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Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-04-15

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.

Good narration.

1 person found this helpful

Good book; narration not quite there for me

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-03-11

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

8 people found this helpful