The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1) The Black Company discussion


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Is it deep?

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Bill Golden First off, it's not very violent at all. This is a group of mercenaries who prefers to outwit their opponents rather than outfight them. If you want action-packed fantasy fiction, you may want to reconsider.

It's not as dark as some fantasy novels out there, but it is pretty gritty. It's mostly that way for the sake of realism, to give the characters a bit of moral ambiguity. These aren't pristine paladins fighting for Good and Justice; the Black Company are paid to fight, and try to honor their commitments to their employer, even if that employer is a ruthless tyrant.

It's a good story, and each character matters to the overall plot, but it's tricky to get a grasp on that in the first book. However, if you hold out until The White Rose you'll see just how complex the pattern Cook was aiming for.

So far, I'm recommending stopping after the third book. I'm up to Water Sleeps, and it's starting to get like middle seasons of Lost: adding a ton of questions but answering few of the existing ones.

Hopefully, that helps you out.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) I think the messages are deep. The writing is on the basic side. Very serviceable. As Bill said, there are some complex issues at work, and it causes the reader to look at the morality of war from many sides. What I like is that Cook doesn't describe the really bad stuff that much, so I didn't find it particularly disturbing in that sense.

It's a quick read, so it's worth a try. If you don't like it, you won't be out of much time.


Richard Agree with the other posters - this is not particularly deep, and it is on the pulpy side, but I have fully enjoyed the ones I've read for what they are - a good fantasy romp that doesn't take itself too seriously.

You will get to know what they are like by the time you are 150 pages through the first one, so if you like that, keep reading :)


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Glen Cook does a couple of things with this series that I really liked. First, he tells the story from the point of view of the foot soldier, not the general. It's a perspective one rarely gets. Second, he strips traditional epic fantasy of most of its glamour. The books are gritty and the characters jaded. The drama is excellent.


Eric Abraham You should read these books for the simple fact that they are military fantasy classics. Cook, in my opinion, hardly gets enough credit for the changing the genre he writes in. Everyone needs to get off Martin's teet when it comes to changing the game. Not only do you get great POV with every book you also get some of the best villains put to print. The Ten Who were Taken will never be topped. Croaker,One Eye, Silent, And Raven need to be put on the pedestal the same as Gandalph,Elric,and Potter (I smiled a little when i wrote that these guys would eat Potter for lunch.)Cook gets criticized for his simplistic writing but it all goes to serve the characters and their view point.They are not Shakespeare but what they are, and even some of the characters will admit, are hardened killers who barely know how to read and write and we get to experience that through their journals. I wish I could forget these books just for the opportunity to rediscover them. You are lucky my friend.


Monica It wasnt deep but predictable in my opinion i lost interest in the plot midway through it.


Tony It's my favorite fantasy series. Not sure if that's any help, since you don't know me, but I'd recommend it if you like your fantasy full of grays and twinges of horror. The later books, past the first six, do become more like reading Vietnam War fiction with a few fantasy elements thrown in the mix, but if you make the trip that far with the Black Company, you'll be fully engaged in finding out their fate.

As a frame of reference, my favorite fantasy writers are David Gemmell, Joe Abercrombie, Michael Moorcock, Steven Erikson and, of course, Glen Cook. If you like any of these guys, you should dig The Black Company.


C.E. Crowder If you enjoy The Black Company (and sequels) but want a thicker taste, Steve Erikson took his inspiration from it and moves the scale all the way up to 10 with his Malazan series, starting with Gardens of the Moon.


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