The Black Company Kindle ☆ The Black PDF or

The Black Company Kindle ☆ The Black PDF or


The Black Company ☂ The Black Company PDF / Epub ✐ Author Glen Cook – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil Some feel she is evil itself The hard bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil Some feel she is evil itself The hard bitten men of The Black Company take their pay and do what The Black PDF or they must, burying their doubts with their dead Until the prophesy The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once There must be a way for The Black Company to find her So begins one of the greatest fantasy epics of our age Glen Cook s Chronicles of The Black Company Librarian note an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 319 pages
  • The Black Company
  • Glen Cook
  • English
  • 22 May 2019

About the Author: Glen Cook

Glen Cook was born in New York City, lived in southern Indiana as a small child, then grew up in Northern California After high school he served in the US Navy and attended the University The Black PDF or of Missouri He worked for General Motors for years, retiring some years ago He started writing short stories in th grade, had several published in a high school literary magazine He began writing with malicious intent to publish in , eventually producing books and a number of short fiction pieces He met his wife of years while attending the Clarion Writer s Workshop in He has three sons army officer, architect, orchestral musician and numerous grandchildren, all of whom but one are female He is best known for his Black Company series, which has appeared in languages worldwide His other series include Dread Empire and and the Garrett, PI series His latest work is Working God s Mischief, fourth in the Instrumentalities of the Night series.



10 thoughts on “The Black Company

  1. Lady Luna. ✨ Lady Luna. ✨ says:

    DNF 48%THIS BOOK WAS NOT MY CUP OF TEAThis book is utter pus a quote by Lady Luna hater of all things shit. I m actually really sad about this DNF, I wanted to love this book and before I even read it, I knew it was going to be a four or five star read because of the reviews on it that blurb sounds goddamn amazing I, However, can safely say I was wrong and that I absolutely loathed reading this I m sorry I truly tried, however I just didn t care about anything the writi DNF 48%THIS BOOK WAS NOT MY CUP OF TEAThis book is utter pus a quote by Lady Luna hater of all things shit. I m actually really sad about this DNF, I wanted to love this book and before I even read it, I knew it was going to be a four or five star read because of the reviews on it that blurb sounds goddamn amazing I, However, can safely say I was wrong and that I absolutely loathed reading this I m sorry I truly tried, however I just didn t care about anything the writing shudders I tried forcing myself to love this, however my rating on the book kept getting lower lower until it reach a no star rating, that s when I threw in the towel I RARELY DNF books it saddens me to do it But I m not even sorry this one got the can This book truly deserved it I know I m in the minority here however this book is so hugely overrated in my opinion I heard this was thebest grimdark ever createdwell for me it s probably the worst, yeah I get it was written in the 80 s however that s no excuse Classics are classics for a reason and this book does not deserve the hype it gets I ve read gory disgusting messes of books before that have you gritting your teeth, I didn t get that once with this book I understand I didn t read the whole thing but I just couldn t force myself to continue There was nothing happening that made me want to readI honestly was either breaking ribs from laughter at the amount of bullshit I was reading or I was rolling my eyes I seriously got an eye cramp for the amount of times I rolled them I honestly feel this book is unworthy for a full review so I m going to justify my opinion with a dot point presentation on why I hated it so much leers at book with venomous contempt As you might expect in a company of villains held together by its now and its us against the world gone beforesOkay well, where was the villainary at All I read about was a bunch of grown men giggling and finding corpses that weren t even described A lot of the action scenes were done in the background Stop telling us show us instead Actually don t bother. I don t care Bassard All bassard Something struck him funny He giggledI HATED all the giggling Tough grown men do not giggle like school girls I HATE THIS what the heck is a Bassard I put the word into Google computer says no anger rising I was bored I was confused I have the attention span of a goldfish this book was like having to do homework It sucked Like There s no descriptions of things so I didn t have a clue what the fuck the limper or soulcatcher was Oh and did I mention, I don t care either, because grown freaking MEN WHO ARE MURDERS, WERE GIGGLING There was 0 world building I didn t know what anyone or anything looked like I didn t really care anyway. There s 0 back story so the whole book was a confusing mess There was 0 compelling characters 0 feels were involved I m someone who is very extremely particular about POV s I hate first person story telling And this book was the strangest first person POV I ve ever read i can t even describe it literally took all the enjoyment out of reading this book This would have to be the most disjointed, sloppy, lazy, hard to follow writing I ve ever come across I can normally look past bad writing, however this book held 0 interest for me So it felt like a chore to try to read it and believe me when I say you need to concentrate really hard on the writing while reading, it zapped all my precious energy Example of why I didn t like the writingZig when they expect you to zagWhat even is that sentenceRed eyes Four legs Dark as the night Black leopard It moved as fluidly as water running downhill It padded down the stair into the courtyard, vanished.The monkey in my backbrain wanted to scamper up a tail tree, screeching, to hurl excrement and rotted fruit I fled toward the nearest door, took a protected route to the Captain s quarters, let myself in without knockingcough what the actual fuck Like why is the author talking about monkeys flinging poo You call this grimdark My nannas undies are darker after she farts I feel this book just tried way to hard to be different, I get the author was trying to break stereotypes, HOWEVER it felt forced But it was the writing that honestly just put me off it was SO hard to digest, I have heartburn nowCrap You kill them same as you kill anything else Only you move faster and hit harder cause you only get one shotThis to me is a promise of badassery, however Glen Cook broke his promise and delivered none in the entire first half Also a lot of nothing happened. Seriously nothing happen. except a bunch of grown men playing cards, giggling, chasing wereleopards imagining what the Lady looks like. Did I mention grown men were giggling CAUTION MINOR SPOILERS BELOW A child is raped and tortured but it had 0 relevance to the plot Like it was just there to make the book darker and add shock value, however all it achieved was pissing me off It made me want to rape this book with a knife anger fully risen side note an Internet troll informed me that this information is false the rape plays a bigger role later on But just remember, I couldn t careless NOW IM RAGING This book made me so angry, I am ready to fight someone flips table I m sorry, I really tried on this one but I can safely say this would probably be the worst book I ve ever tried to read in my whole entire existence I do not like this author wont be trying any of his books in the future So to all my Goodreads buddies that love this book, I m sorry you had to read this nasty review Truly I am Here s a cupcake to cheer you up Please be mindful that this is only an OPINION on a BOOK believe it or not I m not looking to change anyone s opinion on this novel or stop them from reading it Plus my opinion can t be trusted on this one, BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE LOVES IT I obviously just got a dud.Now have a lovely day. Yours sincerely your local Goodreads axe wielding psychopath preview Literally the biggest buddy read I ve ever done, like we are no longer a group, we are now an army of savages wanting grimdark goodness Sir Twerks, My stinky princess, Oriental, Jody, Alex, Craig, Emilia, Terry Michael.Will the force be with this one It even has Darth Vader on the cover.Ps I m keeping the wine cooler

  2. ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) says:

    Buddy reread with the clueless new mercenary recruits over at BB B Under the wicked supervision of our Ever Stalking Black Company Overlord ESBCO , of course And the moral of this reread is There is that, yes Also, my boyfriend Croaker and my girlfriend Lady have been safely stashed away in my High Security Harem for a few decades years now and I think it s high time I discreetly kidnapped some of their fellow mercenaries to keep them company They have me to keep them, um, entertai Buddy reread with the clueless new mercenary recruits over at BBB Under the wicked supervision of our Ever Stalking Black Company Overlord ESBCO , of course And the moral of this reread is There is that, yes Also, my boyfriend Croaker and my girlfriend Lady have been safely stashed away in my High Security Harem for a few decades years now and I think it s high time I discreetly kidnapped some of their fellow mercenaries to keep them company They have me to keep them, um, entertained, of course, but what with my other 24,548 harem spouses I can t keep everyone, um, you know, satisfied 24 7 and stuff I have therefore decided to abduct One Eye and Goblin I m pretty sure they will provide Croaker and Lady with hours and hours of most delightful, lively entertainment Official Court Harem Jesters OCHJ I hereby name them and stuff That s not exactly what I had in mind, but hey, I guess it would work, too Sure it would I bet Lady is going to love the unicorn costume, too.And now excuse me while I go, um, entertain, Mad Rogan and Sandman Slim and His Furriness and Daniel Faust and Ms Caitlleanabruaudi and Caleb Shepperd and Ace Dante and and andneed I go on Didn t think so Original review Actual rating 15 stars And I m not even exaggerating Warning this book is not for the fluffy bunnies, pastel colored rainbows, romance freaks If you belong to that scary lovely bunch of people, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, read this book It might scar you for life It might even haunt you after death.There are books with bad guys Then there is this book Never before have I encountered such a glorious collection of twisted, evil, morally corrupt, vile, dishonorable, despicable, contemptible, shady characters The guys are immoral, the chicks are villainous, the weird creatures are blood thirsty And all of them are homicidal maniacs This Book A dream come true Meet the bad guys The Black Company.They re mercenaries They will do anything for money Morals Completely irrelevant Ethics Oh please, don t be silly We re talking about war here And crushing the enemy, whatever the cost Whatever the reasons Whatever everything Just follow the orders humor less and cut, cut, cut, slice, slice, slice, hit, hit, hit, kill, kill, kill Some people sell cute puppies for a living, other get murderous for money Just a job like any other view spoiler given the choice, guess which of the two jobs I d choose insert homicidal maniac smile herehide spoiler Meet the bad guys the bad guys work for The Lady and The Ten That Were Taken.There are villains And then there are VILLAINS Believe me when I tell you you have never come across such a bunch of deliciously wicked, evil characters Bloodthirsty minimum job requirement 1 Nefarious a personal favourite, obviously Vicious yay Merciless minimum job requirement 2 Perverted hooray Cunning minimum job requirement 3 Treacherous the amount of backstabbing, double crossing and deceitful scheming going on in this book is mind staggering And positively exquisite Ruthless minimum job requirement 4 Just plain despicable YES YES YES YES YES Meet the bad guys the bad guys that work for the bad guys are up against The Rebels.These guys here are not the good hearted rebel type They re just as heartless, devious, homicidal and unscrupulous as any other character in this story Yeah, Cook is an equal opportunity kind of guy Everyone gets to be evil in his book It s absolutely delightful And so very refreshing insert happy sigh here Dear silly people who thought I would DNF the hell out of this book in less time that it takes to blink this is one of the best, most engrossing books I have read in recent years Take that ye of little faith This book is epic This book is awesome This book is so gripping compelling thrilling that once you start you just can t put it down And it s bloody well written Okay, so Cook s style takes some getting used to Okay, so the first chapter kind of makes the reader think he she is a total idiot And not bright enough to be reading the book And might be in need of a brain transplant Because, frankly, nothing makes sense at first But worry not dear friends, for it all becomes clear as day once you get past chapter 1 What What seems to be the problem dear friends I just scared you away from this book You think you re not clever enough to read it Of course you are Come on people, time to have a little self confidence If I, the everytime I try to read epic fantasy I DNF the book after 20 pages freak did it, you can, too Still not convinced about this What if I told you flying carpets were involved guaranteed 100% Aladdin and Jasmine free How can you resist something like that Well let me tell you, you can t And the moral of this review is read this people, you ll be glad you did you better be anyway I might unleash The Lady and The Taken on you if you aren t Be afraid Be very afraid. Book 1.5 Port of Shadows I have no idea where this book came from, or what it s about Pretty sure I never read it. Book 2 Shadows Linger Book 2.2 short story Shaggy Dog Bridge Book 2.3 short story Bone Eaters Book 3 The White Rose Book 3.5 The Silver Spike pretending this one never happened. Book 4 Shadow Games Book 5 Dreams of Steel Book 6 Bleak Seasons Book 7 She Is The Darkness Book 8 Water Sleeps Book 9 Soldiers Live

  3. mark monday mark monday says:

    i thought this book was great a strange kind of modern classic, one that influenced many other fantasy efforts by ushering in the genuine darkness, grittiness, and lack of wonder of the military novel the writing is direct, unadorned, choppy a soldier s perspective, i suppose the novel jumps right in the middle of the action and makes no attempt to help readers out, assuming that they will eventually catch up experiencing the lack of poetry and of justice, the anonymity of most of the sold i thought this book was great a strange kind of modern classic, one that influenced many other fantasy efforts by ushering in the genuine darkness, grittiness, and lack of wonder of the military novel the writing is direct, unadorned, choppy a soldier s perspective, i suppose the novel jumps right in the middle of the action and makes no attempt to help readers out, assuming that they will eventually catch up experiencing the lack of poetry and of justice, the anonymity of most of the soldiers, and the dearth of noble sentiment indeed, very little sentiment of any kind whatsoever was like splashing into icy cold water it is startling, at first but you get numbed to it.the beginning was definitely abrupt but i got into the swing of things pretty quickly the novel is an onion that gets increasingly rotten as you peel away every layer but still isn t a completely bad onion you can still use parts of it in a salad don t toss that onion away, it s not all bad in particular, i loved the literalized levels of moral ambiguity and evil view spoiler the perspective of an often ethically apathetic but at times heroic doctor and Company historian Croakerwho lives and works for a dark, deadly, downright evilbut not always totally evil, murderous, macho mercenary outfit The Black Companythat is hired by a frightening, elegantly evil but at times rather sympathetic and even gracious boss Soulcatcherwho is part of an ersatz Legion of Doom, filled with flamboyantly evil sorts who are effectively deadly but also often drolly incompetent and are sometimesnot so completely evilall of whom have their own stylish Swingin Villain Look The Ten Who Were Takenthey all work for a pretty darn evil, vicious, torturing, sister slayin , former but still ambitious tyrant of the land and, well,sometimes not so evil big boss The Ladywho is locked in a secret combat over the fate of the world with The Worst of the Worst, a Completely 100% Evil Big Bad Guy, her husband and former co tyrant The Dominatorwho secretly commands his own mind controlled Justice League, heroes who are as morally ambiguous as any modern day guerilla group The Circlewho in turn lead a resolute force of men, fighting against imperial evil, those brave souls known as The Rebeleasily sacrificed patsies who are apparently the actual good guys of the novel we are not privy to their perspective hide spoiler cause baby, we re with the bad guys this time the reader s stand in, Croaker, is not all bad he does some pretty good things he usually won t lift a finger for anyone outside of the Black Company but, at times, he is a genuinely good guy The Black Company itself sounds like a militaristic Evil Pixar it takes pride in its reputation for excellence and usually delivers, above and beyond it treats its people right it cares for them it tries to remember their names it doesn t like wasting time and effort in senseless battle it prefers to run rather than toss away the lives of its men it tries to give them rest and recreation it promotes comraderie and respect and positive, friendly relationships The Black Company actively tries to never fuck its men over and, rather sweetly, it does not think highly of child abuse and torture that s a good company to work for however, The Black Company also kills sleeping guardsmen in their beds it burns down whole villages it caresabout a paycheck than about working for mass murdering villains its younger men rape women while its older men shrug their shoulders indulgently, an older brother chuckling at the shenanigans of a younger brother for chrissakes, it marches screaming prisoners of war in the middle of a town square and then proceeds to nonchalantly slaughter them, simply because they are in a hurry to get the hell out of dodge Croaker notices these things, justifies or tries to explain away some of them, but mainly chooses not to dwell on it as he says he was not raised to speak ill of his family and so his narration focuses on the The Black Company s current place on the map as he helps out the wounded, tries to figure out mysteries, and writes about those colleagues with whom he is particularly close often he spends a lot of time mooning on and on and over the two most intriguing and glamorous women that he actually only sorta knows Soulcatcher and The Lady just as often, he contemplates the history and the future of his outfit he is a Company Man, through and through The Black Company is bad Croaker knows it and the reader is shown it during several key sequences but it is, as they say,not all bad .the novel features a Secret Hero Raven he saves a little girl s life and protects her throughout the tale he also has a habit of enacting blind vengeance, enjoys extreme knife play, and early on, he graphically and nonchalantly strangles his backstabbing wife at a garden party, in front of his new buddies The Black Company he is not bad looking and apparently smells like a corpse that s our mysterious Secret Hero, folks, enjoy him i understand that Glen Cook used his experiences in Vietnam to inform his novel after learning that fact the parallel becomes obvious but to me at least, it is not simply a parallel for Vietnam it is a very grown up and realistic analogy for many wars, for the nature of war itself even the Good Guys can be Bad Guys and even the Bad Guys have their reasons what villain truly thinks that they are motivated by Complete Evil anyway almost anything can be rationalized.the novel contains precious little of pure good so little that i clung to those rare good deeds, parceled out by the author so sparingly what the novel has in spades is shades of grey no true heroes and very few completely villainous villains and yet not a despairing novel i felt strangely refreshed after reading it review for the The Black Company trilogy

  4. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    Glen Cook is often called the father of grimdark fantasy This is his most famous series which most definitely helped grimdark to become the dominant sub genre of the modern fantasy A long time ago even way before J.R.R Tolkien created his classic trilogy most of the fantasy or what would later be called such belonged to so called heroic fantasy There was a person, or a group of people who had to perform heroic deeds to save the world most of the time Lord of the Rings firmly falls into th Glen Cook is often called the father of grimdark fantasy This is his most famous series which most definitely helped grimdark to become the dominant sub genre of the modern fantasy A long time ago even way before J.R.R Tolkien created his classic trilogy most of the fantasy or what would later be called such belonged to so called heroic fantasy There was a person, or a group of people who had to perform heroic deeds to save the world most of the time Lord of the Rings firmly falls into this category Conan the Barbarian performed his heroics for personal gains Elric by Michael Moorcock while not being a nice person still saved the world from evil several times Welcome to the world of The Black Company There is no single person in the entire series who could be called nice by any stretch of the word s definition You will find plenty of shades of gray though Their world is dark and violent with almost constant struggle between plain evil and outright evil which would make the Biblical Satan look like an amateur The Company is a band of mercenaries with its people just doing their jobs of fighting and dying caught in the power struggle of demigods at the end of the day even demigods need an army to finalize their conquests compare it with modern military actions no matter how many airstrikes you do with even the most modern bombs available only the ground troops ensure the area in question is secured The heroes of the series are low level grunts of the mercenary band None of them are nice people, but they do have their own honor code and they try to support the lesser of the evils when they have a choice The characters of the company are excellent and memorable they grow on you and you find yourself rooting for them after a while Speaking of the characters I cannot help mentioning One Eye and Goblin These two are the best frenemies of fantasy in particular and any literature in general They are minor wizards whose purpose in life is to outdo each other by using any means necessary and as a result they never fail to bring amusing moments I am convinced Glen Cook is practically unsurpassed when it comes to the amount of backstabbing and double crossing in the literature This makes up for an exciting and unpredictable plot twists The book and most of the series is written as the company s annals by its annalist and surgeon aptly named Croaker For this reason it takes some time to get used to writing style with quite a few people abandoning the series because of this When you think about it, Croaker really does not have much time for writing fancy literature unlike real life Patrick Rothfuss or George R.R Martin he cannot afford taking his time to write being in the middle of military action Glen Cook is a Vietnam War vet and as such when he writes about a war he really knows about it He never glorifies one in fact the main idea of the series is that there is no glory in any war, no matter which side you fight on He is also great when it comes to describing military camaraderie Croaker often refers to people of the company as family So the writing sometimes is choppy and quite minimalist when it comes to the descriptions If you managed to get past it, you will be rewarded with very good characters and exciting plot All of the book of the series are hard to put down after the initial confusion and this one is not an exception To be completely honest I need to mention I am a big fan of the series, so please take my rating with a grain of salt It might be half a star lower

  5. Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more says:

    Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI went into the reading of THE BLACK COMPANY by Glen Cook nearly blind I knew a lot of people didn t like it I knew it wasn t going to be warm and fuzzy But that was pretty much it.I quickly learned that despite Joe Abercrombie being widely known as Lord Grimdark, it was Cook who gave birth to the subgenre.So that s important to know it it grim and it is dark.But it s also about brotherhood, about family It s about upholding some version of a moral code in the mids Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI went into the reading of THE BLACK COMPANY by Glen Cook nearly blind I knew a lot of people didn t like it I knew it wasn t going to be warm and fuzzy But that was pretty much it.I quickly learned that despite Joe Abercrombie being widely known as Lord Grimdark, it was Cook who gave birth to the subgenre.So that s important to know it it grim and it is dark.But it s also about brotherhood, about family It s about upholding some version of a moral code in the midst of your own depravity It s also surprisingly funny I buddy read this with a bunch of friends on Goodreads, and after various similar incidents, I suggested the BR s catchphrase should be, Shock, horror, and hilarity Shock Horror And hilarityThe story is told from the POV of the Company physician, a man named Croaker He s also the annalist, the Company historian, and it doesn t take long to determine he s perfectly suited to the task.Croaker iscurious So curious that he borders on being nosy but he s not a gossip , and his good natured need to unravel mysteries keeps him likable rather than obnoxious He s one of my favorite characters.BUT.Likable as he may be as any of the Company may be they are not the Good Guys They re sellswords, the archetypal mercenaries, they fight for coin, not for cause, and while Croaker admits to not recording every foul deed in which the Company partakes, he records enough that you never confuse them with heroes.The Black Company enthusiastically engages in the spoils of war and all that entails, so consider this your warning if anything that falls under that umbrella is one of your triggers This kind of thing is always unpleasant, but as I ve mentioned before, I give a lot of it a pass when it happens in fantasy b c realism.BUT.They do have their own version of a code, and unless it threatens the Company as a whole, they follow it to the best of their ability.Unfortunately, that code doesn t preclude working for the Bad Guys B c according to Company philosophy, there are no Bad Guys, and similarlyEvil is relativeYou can t hang a sign on it You can t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger. BUT Croaker becomes less and less convinced of this as the story progresses asandpeople become victims in the power struggles of their betters And by victim, I mean DEAD As a doornail Numbering in the tens of thousands B c WAR.The only real problem I had was an infrequent lack of clarity I don t expect to know ALL THE THINGS in the first installment of a long running fantasy series, but the things I don t know need to be tangibly shrouded in mystery You can t make incomprehensible statements in a way that looks like you re supposed to know what they re talking about, when in reality you re not.That way lies madness.Beyond that, I loved THE BLACK COMPANY by Glen Cook One of the wonderful things about fantasy, is that it ages well, and whether it s traditional good vs evil fantasy ornebulous what is good or evil fantasy, the elements are timeless there s a reason this one is still making the rounds nearly 25 years after it was originally published, and that reason is EPIC Highly recommended.Pre review SO I just finished thisand it was so good that even though the thing I didn t want to happen b c so bloody obvious happened, I did not care, b c the way it played out was EPIC.Now I NEED Full RTC

  6. carol. carol. says:

    Three stars ultimately it s just not my kind of book As far as plot, it mostly consists of a series of encounters for the Black Company, starting with getting out of their current contract and accepting employment from the Lady I don t mind this style of plot in my books, but not everyone may enjoy.The pacing of the story was uneven at best Mostly the narrative stopped on plot points germane to their particular tasks for the Lady, but occasionally it takes time to linger on company dynamics Three stars ultimately it s just not my kind of book As far as plot, it mostly consists of a series of encounters for the Black Company, starting with getting out of their current contract and accepting employment from the Lady I don t mind this style of plot in my books, but not everyone may enjoy.The pacing of the story was uneven at best Mostly the narrative stopped on plot points germane to their particular tasks for the Lady, but occasionally it takes time to linger on company dynamics Those interludes mostly seem to consist of card games I m definitelyused to the epic fantasy that tells you what the road was like, the color of the blooming flowers, the sunsets, etc along the way David Eddings, anyone.The characters felt mostly archetypal, sketch portraits done in greys There s a grizzled captain who knowsthan he lets on and has a hidden moral core the fallen warrior the morally ambiguous doctor the orphan foundling who will be the figurehead for a new movement That said, the small touches helped make them interesting to me and left me intrigued the wizards bickering, Darling s finger language, Soulcatcher s voices.The world seemed interesting, as much as we are given The concept of the Taken was fascinating The forvalaka was fascinating as well, but language is odd why did we go from a made up word to Taken I think the forvalaka was one of the only created words, which sits oddly with the language of the story Flying carpets were introduced late and seemed mostly to be a plot device They seemed at odds with the conventional methods of horseback, cart, walking, ship.Overall it was a kind of a shrug kind of book for me I didn t hate it, but I was able to put it down and even fall asleep while reading it, and I ve been known to stay up all night reading However, I ll check out the next in the series out of curiosity, and because Cook has so many fans, I m trying to see the appeal

  7. Mayim de Vries Mayim de Vries says:

    There are not self proclaimed villains, only regiments of self proclaimed saints Victorious historians rule where good or evil liesEvil fights the darkness, folks The Black Company is a grim and jarring read meant for amature audience, fast paced, devoid of extensive descriptions and throwing the reader into deep waters inhabited by hungry and malicious things The Black Company is a group of mercenaries offering their services to those who pay well It has nothing to do with servinThere are not self proclaimed villains, only regiments of self proclaimed saints Victorious historians rule where good or evil liesEvil fights the darkness, folks The Black Company is a grim and jarring read meant for amature audience, fast paced, devoid of extensive descriptions and throwing the reader into deep waters inhabited by hungry and malicious things The Black Company is a group of mercenaries offering their services to those who pay well It has nothing to do with serving the good cause , and individual members of the Company are often despicable individuals Their only creed and hence faithfulness belong to the Company, which is their home and family It is aCompany of villains held together by its now and its us against the world gone beforesThe Company becomes entangled in a war between the Lady aided by her Taken sorcerers it is the one called Soulcatcher that enlists the mercenary band and the Rebel forces of the White Rose The fact that our heroes are fighting on the wrong evil side is a great starting point for the book In the first volume of the Chronicles of the Black Company we follow the events from the perspective of Croaker, the doctor and annalist The first person narrative means that we know Croaker very well, but his companions we know only as much as Croaker knows them And as for the rest of the protagonists, what you get are just scraps of knowledge that Croaker will learn throughout the book What is applied here, is the same trick which was later repeated with great success by Mr Erikson We know nothing about the world, we will not find any introduction, prologue, dramatic personae, overview The author does not bother with something as obvious as explaining who is who or where the conflict originates from All this is revealed in the minimum amount of information transmitted through Croaker s observations and recollections As the action develops and it does rather quickly, almost too quickly we get to know other protagonists and with every new plot twist, we get a new piece of the puzzle to fit inFire Riots in the Groan Dancing at the Gate of Dawn At this point, I would like to say that it is worth grinding your teeth and arming yourselves with patience during the initial chapters I promise that the breakthrough will come and you will not be able to stop reading Also, the scant information sharing is an advantage In the end, when we learn enough to begin to understand what s going on the book ends Nice trick, Mr Cook view spoiler Even though, I knew what was coming very early on in the book, hence the star off for predictability hide spoiler Those of you who meet the Black Company after having read the Malazan Book of the Fallen, as well as those familiar with the Starks, Lannisters and Baratheons could be underwhelmed by this novel This is because while I imagine it was pathbreaking in the 1980s, today it is just one in a big crowd of novels that borrowed and developed several ideas that were introduced by Mr Cook That being said, two things are decisive when it comes to sorting through the pros and cons the expressiveness of the protagonists and the fact that the created world seems to be very real There are no heroes in shining armour here there is a group of various individuals each of them unique in their own way connected by the ties of brotherhood, who neither want to save the world nor destroy it, but like all mercenaries do just hope to earn some gold The relativity of what is good and what is bad and what is neither renders the world building so very realistic Perhaps the Lady is evil but those who proclaim to fight her, prove to have similar qualities and it makes us question whether after the destruction of the empire of evil they would be able to build a better world Nothing in this novel is unambiguous and obvious The Taken are wonderfully fascinating, and oh so intriguing The Lady is scary view spoiler except for her ridiculous Sauron eye hide spoiler but her connection with Croaker transcends normal relations There is a whole host of colourful and ingenious characters to root for well, hello Raven and hate with a passionAnnals of the Black Company, last of the Free Companies of Khatovar Our Traditions and memories live only in these Annals We are our only mournersWhile I believe that Mr Cook made an excellent use of the first person narrative I can also recognise that this is one of the main reasons why this book evokes so strong emotions and gets contradictory ratings The main controversies are two 1 the language and narrative 2 stylisation of the book Glen Cook has its own, very distinctive, style of writing It is rather characteristic, difficult to imitate, and quite specific The author very wisely mixes sophisticated vocabulary with coarse colloquialisms and simplifications He manages to be both dark and funny and funny it is, the ongoing frolics between One Eye and Goblin is one of the best love hate relationships I know , moving and gloomy He juggles the opposites and doesn t get burned in the process Not every writer is capable of achieving such equilibrium Secondly, The Black Company is stylised on the diary of a soldier whose fluency in high sarcasm rivals my own The soldier makes short notes whenever he has time to do so, constantly recording events and selecting those worth recording in a rather arbitrary manner Accordingly, the narrator focuses mainly on himself and his closest colleagues, there are also moments when he simply does not have time to write Thus, we end up with whole passages in which important from the conventional narrative point of view events are skipped or replaced, We marched Here and There, we fought These and Those, people died list of names There was no time to write and then It is only understandable that not everybody will appreciate this kind of narrativeAh, the smell of mystery and dark doings, of skulduggery and revenge The meat of a good tale However, if these two things do not scare you away, you will get a great combination of grim stories about tough guys with epic military fantasy You think you want to join the Company The recruitment is open The other Chronicles 2 Shadows Linger and a half, Goodreads 3 The White Rose 3.5 Silver Spike 4 Shadow Games5 Dreams of Steel RTC6 Black Seasons RTC7 She is the Darkness RTC8 Water Sleeps RTC9 Soldiers Live RTC10 A Pitiless Rain RTC

  8. Nancy Nancy says:

    After 75 pages, I ve come to the conclusion that life is too short to waste reading bad books Positive praise and reviews caused me to bring the book home against my best judgement The first person style, lack of character depth, stupid names, inane dialogue and juvenile prose have caused me to abandon the book in frustration Good thing I read Mary Gentle s Ash A Secret History before giving up on the military fantasy genre altogether After 75 pages, I ve come to the conclusion that life is too short to waste reading bad books Positive praise and reviews caused me to bring the book home against my best judgement The first person style, lack of character depth, stupid names, inane dialogue and juvenile prose have caused me to abandon the book in frustration Good thing I read Mary Gentle s Ash A Secret History before giving up on the military fantasy genre altogether

  9. Eon ♒Windrunner♒ Eon ♒Windrunner♒ says:

    Before Abercrombie Before Lawrence Before Martin There was Cook.I loved The Black Company It is dark, entertaining and funny with a hint of epic and it kept me enthralled until the end It s about a group of people with a particular set of skills D fighting for the employer of the day These people are not good or bad They are just people Some are worse than others, but it s all about your point of view I mention this only, because I kept on wondering if I was backing the bad guys her Before Abercrombie Before Lawrence Before Martin There was Cook.I loved The Black Company It is dark, entertaining and funny with a hint of epic and it kept me enthralled until the end It s about a group of people with a particular set of skills D fighting for the employer of the day These people are not good or bad They are just people Some are worse than others, but it s all about your point of view I mention this only, because I kept on wondering if I was backing the bad guys here Turns out, things are not so much black and white as they are grey.The beginning of the book was a bit ofWHAT IS GOING ONat first, but the confusion dissipates and makes way for just onepage pretty quickly as we follow the core of a group of mercenaries known as The Black Company Didn t see that one coming did you The story is told from the viewpoint of the company s annalist and opens up with our mercenaries doing their thing in the city of Beryl, Queen of the Jewel Cities, protecting the Syndic from rivals and his own troops among other things So basically, bodyguards That is until events conspire and something is released upon the cityYou know anything about that out there An isolated scream echoed in the distance It had a quality which set it aside from other recent screams Those had been filled with pain, rage, and fear This one was redolent of something darker.Can it be killed They re almost invincible, Captain Can they be killed The Captain put a hard edge on his voice He was frightened too Yes, One Eye confessed He seemed a whisker less scared than Tom Tom Nothing is invulnerable Not even that thing on the black ship But this is strong, fast, and smart Weapons are of little avail Sorcery is better, but even that isn t much use Never before had I heard him admit limitationsUnfortunately for the mercenaries, the forvalaka is just the beginning and leads them to a fated meeting with something that goes by the name of Soulcatcher and thus they make the best of a bad situation and are hired and caught in a war they do not want to be a part of, fighting for an employer they do not want to serve Also, EVIL is about The Captain settled beside me Tell me, Croaker So I told him about the Domination, and the Dominator and his Lady Their rule had spanned an empire of evil unrivalled in Hell I told him about the Ten Who Were Taken of whom Soulcatcher was one , ten great wizards, near demigods in their power, who had been overcome by the Dominator and compelled into his service I told him about the White Rose, the lady general who had brought the Domination down, but whose power had been insufficient to destroy the Dominator, his Lady, and the Ten She had interred the lot in a charm bound barrow somewhere north of the sea And now they re restored to life, it seems, I said They rule the northern empire Tom Tom and One Eye must have suspected We ve enlisted in their service The writing felt different I cannot pin exactly what it is that felt so fresh, but suspect it is just the way Cook writes He says things in ways that I haven t read them before and his humour was delightful in that horrific kind of way More please Highly recommended PS One Eye vs Goblin best wizard rivalry ever One Eye had trooped downhill behind me, sour, surly, grumbling to himself, and spoiling for a row His path crossed Goblin s.Slugabed Goblin had just dragged out of his bedroll He had a bowl of water and was washing up He is a fastidious little wart One Eye spotted him and saw a chance to punish somebody with his foul mood He muttered a string of strange words and went into a curious little fling that looked half ballet and half primitive war dance.Goblin s water changed.I smelled it from twenty feet away It had turned a malignant brown Sickening green gobs floated on its surface It even felt foul.Goblin rose with magnificent dignity, turned He looked an evilly grinning One Eye in the eye for several seconds Then he bowed When his head came up he wore a huge frog smile He opened his mouth and let fly the most godawful, earthshaking howl I have ever heard.The LadySoulcatcher

  10. Markus Markus says:

    No one will sing songs in our memory We are the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar Our traditions and memories live only in these Annals We are our own mourners After only reading the first book in the three part omnibus edition, I can already tell that Glen Cook is an exceptionally skilled storyteller, and that The Black Company is probably the best war story I have ever read.Series review from the beginningSeries review from the endingNo one will sing songs in our memory We are the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar Our traditions and memories live only in these Annals We are our own mourners After only reading the first book in the three part omnibus edition, I can already tell that Glen Cook is an exceptionally skilled storyteller, and that The Black Company is probably the best war story I have ever read.Series review from the beginningSeries review from the ending

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10 thoughts on “The Black Company

  1. Lady Luna. ✨ Lady Luna. ✨ says:

    DNF 48%THIS BOOK WAS NOT MY CUP OF TEAThis book is utter pus a quote by Lady Luna hater of all things shit. I m actually really sad about this DNF, I wanted to love this book and before I even read it, I knew it was going to be a four or five star read because of the reviews on it that blurb sounds goddamn amazing I, However, can safely say I was wrong and that I absolutely loathed reading this I m sorry I truly tried, however I just didn t care about anything the writi DNF 48%THIS BOOK WAS NOT MY CUP OF TEAThis book is utter pus a quote by Lady Luna hater of all things shit. I m actually really sad about this DNF, I wanted to love this book and before I even read it, I knew it was going to be a four or five star read because of the reviews on it that blurb sounds goddamn amazing I, However, can safely say I was wrong and that I absolutely loathed reading this I m sorry I truly tried, however I just didn t care about anything the writing shudders I tried forcing myself to love this, however my rating on the book kept getting lower lower until it reach a no star rating, that s when I threw in the towel I RARELY DNF books it saddens me to do it But I m not even sorry this one got the can This book truly deserved it I know I m in the minority here however this book is so hugely overrated in my opinion I heard this was thebest grimdark ever createdwell for me it s probably the worst, yeah I get it was written in the 80 s however that s no excuse Classics are classics for a reason and this book does not deserve the hype it gets I ve read gory disgusting messes of books before that have you gritting your teeth, I didn t get that once with this book I understand I didn t read the whole thing but I just couldn t force myself to continue There was nothing happening that made me want to readI honestly was either breaking ribs from laughter at the amount of bullshit I was reading or I was rolling my eyes I seriously got an eye cramp for the amount of times I rolled them I honestly feel this book is unworthy for a full review so I m going to justify my opinion with a dot point presentation on why I hated it so much leers at book with venomous contempt As you might expect in a company of villains held together by its now and its us against the world gone beforesOkay well, where was the villainary at All I read about was a bunch of grown men giggling and finding corpses that weren t even described A lot of the action scenes were done in the background Stop telling us show us instead Actually don t bother. I don t care Bassard All bassard Something struck him funny He giggledI HATED all the giggling Tough grown men do not giggle like school girls I HATE THIS what the heck is a Bassard I put the word into Google computer says no anger rising I was bored I was confused I have the attention span of a goldfish this book was like having to do homework It sucked Like There s no descriptions of things so I didn t have a clue what the fuck the limper or soulcatcher was Oh and did I mention, I don t care either, because grown freaking MEN WHO ARE MURDERS, WERE GIGGLING There was 0 world building I didn t know what anyone or anything looked like I didn t really care anyway. There s 0 back story so the whole book was a confusing mess There was 0 compelling characters 0 feels were involved I m someone who is very extremely particular about POV s I hate first person story telling And this book was the strangest first person POV I ve ever read i can t even describe it literally took all the enjoyment out of reading this book This would have to be the most disjointed, sloppy, lazy, hard to follow writing I ve ever come across I can normally look past bad writing, however this book held 0 interest for me So it felt like a chore to try to read it and believe me when I say you need to concentrate really hard on the writing while reading, it zapped all my precious energy Example of why I didn t like the writingZig when they expect you to zagWhat even is that sentenceRed eyes Four legs Dark as the night Black leopard It moved as fluidly as water running downhill It padded down the stair into the courtyard, vanished.The monkey in my backbrain wanted to scamper up a tail tree, screeching, to hurl excrement and rotted fruit I fled toward the nearest door, took a protected route to the Captain s quarters, let myself in without knockingcough what the actual fuck Like why is the author talking about monkeys flinging poo You call this grimdark My nannas undies are darker after she farts I feel this book just tried way to hard to be different, I get the author was trying to break stereotypes, HOWEVER it felt forced But it was the writing that honestly just put me off it was SO hard to digest, I have heartburn nowCrap You kill them same as you kill anything else Only you move faster and hit harder cause you only get one shotThis to me is a promise of badassery, however Glen Cook broke his promise and delivered none in the entire first half Also a lot of nothing happened. Seriously nothing happen. except a bunch of grown men playing cards, giggling, chasing wereleopards imagining what the Lady looks like. Did I mention grown men were giggling CAUTION MINOR SPOILERS BELOW A child is raped and tortured but it had 0 relevance to the plot Like it was just there to make the book darker and add shock value, however all it achieved was pissing me off It made me want to rape this book with a knife anger fully risen side note an Internet troll informed me that this information is false the rape plays a bigger role later on But just remember, I couldn t careless NOW IM RAGING This book made me so angry, I am ready to fight someone flips table I m sorry, I really tried on this one but I can safely say this would probably be the worst book I ve ever tried to read in my whole entire existence I do not like this author wont be trying any of his books in the future So to all my Goodreads buddies that love this book, I m sorry you had to read this nasty review Truly I am Here s a cupcake to cheer you up Please be mindful that this is only an OPINION on a BOOK believe it or not I m not looking to change anyone s opinion on this novel or stop them from reading it Plus my opinion can t be trusted on this one, BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE LOVES IT I obviously just got a dud.Now have a lovely day. Yours sincerely your local Goodreads axe wielding psychopath preview Literally the biggest buddy read I ve ever done, like we are no longer a group, we are now an army of savages wanting grimdark goodness Sir Twerks, My stinky princess, Oriental, Jody, Alex, Craig, Emilia, Terry Michael.Will the force be with this one It even has Darth Vader on the cover.Ps I m keeping the wine cooler

  2. ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) says:

    Buddy reread with the clueless new mercenary recruits over at BB B Under the wicked supervision of our Ever Stalking Black Company Overlord ESBCO , of course And the moral of this reread is There is that, yes Also, my boyfriend Croaker and my girlfriend Lady have been safely stashed away in my High Security Harem for a few decades years now and I think it s high time I discreetly kidnapped some of their fellow mercenaries to keep them company They have me to keep them, um, entertai Buddy reread with the clueless new mercenary recruits over at BBB Under the wicked supervision of our Ever Stalking Black Company Overlord ESBCO , of course And the moral of this reread is There is that, yes Also, my boyfriend Croaker and my girlfriend Lady have been safely stashed away in my High Security Harem for a few decades years now and I think it s high time I discreetly kidnapped some of their fellow mercenaries to keep them company They have me to keep them, um, entertained, of course, but what with my other 24,548 harem spouses I can t keep everyone, um, you know, satisfied 24 7 and stuff I have therefore decided to abduct One Eye and Goblin I m pretty sure they will provide Croaker and Lady with hours and hours of most delightful, lively entertainment Official Court Harem Jesters OCHJ I hereby name them and stuff That s not exactly what I had in mind, but hey, I guess it would work, too Sure it would I bet Lady is going to love the unicorn costume, too.And now excuse me while I go, um, entertain, Mad Rogan and Sandman Slim and His Furriness and Daniel Faust and Ms Caitlleanabruaudi and Caleb Shepperd and Ace Dante and and andneed I go on Didn t think so Original review Actual rating 15 stars And I m not even exaggerating Warning this book is not for the fluffy bunnies, pastel colored rainbows, romance freaks If you belong to that scary lovely bunch of people, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, read this book It might scar you for life It might even haunt you after death.There are books with bad guys Then there is this book Never before have I encountered such a glorious collection of twisted, evil, morally corrupt, vile, dishonorable, despicable, contemptible, shady characters The guys are immoral, the chicks are villainous, the weird creatures are blood thirsty And all of them are homicidal maniacs This Book A dream come true Meet the bad guys The Black Company.They re mercenaries They will do anything for money Morals Completely irrelevant Ethics Oh please, don t be silly We re talking about war here And crushing the enemy, whatever the cost Whatever the reasons Whatever everything Just follow the orders humor less and cut, cut, cut, slice, slice, slice, hit, hit, hit, kill, kill, kill Some people sell cute puppies for a living, other get murderous for money Just a job like any other view spoiler given the choice, guess which of the two jobs I d choose insert homicidal maniac smile herehide spoiler Meet the bad guys the bad guys work for The Lady and The Ten That Were Taken.There are villains And then there are VILLAINS Believe me when I tell you you have never come across such a bunch of deliciously wicked, evil characters Bloodthirsty minimum job requirement 1 Nefarious a personal favourite, obviously Vicious yay Merciless minimum job requirement 2 Perverted hooray Cunning minimum job requirement 3 Treacherous the amount of backstabbing, double crossing and deceitful scheming going on in this book is mind staggering And positively exquisite Ruthless minimum job requirement 4 Just plain despicable YES YES YES YES YES Meet the bad guys the bad guys that work for the bad guys are up against The Rebels.These guys here are not the good hearted rebel type They re just as heartless, devious, homicidal and unscrupulous as any other character in this story Yeah, Cook is an equal opportunity kind of guy Everyone gets to be evil in his book It s absolutely delightful And so very refreshing insert happy sigh here Dear silly people who thought I would DNF the hell out of this book in less time that it takes to blink this is one of the best, most engrossing books I have read in recent years Take that ye of little faith This book is epic This book is awesome This book is so gripping compelling thrilling that once you start you just can t put it down And it s bloody well written Okay, so Cook s style takes some getting used to Okay, so the first chapter kind of makes the reader think he she is a total idiot And not bright enough to be reading the book And might be in need of a brain transplant Because, frankly, nothing makes sense at first But worry not dear friends, for it all becomes clear as day once you get past chapter 1 What What seems to be the problem dear friends I just scared you away from this book You think you re not clever enough to read it Of course you are Come on people, time to have a little self confidence If I, the everytime I try to read epic fantasy I DNF the book after 20 pages freak did it, you can, too Still not convinced about this What if I told you flying carpets were involved guaranteed 100% Aladdin and Jasmine free How can you resist something like that Well let me tell you, you can t And the moral of this review is read this people, you ll be glad you did you better be anyway I might unleash The Lady and The Taken on you if you aren t Be afraid Be very afraid. Book 1.5 Port of Shadows I have no idea where this book came from, or what it s about Pretty sure I never read it. Book 2 Shadows Linger Book 2.2 short story Shaggy Dog Bridge Book 2.3 short story Bone Eaters Book 3 The White Rose Book 3.5 The Silver Spike pretending this one never happened. Book 4 Shadow Games Book 5 Dreams of Steel Book 6 Bleak Seasons Book 7 She Is The Darkness Book 8 Water Sleeps Book 9 Soldiers Live

  3. mark monday mark monday says:

    i thought this book was great a strange kind of modern classic, one that influenced many other fantasy efforts by ushering in the genuine darkness, grittiness, and lack of wonder of the military novel the writing is direct, unadorned, choppy a soldier s perspective, i suppose the novel jumps right in the middle of the action and makes no attempt to help readers out, assuming that they will eventually catch up experiencing the lack of poetry and of justice, the anonymity of most of the sold i thought this book was great a strange kind of modern classic, one that influenced many other fantasy efforts by ushering in the genuine darkness, grittiness, and lack of wonder of the military novel the writing is direct, unadorned, choppy a soldier s perspective, i suppose the novel jumps right in the middle of the action and makes no attempt to help readers out, assuming that they will eventually catch up experiencing the lack of poetry and of justice, the anonymity of most of the soldiers, and the dearth of noble sentiment indeed, very little sentiment of any kind whatsoever was like splashing into icy cold water it is startling, at first but you get numbed to it.the beginning was definitely abrupt but i got into the swing of things pretty quickly the novel is an onion that gets increasingly rotten as you peel away every layer but still isn t a completely bad onion you can still use parts of it in a salad don t toss that onion away, it s not all bad in particular, i loved the literalized levels of moral ambiguity and evil view spoiler the perspective of an often ethically apathetic but at times heroic doctor and Company historian Croakerwho lives and works for a dark, deadly, downright evilbut not always totally evil, murderous, macho mercenary outfit The Black Companythat is hired by a frightening, elegantly evil but at times rather sympathetic and even gracious boss Soulcatcherwho is part of an ersatz Legion of Doom, filled with flamboyantly evil sorts who are effectively deadly but also often drolly incompetent and are sometimesnot so completely evilall of whom have their own stylish Swingin Villain Look The Ten Who Were Takenthey all work for a pretty darn evil, vicious, torturing, sister slayin , former but still ambitious tyrant of the land and, well,sometimes not so evil big boss The Ladywho is locked in a secret combat over the fate of the world with The Worst of the Worst, a Completely 100% Evil Big Bad Guy, her husband and former co tyrant The Dominatorwho secretly commands his own mind controlled Justice League, heroes who are as morally ambiguous as any modern day guerilla group The Circlewho in turn lead a resolute force of men, fighting against imperial evil, those brave souls known as The Rebeleasily sacrificed patsies who are apparently the actual good guys of the novel we are not privy to their perspective hide spoiler cause baby, we re with the bad guys this time the reader s stand in, Croaker, is not all bad he does some pretty good things he usually won t lift a finger for anyone outside of the Black Company but, at times, he is a genuinely good guy The Black Company itself sounds like a militaristic Evil Pixar it takes pride in its reputation for excellence and usually delivers, above and beyond it treats its people right it cares for them it tries to remember their names it doesn t like wasting time and effort in senseless battle it prefers to run rather than toss away the lives of its men it tries to give them rest and recreation it promotes comraderie and respect and positive, friendly relationships The Black Company actively tries to never fuck its men over and, rather sweetly, it does not think highly of child abuse and torture that s a good company to work for however, The Black Company also kills sleeping guardsmen in their beds it burns down whole villages it caresabout a paycheck than about working for mass murdering villains its younger men rape women while its older men shrug their shoulders indulgently, an older brother chuckling at the shenanigans of a younger brother for chrissakes, it marches screaming prisoners of war in the middle of a town square and then proceeds to nonchalantly slaughter them, simply because they are in a hurry to get the hell out of dodge Croaker notices these things, justifies or tries to explain away some of them, but mainly chooses not to dwell on it as he says he was not raised to speak ill of his family and so his narration focuses on the The Black Company s current place on the map as he helps out the wounded, tries to figure out mysteries, and writes about those colleagues with whom he is particularly close often he spends a lot of time mooning on and on and over the two most intriguing and glamorous women that he actually only sorta knows Soulcatcher and The Lady just as often, he contemplates the history and the future of his outfit he is a Company Man, through and through The Black Company is bad Croaker knows it and the reader is shown it during several key sequences but it is, as they say,not all bad .the novel features a Secret Hero Raven he saves a little girl s life and protects her throughout the tale he also has a habit of enacting blind vengeance, enjoys extreme knife play, and early on, he graphically and nonchalantly strangles his backstabbing wife at a garden party, in front of his new buddies The Black Company he is not bad looking and apparently smells like a corpse that s our mysterious Secret Hero, folks, enjoy him i understand that Glen Cook used his experiences in Vietnam to inform his novel after learning that fact the parallel becomes obvious but to me at least, it is not simply a parallel for Vietnam it is a very grown up and realistic analogy for many wars, for the nature of war itself even the Good Guys can be Bad Guys and even the Bad Guys have their reasons what villain truly thinks that they are motivated by Complete Evil anyway almost anything can be rationalized.the novel contains precious little of pure good so little that i clung to those rare good deeds, parceled out by the author so sparingly what the novel has in spades is shades of grey no true heroes and very few completely villainous villains and yet not a despairing novel i felt strangely refreshed after reading it review for the The Black Company trilogy

  4. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    Glen Cook is often called the father of grimdark fantasy This is his most famous series which most definitely helped grimdark to become the dominant sub genre of the modern fantasy A long time ago even way before J.R.R Tolkien created his classic trilogy most of the fantasy or what would later be called such belonged to so called heroic fantasy There was a person, or a group of people who had to perform heroic deeds to save the world most of the time Lord of the Rings firmly falls into th Glen Cook is often called the father of grimdark fantasy This is his most famous series which most definitely helped grimdark to become the dominant sub genre of the modern fantasy A long time ago even way before J.R.R Tolkien created his classic trilogy most of the fantasy or what would later be called such belonged to so called heroic fantasy There was a person, or a group of people who had to perform heroic deeds to save the world most of the time Lord of the Rings firmly falls into this category Conan the Barbarian performed his heroics for personal gains Elric by Michael Moorcock while not being a nice person still saved the world from evil several times Welcome to the world of The Black Company There is no single person in the entire series who could be called nice by any stretch of the word s definition You will find plenty of shades of gray though Their world is dark and violent with almost constant struggle between plain evil and outright evil which would make the Biblical Satan look like an amateur The Company is a band of mercenaries with its people just doing their jobs of fighting and dying caught in the power struggle of demigods at the end of the day even demigods need an army to finalize their conquests compare it with modern military actions no matter how many airstrikes you do with even the most modern bombs available only the ground troops ensure the area in question is secured The heroes of the series are low level grunts of the mercenary band None of them are nice people, but they do have their own honor code and they try to support the lesser of the evils when they have a choice The characters of the company are excellent and memorable they grow on you and you find yourself rooting for them after a while Speaking of the characters I cannot help mentioning One Eye and Goblin These two are the best frenemies of fantasy in particular and any literature in general They are minor wizards whose purpose in life is to outdo each other by using any means necessary and as a result they never fail to bring amusing moments I am convinced Glen Cook is practically unsurpassed when it comes to the amount of backstabbing and double crossing in the literature This makes up for an exciting and unpredictable plot twists The book and most of the series is written as the company s annals by its annalist and surgeon aptly named Croaker For this reason it takes some time to get used to writing style with quite a few people abandoning the series because of this When you think about it, Croaker really does not have much time for writing fancy literature unlike real life Patrick Rothfuss or George R.R Martin he cannot afford taking his time to write being in the middle of military action Glen Cook is a Vietnam War vet and as such when he writes about a war he really knows about it He never glorifies one in fact the main idea of the series is that there is no glory in any war, no matter which side you fight on He is also great when it comes to describing military camaraderie Croaker often refers to people of the company as family So the writing sometimes is choppy and quite minimalist when it comes to the descriptions If you managed to get past it, you will be rewarded with very good characters and exciting plot All of the book of the series are hard to put down after the initial confusion and this one is not an exception To be completely honest I need to mention I am a big fan of the series, so please take my rating with a grain of salt It might be half a star lower

  5. Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more says:

    Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI went into the reading of THE BLACK COMPANY by Glen Cook nearly blind I knew a lot of people didn t like it I knew it wasn t going to be warm and fuzzy But that was pretty much it.I quickly learned that despite Joe Abercrombie being widely known as Lord Grimdark, it was Cook who gave birth to the subgenre.So that s important to know it it grim and it is dark.But it s also about brotherhood, about family It s about upholding some version of a moral code in the mids Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI went into the reading of THE BLACK COMPANY by Glen Cook nearly blind I knew a lot of people didn t like it I knew it wasn t going to be warm and fuzzy But that was pretty much it.I quickly learned that despite Joe Abercrombie being widely known as Lord Grimdark, it was Cook who gave birth to the subgenre.So that s important to know it it grim and it is dark.But it s also about brotherhood, about family It s about upholding some version of a moral code in the midst of your own depravity It s also surprisingly funny I buddy read this with a bunch of friends on Goodreads, and after various similar incidents, I suggested the BR s catchphrase should be, Shock, horror, and hilarity Shock Horror And hilarityThe story is told from the POV of the Company physician, a man named Croaker He s also the annalist, the Company historian, and it doesn t take long to determine he s perfectly suited to the task.Croaker iscurious So curious that he borders on being nosy but he s not a gossip , and his good natured need to unravel mysteries keeps him likable rather than obnoxious He s one of my favorite characters.BUT.Likable as he may be as any of the Company may be they are not the Good Guys They re sellswords, the archetypal mercenaries, they fight for coin, not for cause, and while Croaker admits to not recording every foul deed in which the Company partakes, he records enough that you never confuse them with heroes.The Black Company enthusiastically engages in the spoils of war and all that entails, so consider this your warning if anything that falls under that umbrella is one of your triggers This kind of thing is always unpleasant, but as I ve mentioned before, I give a lot of it a pass when it happens in fantasy b c realism.BUT.They do have their own version of a code, and unless it threatens the Company as a whole, they follow it to the best of their ability.Unfortunately, that code doesn t preclude working for the Bad Guys B c according to Company philosophy, there are no Bad Guys, and similarlyEvil is relativeYou can t hang a sign on it You can t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger. BUT Croaker becomes less and less convinced of this as the story progresses asandpeople become victims in the power struggles of their betters And by victim, I mean DEAD As a doornail Numbering in the tens of thousands B c WAR.The only real problem I had was an infrequent lack of clarity I don t expect to know ALL THE THINGS in the first installment of a long running fantasy series, but the things I don t know need to be tangibly shrouded in mystery You can t make incomprehensible statements in a way that looks like you re supposed to know what they re talking about, when in reality you re not.That way lies madness.Beyond that, I loved THE BLACK COMPANY by Glen Cook One of the wonderful things about fantasy, is that it ages well, and whether it s traditional good vs evil fantasy ornebulous what is good or evil fantasy, the elements are timeless there s a reason this one is still making the rounds nearly 25 years after it was originally published, and that reason is EPIC Highly recommended.Pre review SO I just finished thisand it was so good that even though the thing I didn t want to happen b c so bloody obvious happened, I did not care, b c the way it played out was EPIC.Now I NEED Full RTC

  6. carol. carol. says:

    Three stars ultimately it s just not my kind of book As far as plot, it mostly consists of a series of encounters for the Black Company, starting with getting out of their current contract and accepting employment from the Lady I don t mind this style of plot in my books, but not everyone may enjoy.The pacing of the story was uneven at best Mostly the narrative stopped on plot points germane to their particular tasks for the Lady, but occasionally it takes time to linger on company dynamics Three stars ultimately it s just not my kind of book As far as plot, it mostly consists of a series of encounters for the Black Company, starting with getting out of their current contract and accepting employment from the Lady I don t mind this style of plot in my books, but not everyone may enjoy.The pacing of the story was uneven at best Mostly the narrative stopped on plot points germane to their particular tasks for the Lady, but occasionally it takes time to linger on company dynamics Those interludes mostly seem to consist of card games I m definitelyused to the epic fantasy that tells you what the road was like, the color of the blooming flowers, the sunsets, etc along the way David Eddings, anyone.The characters felt mostly archetypal, sketch portraits done in greys There s a grizzled captain who knowsthan he lets on and has a hidden moral core the fallen warrior the morally ambiguous doctor the orphan foundling who will be the figurehead for a new movement That said, the small touches helped make them interesting to me and left me intrigued the wizards bickering, Darling s finger language, Soulcatcher s voices.The world seemed interesting, as much as we are given The concept of the Taken was fascinating The forvalaka was fascinating as well, but language is odd why did we go from a made up word to Taken I think the forvalaka was one of the only created words, which sits oddly with the language of the story Flying carpets were introduced late and seemed mostly to be a plot device They seemed at odds with the conventional methods of horseback, cart, walking, ship.Overall it was a kind of a shrug kind of book for me I didn t hate it, but I was able to put it down and even fall asleep while reading it, and I ve been known to stay up all night reading However, I ll check out the next in the series out of curiosity, and because Cook has so many fans, I m trying to see the appeal

  7. Mayim de Vries Mayim de Vries says:

    There are not self proclaimed villains, only regiments of self proclaimed saints Victorious historians rule where good or evil liesEvil fights the darkness, folks The Black Company is a grim and jarring read meant for amature audience, fast paced, devoid of extensive descriptions and throwing the reader into deep waters inhabited by hungry and malicious things The Black Company is a group of mercenaries offering their services to those who pay well It has nothing to do with servinThere are not self proclaimed villains, only regiments of self proclaimed saints Victorious historians rule where good or evil liesEvil fights the darkness, folks The Black Company is a grim and jarring read meant for amature audience, fast paced, devoid of extensive descriptions and throwing the reader into deep waters inhabited by hungry and malicious things The Black Company is a group of mercenaries offering their services to those who pay well It has nothing to do with serving the good cause , and individual members of the Company are often despicable individuals Their only creed and hence faithfulness belong to the Company, which is their home and family It is aCompany of villains held together by its now and its us against the world gone beforesThe Company becomes entangled in a war between the Lady aided by her Taken sorcerers it is the one called Soulcatcher that enlists the mercenary band and the Rebel forces of the White Rose The fact that our heroes are fighting on the wrong evil side is a great starting point for the book In the first volume of the Chronicles of the Black Company we follow the events from the perspective of Croaker, the doctor and annalist The first person narrative means that we know Croaker very well, but his companions we know only as much as Croaker knows them And as for the rest of the protagonists, what you get are just scraps of knowledge that Croaker will learn throughout the book What is applied here, is the same trick which was later repeated with great success by Mr Erikson We know nothing about the world, we will not find any introduction, prologue, dramatic personae, overview The author does not bother with something as obvious as explaining who is who or where the conflict originates from All this is revealed in the minimum amount of information transmitted through Croaker s observations and recollections As the action develops and it does rather quickly, almost too quickly we get to know other protagonists and with every new plot twist, we get a new piece of the puzzle to fit inFire Riots in the Groan Dancing at the Gate of Dawn At this point, I would like to say that it is worth grinding your teeth and arming yourselves with patience during the initial chapters I promise that the breakthrough will come and you will not be able to stop reading Also, the scant information sharing is an advantage In the end, when we learn enough to begin to understand what s going on the book ends Nice trick, Mr Cook view spoiler Even though, I knew what was coming very early on in the book, hence the star off for predictability hide spoiler Those of you who meet the Black Company after having read the Malazan Book of the Fallen, as well as those familiar with the Starks, Lannisters and Baratheons could be underwhelmed by this novel This is because while I imagine it was pathbreaking in the 1980s, today it is just one in a big crowd of novels that borrowed and developed several ideas that were introduced by Mr Cook That being said, two things are decisive when it comes to sorting through the pros and cons the expressiveness of the protagonists and the fact that the created world seems to be very real There are no heroes in shining armour here there is a group of various individuals each of them unique in their own way connected by the ties of brotherhood, who neither want to save the world nor destroy it, but like all mercenaries do just hope to earn some gold The relativity of what is good and what is bad and what is neither renders the world building so very realistic Perhaps the Lady is evil but those who proclaim to fight her, prove to have similar qualities and it makes us question whether after the destruction of the empire of evil they would be able to build a better world Nothing in this novel is unambiguous and obvious The Taken are wonderfully fascinating, and oh so intriguing The Lady is scary view spoiler except for her ridiculous Sauron eye hide spoiler but her connection with Croaker transcends normal relations There is a whole host of colourful and ingenious characters to root for well, hello Raven and hate with a passionAnnals of the Black Company, last of the Free Companies of Khatovar Our Traditions and memories live only in these Annals We are our only mournersWhile I believe that Mr Cook made an excellent use of the first person narrative I can also recognise that this is one of the main reasons why this book evokes so strong emotions and gets contradictory ratings The main controversies are two 1 the language and narrative 2 stylisation of the book Glen Cook has its own, very distinctive, style of writing It is rather characteristic, difficult to imitate, and quite specific The author very wisely mixes sophisticated vocabulary with coarse colloquialisms and simplifications He manages to be both dark and funny and funny it is, the ongoing frolics between One Eye and Goblin is one of the best love hate relationships I know , moving and gloomy He juggles the opposites and doesn t get burned in the process Not every writer is capable of achieving such equilibrium Secondly, The Black Company is stylised on the diary of a soldier whose fluency in high sarcasm rivals my own The soldier makes short notes whenever he has time to do so, constantly recording events and selecting those worth recording in a rather arbitrary manner Accordingly, the narrator focuses mainly on himself and his closest colleagues, there are also moments when he simply does not have time to write Thus, we end up with whole passages in which important from the conventional narrative point of view events are skipped or replaced, We marched Here and There, we fought These and Those, people died list of names There was no time to write and then It is only understandable that not everybody will appreciate this kind of narrativeAh, the smell of mystery and dark doings, of skulduggery and revenge The meat of a good tale However, if these two things do not scare you away, you will get a great combination of grim stories about tough guys with epic military fantasy You think you want to join the Company The recruitment is open The other Chronicles 2 Shadows Linger and a half, Goodreads 3 The White Rose 3.5 Silver Spike 4 Shadow Games5 Dreams of Steel RTC6 Black Seasons RTC7 She is the Darkness RTC8 Water Sleeps RTC9 Soldiers Live RTC10 A Pitiless Rain RTC

  8. Nancy Nancy says:

    After 75 pages, I ve come to the conclusion that life is too short to waste reading bad books Positive praise and reviews caused me to bring the book home against my best judgement The first person style, lack of character depth, stupid names, inane dialogue and juvenile prose have caused me to abandon the book in frustration Good thing I read Mary Gentle s Ash A Secret History before giving up on the military fantasy genre altogether After 75 pages, I ve come to the conclusion that life is too short to waste reading bad books Positive praise and reviews caused me to bring the book home against my best judgement The first person style, lack of character depth, stupid names, inane dialogue and juvenile prose have caused me to abandon the book in frustration Good thing I read Mary Gentle s Ash A Secret History before giving up on the military fantasy genre altogether

  9. Eon ♒Windrunner♒ Eon ♒Windrunner♒ says:

    Before Abercrombie Before Lawrence Before Martin There was Cook.I loved The Black Company It is dark, entertaining and funny with a hint of epic and it kept me enthralled until the end It s about a group of people with a particular set of skills D fighting for the employer of the day These people are not good or bad They are just people Some are worse than others, but it s all about your point of view I mention this only, because I kept on wondering if I was backing the bad guys her Before Abercrombie Before Lawrence Before Martin There was Cook.I loved The Black Company It is dark, entertaining and funny with a hint of epic and it kept me enthralled until the end It s about a group of people with a particular set of skills D fighting for the employer of the day These people are not good or bad They are just people Some are worse than others, but it s all about your point of view I mention this only, because I kept on wondering if I was backing the bad guys here Turns out, things are not so much black and white as they are grey.The beginning of the book was a bit ofWHAT IS GOING ONat first, but the confusion dissipates and makes way for just onepage pretty quickly as we follow the core of a group of mercenaries known as The Black Company Didn t see that one coming did you The story is told from the viewpoint of the company s annalist and opens up with our mercenaries doing their thing in the city of Beryl, Queen of the Jewel Cities, protecting the Syndic from rivals and his own troops among other things So basically, bodyguards That is until events conspire and something is released upon the cityYou know anything about that out there An isolated scream echoed in the distance It had a quality which set it aside from other recent screams Those had been filled with pain, rage, and fear This one was redolent of something darker.Can it be killed They re almost invincible, Captain Can they be killed The Captain put a hard edge on his voice He was frightened too Yes, One Eye confessed He seemed a whisker less scared than Tom Tom Nothing is invulnerable Not even that thing on the black ship But this is strong, fast, and smart Weapons are of little avail Sorcery is better, but even that isn t much use Never before had I heard him admit limitationsUnfortunately for the mercenaries, the forvalaka is just the beginning and leads them to a fated meeting with something that goes by the name of Soulcatcher and thus they make the best of a bad situation and are hired and caught in a war they do not want to be a part of, fighting for an employer they do not want to serve Also, EVIL is about The Captain settled beside me Tell me, Croaker So I told him about the Domination, and the Dominator and his Lady Their rule had spanned an empire of evil unrivalled in Hell I told him about the Ten Who Were Taken of whom Soulcatcher was one , ten great wizards, near demigods in their power, who had been overcome by the Dominator and compelled into his service I told him about the White Rose, the lady general who had brought the Domination down, but whose power had been insufficient to destroy the Dominator, his Lady, and the Ten She had interred the lot in a charm bound barrow somewhere north of the sea And now they re restored to life, it seems, I said They rule the northern empire Tom Tom and One Eye must have suspected We ve enlisted in their service The writing felt different I cannot pin exactly what it is that felt so fresh, but suspect it is just the way Cook writes He says things in ways that I haven t read them before and his humour was delightful in that horrific kind of way More please Highly recommended PS One Eye vs Goblin best wizard rivalry ever One Eye had trooped downhill behind me, sour, surly, grumbling to himself, and spoiling for a row His path crossed Goblin s.Slugabed Goblin had just dragged out of his bedroll He had a bowl of water and was washing up He is a fastidious little wart One Eye spotted him and saw a chance to punish somebody with his foul mood He muttered a string of strange words and went into a curious little fling that looked half ballet and half primitive war dance.Goblin s water changed.I smelled it from twenty feet away It had turned a malignant brown Sickening green gobs floated on its surface It even felt foul.Goblin rose with magnificent dignity, turned He looked an evilly grinning One Eye in the eye for several seconds Then he bowed When his head came up he wore a huge frog smile He opened his mouth and let fly the most godawful, earthshaking howl I have ever heard.The LadySoulcatcher

  10. Markus Markus says:

    No one will sing songs in our memory We are the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar Our traditions and memories live only in these Annals We are our own mourners After only reading the first book in the three part omnibus edition, I can already tell that Glen Cook is an exceptionally skilled storyteller, and that The Black Company is probably the best war story I have ever read.Series review from the beginningSeries review from the endingNo one will sing songs in our memory We are the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar Our traditions and memories live only in these Annals We are our own mourners After only reading the first book in the three part omnibus edition, I can already tell that Glen Cook is an exceptionally skilled storyteller, and that The Black Company is probably the best war story I have ever read.Series review from the beginningSeries review from the ending

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