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The Black Company (The Chronicle of the Black Company, Bk 1)
The Black Company - The Chronicle of the Black Company, Bk 1 Author:Glen Cook Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead. — Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. — There must be a w... more »ay for the Black Company to find her...« less
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Fast-reading adventure story. Narrator has a laconic, soldierly way of telling the story. Sometimes I really liked this understated manner, but it often made it difficult for me to connect with the characters, which were fairly one-dimensional. The Black Company runs through a lot of adventures, but it is clearly the build-up to the story told in subsequent books. I enjoyed it while it was reading it, but ended up feeling dissatisfied and uninterested in seeing what happens to the characters.
"We are the last of the Twelve True Companies. We have out-endured the others by more than a century, but I fear we're into our twilight days. I fear this may be the Company's final commission. A page of history is about to turn. Once it does, the great warrior brotherhoods will be gone and forgotten."
Thus begins this chapter in the chronicles of The Black Company. They are a band of mercenaries. They care not on which side they fight. But they are honorable, and will fight to the death for whomever has commissioned them. They are also a brotherhood that has survived more than a millenium, as is testified in their annals.
Croaker is the current Annalist, and he believes he will be the last when the company takes a commission to serve The Soulcatcher, one of the Twelve, in defense of The Lady, as she trys to claim rule of the world from the followers of The White Rose, and the Circle of Eighteen.
This is a good dark fantasy novel pitting good, evil, and The Company against each other. The reader will cheer the brothers and find it difficult to determine what is good and what is not outside the eyes of the narrator. There is lots of barbarism and magic, with some comic relief. I really enjoyed this story, and can't wait to read the next in the series.