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Chronicles of the Black Company

(The Chronicles of the Black Company #1-3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  20,695 ratings  ·  614 reviews
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead.

Then comes the prophecy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more…

This omnibus edition comprises The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose―the first three novels in Glen Cook's bestsellin
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Paperback, First Edition, 704 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Tor Books (first published 1986)
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Nick There is a Black Company Wiki if you haven't found it yet. They have a small picture of Murgen (A later member of the Black Company) with the Standard…moreThere is a Black Company Wiki if you haven't found it yet. They have a small picture of Murgen (A later member of the Black Company) with the Standard I believe. (less)

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4.21  · 
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 ·  20,695 ratings  ·  614 reviews


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Markus
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“No one will sing songs in our memory. We are the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar. Our traditions and memories live only in these Annals. We are our own mourners.”

The Chronicles of the Black Company tell the tale of a renowned mercenary company with centuries of histories and tradition. Throughout this three-book omnibus edition, the reader is brought along on a journey from the rich, southern cities of the south to the dark, feared catacombs of the Barrowland in the far north. And some j
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mark monday
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Oh, 'twould be marvelous if the world and its moral questions were like some game board, with plain black players and white, and fixed rules, and nary a shade of grey."

war is hell. hell is other people. other people are other people. other people have their problems. i have my own problems. my people are my people. their goals are my goals. we do what we can. we fight in a war. war is a business. war is our business.

The Black Company is a mercenary outfit. they are from the South; they currentl
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Em Lost In Books
Jun 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star, 2017, dnf, 1980-89
giving up at 31% (after reading book 1).
Athena Shardbearer

OH...The Black Company, how you have won my heart!

Reasons you should read this series

1. Bad-ass Mercenaries
2. Band of Misfits
3. Magic and Creepy Ass Wizards(Goblin)<---Still love him!
4. Croaker as a narrator, hilarious and sometimes a weenie!
5. The Lady *shivers*
6. The Dominator <---Ok, I will admit, every time I read this my mind went into the gutter.
7. RAVEN! (view spoiler)
8. World Building AH-mazing!
9. The Characters, they're original and y
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ijeoma Agbaje
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it


Book 1 Review: 2stars
It just hit me that i should have picked the single edition and not omnibus one, now i'm reading three books for one. ugh pot of beans life. That aside, I DID NOT ENJOY THIS BOOK!! yeah there were some parts which were sort of enjoyable, where i had a glimmer of what was going on but for the most part you're just going in blind. Imagine someone opens up a door and slams it shut before you get your bearings, that's how you get to view this book. You get a rough understanding

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Evgeny
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a copy/paste of my BookLikes review: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/734878...

There are no good guys, just a band of mercenaries always trying to make a choice between a bad side and a very bad side - they work with a lesser evil to prevent the comeback of a greater one. The people they work with only consider them a useful tool to be discarded when they outlive their usefulness, so expect a lot of backstabbing and double-crossings always present in Glen Cook's writings.


The mercenaries a
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Adrienne
Any book that makes me want to drop my relatively comfortable life to join a mercenary company with at best a fluid sense of morality is doing something right. I'd be signing up for long marches through snow and mud, for following orders (no questions asked), and for the occasional massacre, and frankly, that's not normally me. Huh.

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did! I was pleasantly surprised. I accidentally began reading the second compilation of books in this series (The Book
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Eric
Mar 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Someone interested in a military spin on fantasy might find this interesting
Shelves: fantasy, unfinished
I read about the first 75 pages of the first book, The Black Company, and I just can't get over the feeling that something is fundamentally missing from the story. I can't get a handle on who exactly the Black Company is, how many of them their are, their history, or any specifics on the individuals who make it up, past vague generalizations. More time is spent detailing the one new addition to the group, Raven, than on the narrator, Croaker, the few important magicians, or the seldom mentioned ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
$2.99 on sale today 2/2/19 on kindle US
Zachary
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-library
I love and hate this trilogy. Glen Cook drew me in, led me to fall in love with characters, and then let me down. This was a common theme as I read. The story would hook and reel me in, then suddenly I would lose interest or feel like the story was incomplete at parts and stop reading for a week or two. I had to push myself to get through this book.

I love the characters. Croaker, One-Eye, Goblin, Raven, The Lady, Darling, Silent, and Tracker. They are all unforgettable. Very complex, very detail
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The Crimson Fucker
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ok, since I don’t have Mr. Greg’s reviewing skills I’ma keep it short and simple! This is like somebody gave the guy who wrote this book a fucking Minigun and loaded with bullets of awesomeness and told him to aim directly in to my brainand then the mother fucker went trigger happy! This is good shit! I read it twice in a fucking row!


It got it all! Awesome wizards, kick ass villains, drama, action, more action and more drama! And the hottest villain ever!!! EVER!!! I have a crush with The Lady
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Milda Page Runner
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Milda by: Evgeny
G.Cook's writing style takes some time getting used to. He often drops you in a middle of things without much explanation and it feels like you've missed something. Don't worry - all gets explained as you go along.
But if you like grim-darks, grey cynical characters, sly humour; if you like your fantasy full of action and character interaction with none of the boring food, scenery and clothes descriptions - it's totally worth it. :D

The Black Company 3.5 * review
Shadows Linger 4*
The White Rose 5*
Kevin Xu
He is one of the first if not first one to write dark fantasy and bring it on a personal level that is now all the rage like the works of the George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie and Steven Erikson, where fantasy during his time were still Tolkien copycats with a band of heroes going on a quest.

Basically he wanted to write fantasy based on his experience during the Vietnam War.
Eric
Our orders were to report to Nightcrawler at Lords. Soulcatcher thought Lords would be the target of the next Rebel thrust. Tired as we were, we expected to see more bitter fighting before winter slowed the war's pace.

"Croaker! Lookee here!" Whitey came charging toward where I sat with the Captain and Silent and one or two others. He had a naked woman draped over his shoulder. She might have been attractive had she not been so thoroughly abused.

"Not bad, Whitey. Not bad," I said, and went back
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Joseph
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
The story of the Black Company, last of the Free Companies of Khatovar, and what happened when they sailed north across the Sea of Torments to take service with the Lady.

I first read these in the summer of 1990 (at which point there were actually six books published -- the three collected here, the first two Books of the South, and The Silver Spike; then came the long, long wait for Glittering Plain; but that's another story), and they were, well, unlike pretty much any other fantasy books I'd r
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Michelle Feist
May 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
Couldn't keep reading...This book got such good reviews in the places I checked and I had had my eye on it for some time, so I was looking forward to enjoying a great fantasy story. Maybe the story will get better, but it's the writing style that I can't get past! It's so choppy and lacks detail or smooth transitions from scene to scene. I felt like I was reading something my grade 6's would write! I could get NO feeling for any of the characters so far, not even the narrator - they all felt fla ...more
Gary
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this series is becoming one of my favorites of all time. Maybe the favorite. Typically, I can read two books by the same author, and then I need to read someone else for at least one book and then come back to the author. This is not the case with Glen Cook. I waited until I finished the first three books to write this. Technically, each book stands alone as an individual story, but I wanted to write one review that would serve as an overview of the compiled trilogy.
This series i
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Mark
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Black Company - 4 stars -
Shadows Linger - 5 stars -
The White Rose - 5 stars
Silvana
Time to reread this grimdark classic. Or is it classic grimdark? Yeah, sounds more like it.
Jack
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I drifted away from fantasy fiction in the 1980s when these books came out and addressed many of the misgivings I had about the state of affairs of fantasy fiction. I was weary of the overly descriptive “high fantasy.” It’s a weariness that has lasted decades. Fantasy books that make it so easy for the reader to identify the “good” and see the “bad” as nothing but true evil. Dragons and happy wizards and charming little creatures of the forest and some low-born lad or lass who has the power to s ...more
Lightreads
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Well, that was . . . testicular. Military fantasy about a company of mercenaries, with one of those completely flat, non-ideological conflicts where we’re told X and Y persons are evil, but we have no context for any of it. So what you have left is a bunch of battle summaries (boring) and some local color (all men, don’t ask about the women. Just don’t’).

I think my real problem is that this is told by the company doctor writing the history. He freely admits that he is eliding and prettying thing
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Tamara (緑)
Sep 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
I've read the first two books in Serbian, but the translation was discontinued over a decade ago.
Looking forward to reading it again, this time in English.
Mike Everest Evans
Full review to be submitted at a later date - but it's safe to say that as a reader, and as an ex-soldier, this is one of my favourites.
Anson Mount
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
"The Black Company" is quite simply the best fantasy series I have ever read. For too long, the genre was caught between the kind of adolescent irony propagated by authors such as Piers Anthony (for whom I still carry a teenage love) and the romanticized sword & sorcery worlds of authors such as Robert Jordan. Fortunately, Mr. Cook arrived in time to provide a much-needed dose of realism, internal conflict and morally questionable heroes and villains alike.

When asked for the elevator pitch
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Matthew
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great read... Cook is arguably the father of all the gritty fantasy that has followed. Can't wait to read more in the series.
Alissa
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
"Oh, ‘twould be marvelous if the world and its moral questions were like some game board, with plain black players and white, and fixed rules, and nary a shade of grey."
Ross Kitson
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
simply excellent. I came to this via Erikson and Esslemont's Malazan series, and the influence on those authors descriptions of military life from this trilogy is apparent.
I'd imagine that when this came out it was quite different to other styles of fantasy on the market (as I recall from the early 80s). the punchy prose and concise dialogue is more akin to contemporary fiction than the usually verbose fantasy genre. despite that the world building is great, avoiding over explanation and detaile
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Heather Elroy
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really liked these books.

Thinking back on it, I can't remember much of the first book but I do remember that I wasn't really that interested in the story until the Second book.

What really got me interested was the parts that included the Lady.

When reading this book I went into it thinking that it was going to be like most books I've read. Maybe one character's point of view in a sort of memoir style about what happened in their life with detailed accounts. This wasn't it.

The books are writt
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laurenpie
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece: my all-time favorite series


This series is a masterpiece, perfectly written. In fact, my all-time very favorite series. I identify so much with The Black Company characters that I actually start to miss them, and end up re-reading the entire series again every few years. Must be on my fourth or fifth time through now. Every time, I somehow feel as though I'm coming home.


I absolutely love Glen Cook's writing style. I see that several reviewers complain about it being overly choppy a

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Melina
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this classic grimdark series.

First, I really liked the Black Company as a group of people. In my opinion, some of the best moments in the books were the scenes where people were playing cards and doing nothing much. It was where the relationships and bonding of the mercenaries shone through and it was some of my favorite parts. And of course, the bickering of One-Eye and Goblin.

I also liked the Croaker as a narrator. He was flawed, but smart and quick on his feet, dependable,
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Chronicles of the Black Company [Mar 23, 2019] 15 21 Feb 11, 2019 04:41PM  
The Black Company: What was the hook? 12 84 Aug 11, 2013 05:10PM  
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2,502 followers
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

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of the Black Company (10 books)
  • The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1)
  • Shadows Linger (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #2)
  • The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3)
  • Shadow Games (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4)
  • Dreams of Steel (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #5)
  • Bleak Seasons (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #6)
  • She is the Darkness (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #7)
  • Water Sleeps (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #8)
  • Soldiers Live (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #9)
  • A Pitiless Rain (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #10)
“There are no self-proclaimed villains, only regiments of self-proclaimed saints. Victorious historians rule where good or evil lies.” 34 likes
“There are no self-proclaimed villains, only regiments of self-proclaimed saints. Victorious historians rule where good or evil lies. We abjure labels. We fight for money and an indefinable pride. The politics, the ethics, the moralities, are irrelevant.” 16 likes
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