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- Chronicles of the Black Company, Book 8
- By: Glen Cook
- Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
- Length: 18 hrs and 7 mins
For years, Glen Cook's Black Company series has built a major audience among fantasy fans. Told from the "worm's-eye" view of the soldiers and functionaries who fight in the trenches of vast sorceress wars, this epic has riveted a generation of readers. If the Joseph Heller of Catch-22 were to tell the story of The Lord of the Rings, it might read like the Black Company books.
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- By Martin on 10-04-15
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I very much enjoyed Water Sleeps after not quite the same enthusiasm for Bleak Seasons and She is the Darkness. It is not the best paced story but it generally rattles along and builds out significantly the Company, Kina and Glittering Plain back stories.
There is some good character building - we learn much more about some former bit part players (not least because one is the annalist).
While some new characters come to centre stage there is a sense throughout that others are lining up for their final curtain call.
It could have been an ending - but it isn't - and it sets things up nicely for the last book.
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The Black Company
- Chronicles of The Black Company, Book 1
- By: Glen Cook
- Narrated by: Marc Vietor
- Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead - until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her....
- By John on 26-03-11
Good book; narration not quite there for me
The Black Company is a hugely enjoyable book. It is not the best written nor is the plot the most sophisticated but in terms of capturing what's been called a 'grunt's eye' view of the fantasy battlefield it stands out. The story, of a company of hard-bitten mercenaries in the service of powerful and evil sorcerers could easily be hackneyed. It is to its credit that it isn't although it is no stranger to certain fantasy tropes. Where it wins is with a good yarn, engaging characters (heroes might be stretching it), undoubtedly villainous villains and a sense of humour.
For me though, there was an issue. I had read the entire series before coming to the audiobook and the moment I hit the start button I ran into a problem. The narrator's voice was not even close to the one I had in my head while reading the story. That is not a criticism of the narrator just one of those things that happens. The problem was - it wouldn't go away. So while I still enjoyed the story and will download more, I was left with a sense that the book hadn't quite been captured properly. This is probably compounded by the Black Company being written in the first person by Croaker, the Company's medic, and it just wasn't Croaker. There is no doubt the dissonance hurt the narration for me and because the voice was wrong, the narration just never quite came to life.
That said, the Black Company story and its perspective has had a big influence not only today's fantasy writers but also game designers - many of whom have acknowledged the debt. Try it. You will probably end up listening to or reading the entire series. I don't think you will be disappointed
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