depicted as the real thing, with deaths and pain...

    excellent novels (particularly the first trilogy) : 9/10

  • Jarrett Crader
    Moonbeam Traveller
    • Dec 2003
    • 2

    I've read a volume of the Chronicles some ten years ago. Good stuff, tho I never could find another one...


    • weapon-zero
      Wanderer of the Mittel March
      • Dec 2003
      • 13

      thats too bad, you can probably find them on amazon though...
      I just read the last book in the series and, well, as it was with elric, its always hard to leave characters after following them for several thousand pages...



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        I've always loved the humor in these books too.


        • hellbender
          Wizardry's my trade
          • Apr 2004
          • 66

          I have always been a fan of the Black Company series, even as it branched out more and more from the usual "comfortable territory"of the setting in the latter books. Cook is excellent at drawing you into a gritty world with his excellent characters. The world just works. Hard-bitten mercenaries that don't always win, whose main tactic in winning a fight is to avoid the fight entirely. The wizards are all varied and range from humorous (from the constant duels between One-Eye and Goblin) to the deathly serious (any of the Taken).

          There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.

          --Aldous Huxley