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The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1)
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2015 Book Club Discussions > February 2015: The Black Company - Final Discussion (With Spoilers)

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Lisa (tenaciousreader) | 301 comments This is where we can discuss The Black Company in its entirety, full of spoilers! So, what did you think of it?


message 2: by Ben (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ben Couteret | 7 comments I read this book around a year ago so I don't remember a whole bunch of the details. I have skimmed the Wikipedia article and it did trigger some recollection.

I enjoyed the dynamic of the Taken manipulating mankind. It's a different take on the idea of "Gods".

The Raven and Darling relationship was interesting.

The final battle seemed confusing but I found it fascinating.


message 3: by Bigbuzzard (new)

Bigbuzzard | 2 comments Just finished The Black Company, amazing novel, so excited to continue the series. Feels incredibly down to earth, and human, and retains the high fantasy aspect. I love the Band of Brothers feel it has to it, amazing book.


message 4: by Jason Abrao (new)

Jason Abrao The Lady is my favorite character. I haven't gotten to the Southern Trilogy yet but I am looking forward to more of her story.


Brendon | 3 comments I've read the entire series. I enjoy Cook's writing, although in the case of this particular book, it takes a bit of getting used to. What I really enjoyed about this book is the whole idea behind it. No good guys, no bad guys, the protagonists are just mercs working for the highest bidder. Not fighting for anything other than to win.


message 6: by Colin (new)

Colin (cschell) | 1 comments Are we talking about just the first novel or the entire series? I just finished the series last week, so I want to be sure before I jump in


Joey (mostlyjoe) | 5 comments Croaker is amazing. I love the idea of an old tired military unit barely holding on but taking the worst jobs and surviving.


Lisa (tenaciousreader) | 301 comments So, I read this one with a book club 2 years ago. Since I can't remember the details all that great, so I'm copying in what I posted to that group when I read it.

I definitely enjoyed this one more as the story progressed.

One gripe I had with this book was how Catcher was so obviously portrayed as a woman from the very get-go, but somehow Croaker was still "surprised" by the revelation that she was one of the women who were made of the Taken. We were getting Croaker's POV from the beginning, so if we were so certain she was a woman, he should have been as well. Minor complaint, nothing that kept me from focusing on the story, it just struck me as odd.

I did not think that she would end up being the Lady's sister though, I thought that was interesting, as was having Croaker take her out and having to decide who was the lesser evil, the Lady or the Dominator?

And Raven and Darling ride off. This end of this book definitely feels like the set up for the larger story. Like I said, I would read on if I didnt have so much else going on. I hope to one day pick it back up and find out what happens to them all.


Lisa (tenaciousreader) | 301 comments Also, I know I'm likely in the minority here, but couldn't help but feel I was supposed to find the antics between Goblin and One Eye much more amusing than I actually did. They didn't bother me, but I can be kind of picky about humor in books and this is an instance where I felt it was supposed to be funny, but just fell flat for me.


message 10: by Seth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Seth Skorkowsky | 3 comments Lisa wrote: "One gripe I had with this book was how Catcher was so obviously portrayed as a woman from the very get-go, but somehow Croaker was still "surprised" by the revelation that she was one of the women who were made of the Taken. "

Completely agree here. It's a minor thing, but it could have been fun had Croaker suspected it, maybe gone back and forth on it. Or even talk about it with some of the other characters, possibly even bet on it (They bet on everything).


message 11: by Joey (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joey (mostlyjoe) | 5 comments In the case of Catcher it was the idea that she was more a lieutenant than one of the Taken. I think it more as being "Taken" is something like saying you are Darth Vader. Here is my card.


message 12: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel (deliriumtrigger) | 312 comments Lisa wrote: "Also, I know I'm likely in the minority here, but couldn't help but feel I was supposed to find the antics between Goblin and One Eye much more amusing than I actually did. They didn't bother me, b..."

They definitely became much more entertaining in the subsequent books. In the first, they just seemed like douchebags to each other, who only seemed to care when one or the other was hurt.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 5 comments I love the series and Glen Cook for being so innovative as everything at those times in the 80s were just Tolkien ripoffs.

Plus people who think the Grimedark fantasy is a recent thing that had only started in the last 10 years, should take a look at Cook, especially with The Black Company.


message 14: by Kevin (last edited Feb 08, 2015 06:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 5 comments I love how the series ended, even though the series has end, Cook has plans to write 2 more books in the middle of the series.


Jason Windsor | 1 comments I had loved this series, I just recently picked up the rest of the omnibus. Overall I greatly enjoyed the simplistic and bare bones descriptions that Glen Cook writes with. The ability to have such fearsome characters and still be able to crack a good joke with Goblin and One Eye is a very impressive feat. For those of you that enjoy audiobooks I highly recommend the audible recordings of the Black Company. The reader for audible is very well spoken, clear, and has a hell of a voice to be Croaker.


Xander Bennett | 3 comments So this was one of those novels I didn't really care for until right at the end.

While Croaker is an unreliable narrator (he outright admits about whitewashing the Annals) he's also somewhat oblivious to what's going on around him. He doesn't notice as much as we as readers would like him to notice. Maybe it's his attempt to make the story more exciting.

Also, I realized Darling was the White Rose around the midway point.


message 17: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Turkstra I really enjoyed how the Black Company worked for the Lady and their struggle (at times) for working for what appear to be bad people. It however makes a lot of sense when the Lady explains that evil is all about perspective. When compared against what "could be" if the Dominator were around it makes you think...


message 18: by Jeff (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeff S | 5 comments I liked how they dropped you in the middle of it so that you only got to experience the characters, as what they were doing didn't seem important.

Kind of sets the mood for a mercenary company. They have their history and their honor, but as mercenaries, they tend not to get invested more than fulfilling their contract.

I'm also going to have to finish this trilogy, this is exactly why I joined this group.


message 19: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa (tenaciousreader) | 301 comments Jeff wrote: "I liked how they dropped you in the middle of it so that you only got to experience the characters, as what they were doing didn't seem important.

Kind of sets the mood for a mercenary company. T..."


I actually kind of liked that too. It turns a lot of people off because they feel this need to understand the larger picture from the beginning, but I enjoyed getting it piece by piece through the characters. Definitely no info dumps in this one!


Brendon | 3 comments Colin wrote: "Are we talking about just the first novel or the entire series? I just finished the series last week, so I want to be sure before I jump in"

Sorry I missed this. Yes, the entire series. Even the books people hated. It has its ups and downs, but I enjoyed it regardless.


message 21: by Matt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matt Hageman Not my type of Fantasy. I love world building over character building, and having only read the first book in this series, I did not really see any world building taking place. Also I found the magic system weak. A magic carpet? Really? And I never really understood if Goblin or One-Eye were weak or strong. When their magic was talked about, it was an attempt at humour.

Overall, it was alright, but I most likely will not continue the series!


message 22: by seak (new) - rated it 4 stars

seak | 14 comments Finally finished the book a couple days before the end of the month and then completely forgot to post about it. Really enjoyed it. It was like Malazan, but with only the marines, which were the best part.

I'm not sure how convinced I was of how evil the Lady was, but I liked it nonetheless. I thought she was decidedly gray.

Then the One-Eye and Goblin relationship was just awesome.

I can't say the ending was all that unpredictable, but I liked it and I'm looking forward to seeing what else there is in this world.


Frances | 14 comments I really enjoyed the writing style, it was so good in spots it gave me shivers. Up there with classic crime writers such as JD McDonald. The story was dark and gripping, and I loved it.

It took me while to get my head around the background world, how the Taken all related to each other and The Lady. I found early on especially I really had to concentrate. That said I love being dropped in the middle of a world and having to figure out what is going on. It's a very immersive experience as a reader.

The only down side of that is - I was listening to this story while I was commuting and in the opening chapters it was a little hard to follow in places. Being briefly distracted while I reacted to what was going on in the traffic around me was enough of a distraction for me to lose my place. As I said especially earlier on, it seemed to settle down as the story progressed.

I will definitely be reading more in this series.


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