Apr 05, 12
Read from March 25 to April 04, 2012
It had been 7 years since the end of the first book, and the Black Company is still in the service of the Lady. They have become her favorite tool and are used to eradicate the rebel resistance wherever it is found. Raven is still on the run with Darling as well. When fate brings everyone back together in a town called Juniper where a strange castle is taking shape, old alliances break and reform as the situation dictates.
With this second book, Glen Cook continues the Black Company saga. His writing is superb, and the characters continue to be incredibly entertaining. The story is enthralling, and it's never clear what will happen next. He continues to write under the idea that good and bad depend entirely on your view point.
Like the first book, Cook does not mess around with back stories or flashbacks. He jumps right into the action. This is great because I hate series where the author takes chapters to reintroduce characters that you already know. I would recommend reading the books in quick succession though. If you forgot any of the major plot points from the first book, you may be a little lost.
If there was one thing that I didn't like about this book, it would be that there are a few anti-climactic moments towards the end. It almost seemed like he was running out of time, so he decided to just cut out a few characters without any real story. Cook spends so much time on minor issues in the beginning that the ending actually left me a little unsatisfied. My hope is that those moments weren't really complete and they will be reborn in the 3rd book, but I don't know if that will happen.
Great book. If you like your fantasy a little darker and more human, this series is for you.