Top positive review
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Interesting take on the genre
on 10 April 2010
I bought this as a recommendation from Amazon having followed the Malazan series very closely (which I love). It is a collection of the first 3 books in the series: The Black Company, Shadows Linger and White Rose.
Despite being written over 20 years ago it brings a refreshing look to the genre. Its principle character is Croaker, the Company physician and annalist/historian, and the story is mostly told from his viewpoint. The Black Company are a particularly dark bunch, a mercenary outfit usually hired by the villains of the piece who then add a sense of morality to their actions.
Glen Cook doesn't demark black and white, good and bad, heroes and villains. It is more of a sliding scale that is dependant on situation from scene to scene. A bit more gritty, a little more realistic. The standard is anti-heroes and darkness these days, and The Chronicles definitely has these themes in abundance.
The books themselves are good reads, The Black Company served as a good intro with nefarious beginnings and excellent battle sequences. Shadows Linger builds up to a tragic crescendo and ties a lot of threads together toward the end. White Rose is a spectacle in itself, although you feel the Company are all getting on a bit age wise at this point, and that new blood is needed soon.
A good series, and I will pursue the rest. If you like Thomas Covenant (especially Second Chronicles) and the Malazan Book of the Fallen, you will enjoy Glen Cook. Try to get them and read them before they drop off the face of the planet altogether