REVIEW: The Black Company series by Glen Cook

The Black Company - Glen Cook Shadows Linger - Glen Cook The White Rose: A Novel of the Black Company (Chronicle of the Black Company) - Glen Cook

This series focuses on the exploits of a mercenary company (the black company) that at the start of the first book gets roped into serving a force of evil. We then follow said company through the eyes of its annalist as they fulfill their tour.

 

The first thing that stood out to me was the disjointedness of the writing. You can be in one place in one sentence and somewhere completely different the next. You do get used to it, and I suppose it fits with the theme of an annalist marking events as they happen.

 

It is a pretty unique concept though, and the first book certainly warrants a four star rating. Yet from there things begin to slip. A third part into the White Rose, I found myself skimming and I abandoned the book altogether shortly after.

 

And the weirdest part is... I don't even know for certain why I began to get bored here. The world described is unique and the characters drive the plot rather then the plot them.

 

It might have something to do with the fact that everyone who recommended this series to me, also recommended that I only read the first three and not bother with the rest. Knowing that there is no compelling conclusion to the epic plot pieces in the story makes them fall flat, and beyond that there isn't much left, beyond the standard 'Good vs Evil' trope (or in this case 'Ambigious morality' vs 'Evil because everyone says so'. The books are definitely of a unique sort, but I suppose it's one that doesn't work for me.

 

Final verdict

It's worth a read because these book did serve as in inspiration for other fantasy novels like The Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson. If nothing else, it will broaden your view.