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The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company #3)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  7,677 ratings  ·  179 reviews
She is the last hope of good in the war against the evil sorceress known as the Lady. From a secret base on the Plains of Fear, where even the Lady hesitates to go, the Black Company, once in service to the Lady, now fights to bring victory to the White Rose. But now an even greater evil threatens the world. All the great battles that have gone before will seem a skirmishe
Paperback, 317 pages
Published March 1st 1990 by Tor Books (first published April 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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The best book in the series. A fine tale of the Black Company reduced to guerilla warfare in desolate places. Also, the narrative of this book, with three stories from three different periods of time, was amazingly well done. It did not end as I had hoped, or even as I had expected, but it still was a satisfying conclusion to a great fantasy trilogy.
This was the conclusion to the first Black Company trilogy and concluded the battle for power between The White Rose, The Lady, and The Dominator. I was very pleased by how it all played out. The story was exciting and packed full of twists and turns. I was surprised but very happy with the ending.

Croaker is as likable a character here as he was in the previous two books. It was great to catch up with the rest of The Black Company guys. They are as morally ambiguous and funny as ever. Boamaz an
4.0 stars. Good ending to a superb fantasy trilogy. The Black Company series is one of the most entertaining fantasy series out there. I loved the first two installments, The Black Company and Shadows Linger and thought they set the bar very high for this third installment. Given the expectations, I was a little disappointed (though only a little) with this finale and thought this book was the weakest of the three. That said, it is still an excellent book and well worth the read.
This is where this series really came through for me. The other books were very much building up to this, and they suffered for it, while this one -- for me at least -- was my favourite. I love the ending especially -- shades of grey all the way, and people actually dying, both things this trilogy is good at.

Not really tempted to read more by Glen Cook though, somehow. This trilogy was intriguing and sometimes exciting (though sometimes there were a few too many card games), but it didn't quite
Andrew Ziegler
I will probably be roundly booed for saying this, but I liken this series to the Gaunt's Ghosts series by Dan Abnett. In both you follow a unique and roundly abused group of soldiers within a larger unit. in both, they are the last of their kind, and though they might disagree with each other, their bonds and loyalty are without measure. Also, it took me to the end of this third book in the series to finally give over to being "into it", and that is exactly what happened in the Gaunt's series. I ...more
Sumant Natkar
This book is last in the series of Chronicles of black company and cook has done a good job wrapping up the story which began in the book one.The style followed by cook is different thought all the three books but he basically shines in this book where he handles the story through pov of 3 characters namely

1.Croaker - Present
2.Corbi - Present
3.Bomanz - Past

The story progresses with Croaker in the form that he is basically holed up in the plain of fear with darling, the plain of fear is another
Joel Pearson
A fitting end to an enjoyable trilogy. This book, honestly, was the weakest of the three in my opinion. It lacked some of the "oomph" that the first two had, some of the grittiness and unique circumstances. It did, however, make up for it with many more fantastical elements, magic, and a larger involvement with The Lady and some more lore.

The writing was typical Cook - concise but elegant enough, readable, approachable, but not particularly fancy. He does not waste many words - the books are sh
Lisa Hall
This was an audible book listen for me and I didn't realize when I bought it that it was part of series. I need to backtrack and read the first two books. It is a well written story with interesting characters and an interesting fantasy world build full of sorcery and sentient world beings. The timeline jumps back in a couple of places to the actions of a sorcerer named Bromans (not sure of the spelling). I didn't catch on immediately that the two story lines weren't running in the same time fra ...more
I could have loved this one but the writting is so choppy at times it takes me out of the story to scratch my head. Regardless of the continuing execution problems with Mr. Cook's writing, this is a decent wrap for the first trilogy of this very long series. For me it's done. I can see that the choppy writing is being used as technique instead of poor editing. It feels like the writer just skips key aspects of the story by going with the 'it's first person so we don't learn what they don't see'. ...more
I had a hard start with the third part of this series - it needed 50 pages to get into the story. This seems to be a recurring problem with this series. I didn't think about lemming this book, but abandoning the series, because the first three books seem to be a mini-series within the larger 10 books series.

But then the story line and the characterizations took up speed and finalized into an epic showdown that is well deserved. There even was a dragon, an old god with an older story, a parallel
Drew Nelson
It's odd that a book about mercenaries who ride flying whales sometimes and struggle to contain an ancient wicked wizard called the dominator actually has some of the most human and engaging characters I can remember reading. Behind every character's mystical facade there is a real human who gets lonely, tired, and scared and wants a hug. I'm still at a loss to adequately express the experience reading these books has been. The characters, in their bizarre settings having bizarre experiences, ar ...more
This conclusion to the Black Company trilogy is generally satisfying, bringing the characters together for a climax that avoids the totally expected but doesn't stray into a totally bizarre turn, either. The narrator/chronicler continues to be Croaker, an officer and medic in the Black Company who has developed several unique relationships throughout his life. Good action and good pace.

I have to confess to some minor frustrations as well, mostly because the start of this book is many years after
I've struggled to formulate a review for these books (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose).

They fall in a nebulous grey area where I worry about speaking too highly of them in my review and painting them as perfect (which they aren't), without wanting to put undue emphasis on any flaws (none of which were enough to detract from my enjoyment of the books).

In short: I liked them, a lot. I'll definitely be seeking out more Glen Cook when I get home.

Some specifics:

I like the writing
Troy G
Glen Cook is an author without peer. He writes experiences as much as books. His narration perspective from inside the head of a historian recording the events of his protagonists allows for much more surprise and twists that more traditional narration.

The White Rose is the pinnacle of the books of the North. It captures the bleakness and grit that would come to be in even more vivid ways in his books of the South. The books before this one, while outstanding works, were in a way, finding their
Eric Moreno
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fanatastic end to the first trilogy of the Black Company. After the struggles in the first book of sorting the story into order each book got progressively more entertaining to read.

The Black Company is a group of mercenaries led by a Captain and the record of their activities assiduously maintained by THE Annalist. The company have two wizards (One Eye and Goblin) and through subterfuge and deception, ably enhanced by the wizards they fight their way through a variety of adventures.

The two mos
Robin Wiley

Best so far! All of my favorite things in one fun book - snark, action, magic, creatures and cool places.

This is just so cool. Mysteries to be solved, suspense ending, changing alliances - all good.

Final battle is epic not in size of the army, but in what's at stake. It's a matter of scale.

Cool places - the Plain of Fear, the Barrowland (big necropolis)
Action - PLENTY
Magic - the wizards get alot more to do, and then the entire Plain of Fear, change storms, breaking or enhancing ancient
The ending to the first trilogy of Black Company books, The White Rose seems to be where Glen Cook finds his voice. All three books in the trilogy are short, so the third book is where the characters finally bloom into full, complex beings. I'm so used to 700-page plus books in the fantasy genre that nearly every plot twist and character decision was still a bit surprising, and it kept me engrossed straight through to the end. I recommend buying the (very cheap) compilation of the first three bo ...more
Don't like the ending. The novel became boring around the 2/3 mark.

I still like the narrative style. I still like the feelings of despair, loneliness, desperation, and especially exhaustion experienced by the Company. It just so realistic. I still like how Goblin and One-Eye kept harassing each other (they're like BFFs in denial). Most of all, I still like the way things are described to be neither good or bad, all have their own shades of grey, except maybe the Dominator but he was just incons
Lord Nouda
Rating raised to 5 stars. Glen Cook is a genius. The White Rose is the final book the trilogy involving the Dominator, the Lady and the reincarnation of the White Rose. The Chronicles of the Black Company reads like a personal historical narrative rather than a fantasy novel. The experiences of Croaker, the physician of the Black Company (the last of the free Companies of Khatovar) is related through his eyes and through his position as the company's annalist.

Croaker is working together with the
Shari  Mulluane
Once again, I was struck by how different this series is. There are no real heroes. Sure, there is bravery, loyalty, self-sacrifice, brotherhood and humor, but no one character stands out. They all do what they have to do, often reluctantly, depending on the situation. There is one faceless evil, the Dominator, but the rest are in the gray range. Good people do bad things, bad people do good things, but they all think that what they are doing is right. You cannot get any closer to reality then t ...more
The white rose is my favourite so far of the Black Company books. The alternate story in this one really grabbed my attention from the begining. The letters that Croaker got about the old wizard reviving the Lady and starting the dominion. In this book Lady starts to become human, as she shows herself to be more than the huge evil of the first two books. The setting is strange and the most fantastic of the books but it's a very spooky and disturbing kind of fantasy. The world is still very grim ...more
William Gerke
It's been a few years since my last re-read of the Black Company books. I honestly can't be trusted to write a fair review of these. My experience is that people either love or hate Glen Cook. I find his writing incredibly refreshing. Despite recommendations to read Joe Abercrombie or Steven Erikson (both of which I enjoy), no one can match Cook's speed or intensity. Complex, nuanced characters who are revealed through their ACTIONS, not their words or thoughts or internal monologues. Narrators ...more
This is quite tough to rate.
I almost put this as a three, but its just so fitting and touching to the whole Black Company series that I gave it a 4.

The whole feel of this series, and especially the White Rose, is one of loss - everyone looses out in a war. Lose friends, lose family, lose purpose, lose sense of self, lose judgement of right and wrong. Sometime lose knowledge of who is the enemy and who is a friend.

I love that Cook isn't trying anything fancy with this writing. It is straightforwa
The third in the increasingly enjoyable Black Company series by Glen Cook, like it's predecessors it was a hard book to rate, and came very close to five stars.

The Black company, nearly destroyed in the aftermath of the last book, has fled the service of the Lady and now stand as rebels, helping the enigmatic White Rose, destined to over-throw the lady and defeat the Dominator. What might be a pretty typical 'Good vs. Evil' plot of the standard trope; ancient evil, destined child, etc. is made m
Bram Vandenbussche
(Thank you Goodreads for losing my review while saving it and making me type it again)

What did I think? Well, I liked it, but I wasn't really into it and so I don't feel compelled to read any other of the dozen-or-so black company books that are published.

The writing style still puts me off at a distance, even after 3 books of it, and the world building is almost none-existing, which for me, is a real deal-breaker.

The author comes up with the most strange creatures that you can imagine, often on
No. I have no expectations. This is not a fairy-tale world.

What an awesome ending to the trilogy. I'm not sure if it's really a trilogy or a continuous series, but the arc felt complete/finished to me.

It started out pretty slow, as I didn't care for all the flashbacks, but it was an enjoyable read even then, and wow, what a finish. This is quickly becoming a favorite series, I don't want the stories to end.

The chemistry in this book was awesome, and probably my favorite aspect of the whole book.
Killian Weber
In this book Croaker battles the Lady for the White Rose. The Lady's and the White Rose's army'a attack each other until they realism the Dominator is trying to rise again. Their armies attack the Dominator in an attempt to kill him once and for all.
This book is a great book to read even though it is sometimes hard to follow. I really enjoyed this book.
Dave H
The books in this story keep getting better. This was another page-turner that I couldn't put down. A lot more of the world got explained as characters fleshed out as Croaker and the company (view spoiler).

As before, the author does a good job of both hiding and revealing plots twists. A few I was able to figure out ahead of time, but one big one (Corbie) I didn't get until it dropped on my head. I really e
Full review at

(Spoilers for The Black Company and Shadows Linger are below).

I loved the concept behind the plot of The Black Company. A group of mercenaries fighting for a known villain makes for an interesting story about moral compromise. This continues in the sequel, but at the end of Shadows Linger the surviving members of the Black Company leave the service of the Lady (the primary antagonist) in order to join forces with Darling aka the White Rose (
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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 U.S. Navy and attended the University of Missouri. He worked for General Motors for 33 years, retiring some years ago. He started writing short stories in 7th grade, had several published in a high school literary magazine. He began writing with m ...more
More about Glen Cook...

Other Books in the Series

The Chronicles of the Black Company (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Black Company (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #1)
  • Shadows Linger (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #2)
  • Shadow Games (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #4)
  • Dreams of Steel (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #5)
  • Bleak Seasons (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #6)
  • She is the Darkness (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #7)
  • Water Sleeps (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #8)
  • Soldiers Live (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #9)
  • A Pitiless Rain (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #10)
  • Port of Shadows (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #11)
The Black Company (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #1) Chronicles of the Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1-3) Shadows Linger (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #2) The Books of the South: Tales of the Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4-6) Shadow Games (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #4)

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“No religion I ever encountered made any sense. None are consistent. Most gods are megalomaniacs and paranoid psychotics by their worshippers' description. I don't see how they could survive their own insanity. But it's not impossible that human beings are incapable of interpreting a power so much greater than themselves. Maybe religions are twisted and perverted shadows of truth. Maybe there are forces which shape the world. I myself have never understood why, in a universe so vast, a god would care about something so trivial as worship or human destiny.” 20 likes
“I do not want to die, Croaker. All that I am shrieks against the unrighteousness of death. All that I am, was, and probably will be, is shaped by my passion to evade the end of me.” 4 likes
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