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Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook

Chronicles of the Black Company (1986)

by Glen Cook

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chronicles of the Black Company (Omnibus 1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,334319,385 (4.15)26
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.... --From publisher description.
  1. 00
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (SandraArdnas)
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    The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan (dClauzel)
    dClauzel: De la fantaisie noire, avec des sorciers à la volonté impérialiste, des guerres menées par des mercenaires, des révoltes opprimées dans le sang, et un sentiment éternel que de toute façon au final rien ne pourra changer pour le mieux, donc autant essayer quand même.… (more)

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» See also 26 mentions

English (29)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Cue the Metal Music... ( )
  thePatWalker | Feb 10, 2020 |
The Chronicle of the Black Company #1 ( )
  Ronald.Marcil | Jul 7, 2019 |
“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.”

Took a long time to buy this book and some more to start reading it, only to end up controlling myself so I could pause and put down the book to go back to my responsibilities. I needed some dark fantasy. Something to fill the void I got after finishing the A Song of Ice and fire series.

The Black Company is a mercenary outfit with years of history as far as any Annalist could write. Centuries of war and tradition keep being recorded, along with the good, the evil and the heroics. This book is, in reality, three books: The Black Company, Shadows Linger and The White Rose.

Croaker is the man responsible to put all of that on paper when he’s not on active duty as the physician. At the beginning of the book, we’re told the Company is in the city of Beryl under a very uneventful contract with the Syndic, its ruler. Reputation is the moral ground that avoids terminating it and moving on to a new contractor. Fortunately, a black ship appears on the coast with an ominous entity and an offer. The rules have loopholes and the top brass knows how to find them. Being the efficient men they are, a way is found to be relieved from their commitment with the Syndic. Immediately they discover the entity is a dark sorcerer from an empire in the north, led by an even darker sorceress called The Lady. The epic journey starts here...

What I loved about this series is how Glen Cook manages to write Croaker’s scribbles in a way it feels like it was actually written by Croaker. The immersion is amazing. We can relate with him and the other characters he writes about, like his leader, The Captain and his friend, Elmo; The wizards are amongst my favorite, no matter which side they fighting for. They are powerful and capable of incredible feats but are also tricksters, possess cunning ideas and can have vices and habits as us mortals.

It feels like a memoir. You get an idea of the world you’re in, detailed descriptions of the landscape and the actions taken on the battles fought on it. This is basically a war book where you get to know the tactics used, the musings, the politics and everyone’s place in them.

I have to contain myself to give away more details. More could be said but I’m sure it would lose the charm of the book. It’s unique. The language used is almost “everyman” type. Croaker does not leave much unsaid but will make sure everyone understands it. Even uses slurs.

I had no idea the Chronicles started back in 1984. Some would say its ahead of its time. Can’t wholeheartedly agree but I can certainly understand why due to writing style alone.

This is the kind of fantasy I love. Average men doing work on a fantastic world, growing with their struggles, learning, adapting and rising in life. It has some of the best examples on character development so take notes.

I usually recommend the books I read to specifics but in this case I’m recommending to everyone. More than fantasy, I love fiction and this is some of the best fiction I read. It’s a must for such lovers. Speaking of which, this has probably the best “affair” I’ve ever read. Funny too.

As for myself, hopefully I’ll find some hardcover for Books of The South. ( )
  Igor_Veloso | May 12, 2019 |
Dark, gritty, mercenary fantasy. 'nuff said! ( )
  mwchase | Nov 6, 2018 |
Fun read. Writing was rather lame. Interesting action. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cook, Glenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kidd, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swanland, RaymondCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
The Black Company
This one is for the people of the St. Louis Science Fiction Society. Love you all.
Shadows Linger
For David G. Hartwell, without whom there would neither be Sword nor Dread Empire nor Starfishers
The White Rose
For Nancy Edwards, just because
First words
The Black Company
There were prodigies and portents enough, One-Eye says.
Shadows Linger
All men are born condemned, so the wise say.
The White Rose
The still desert air had a lenselike quality.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Omnibus containing the first three books of the Chronicles of the Black Company: The Black Company; Shadows Linger; The White Rose
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

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