Melanti's Reviews > The Black Company

The Black Company by Glen Cook
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Feb 03, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: audiobook, 2011
Read from May 03 to 11, 2011

This book has been put together in an interesting way.

It's swords and sorcery, so physical fights and magical duels are prevalent, though the focus is not on them; it's on the characters who fight. It seems more of an outline of events - "We went here, and this happened. Then we went here and this happened." The details of all fights get left behind in the broad sweep of years worth of fighting. At the same time, the characters themselves are treated with the same broad overview rather than details. We get to know them enough to predict how they'll react to something, yet we still know almost nothing about them, their history or how their minds work.

In my opinion, this is rather sad. The series is the heart and workings of a mercenary company, who (at least in this book) is working for a morally questionable employer for the majority of the book and are themselves quite morally questionable. I love a good villain, and the idea of a book full of disreputable characters sounded promising. Yet, other than their love of money and a few personality quirks (who liked to tease whom, etc) all of this stays unexplored. It's very fertile ground laying fallow.

Despite all of this, by the end I was caught up in the plot and I do want to know what happens next. But, as I can't imagine spending more of my life on brief sketches of events, I think I'll move on to another series.

If you're of a mindset that likes lots and lots of action but doesn't care for every arrow and sword stroke to be described in detail and if you don't want more characterization than absolutely necessary to carry the story, this is the book for you.
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