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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Return
Initially this collection of the Black Company stories "Bleak Seasons" and "She is the Darkness" was disappointing. The previous book ended on quite a cliff hanger and for some reason Cook decides not to fill us in on certain points of great interest (such as what takes place between Croaker and Soulcatcher). Instead, "Bleak Seasons" spends most of its time in Dejagore,...
Published on 17 Oct 2010 by DRFP

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is an ominbus edition of Bleak Seasons and She is the Darkness.
As stated above, this book is part of the omnibus series of Glen Cook's long out of print but excellent Black Company series. It compiles the first half of the "Glittering Stone" sequence and comprises the two "Books of Murgen", the principal narrator.

Normally I would rate the Black Company books as a solid 4 stars for their excellent pacing, good and often...
Published on 21 Dec 2009 by R. M. Lindley


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is an ominbus edition of Bleak Seasons and She is the Darkness., 21 Dec 2009
By 
R. M. Lindley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
As stated above, this book is part of the omnibus series of Glen Cook's long out of print but excellent Black Company series. It compiles the first half of the "Glittering Stone" sequence and comprises the two "Books of Murgen", the principal narrator.

Normally I would rate the Black Company books as a solid 4 stars for their excellent pacing, good and often funny characterisation and stonking battle sequences. They miss a 5 star review because of Glen Cook's minimalist writing style, which is often short on description and somehow leaves both prose and his imaginany world flat and lacking the vivacity of newer writers (Erikson, Abercrombie et al).

The two novels in this volume differ with a complex timeline told in flashback by a narrator trying to piece together what has happened. This was a bold move but one that ultimately doesn't quite work, as the pacing of the earlier novels was a great strength. Things begin to improve in She is the Darkness, and there is a humdinger of a cliffhanger, but overall I feel these are the weakest books in the sequence. They are still essential reading for Black Company fans, and I will avidly await the next omnibus - The Many Deaths of the Black Company.

Which, others should note, is again a compilation of previously published work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Return, 17 Oct 2010
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This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
Initially this collection of the Black Company stories "Bleak Seasons" and "She is the Darkness" was disappointing. The previous book ended on quite a cliff hanger and for some reason Cook decides not to fill us in on certain points of great interest (such as what takes place between Croaker and Soulcatcher). Instead, "Bleak Seasons" spends most of its time in Dejagore, where the Company is besieged by the Shadowmaster army. However, rather annoyingly, it turns out the events in Dejagore are in the past; and so we keep getting thrown back in the "present" with big chunks of time missing in between and, again, certain details either absent or hazy until later explained.

This doesn't make for the best read and I do wonder why Cook felt compelled to write in this manner when there really isn't a need (that I can discern). Eventually, perhaps halfway through "Bleak Seasons", things settle down and it's back to business as usual. The main characters are all back, the storyline picks up again and pretty much everything that was great about the earlier books is present.

"She is the Darkness" is an excellent read, even though it feels a little long in places (it IS almost double the length of "Bleak Seasons"). Things build to a tense finish, despite events at Overlook appearing anti-climatic earlier in the book, and the dramatic conclusion has me eagerly awaiting the next omnibus.

I was a little worried about where the Black Company was heading after the previous collection but this volume put my mind at ease - they're almost much as good as ever (but matching the original trilogy is a tall order). This volume does take a while to get into but it settles down in the end and then any fan of the Black Company ought to be hooked once more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars flawed, 23 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
As mentioned by others these are the books of Murgen, a poor choice, as in the words of croaker he is self indulgent and concerned only with his own story. Unfortunately the Black Company cycle gets progressively worse with these two books we have clumsy time shifting and a real lack of action. Croaker and the Lady are under used. Murgen is boring, the banter is getting repetitive. All in all a precipitous dive from the excitement of the beginning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Black Company WILL return in........... ?, 24 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
I have to admit to a slight bias, in that The Black Company series is my all time favourite. This particular edition of The Company's annals is one of the more strange and challenging tomes, told largely from the point of view of Murgen, The Standard Bearer, in an almost drugged-dream like way where his reality shifts constantly between times, places and events. Once again, The Company lurches from near-disaster to unexpected success and back to disaster again, with all the successes, failures and lulls that such tumultuous swings of fortune would realitically throw up in war. Cook pulls no punches, with every aspect of the brutal reality of medieval warfare explored, and made all the more terrifying by the addition of wizardry and super-natural entities, along with the machinations of a god-like entity who may, or may not be pulling some of the strings of the key-players. Sword and Dark Sorcery at it's best, the world of Cook's band of brothers....and the odd sister or two continues to enthrall....someone needs to plant boot to ass to encourage his next foray back into it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superbness!, 28 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
I am a big fan of the Black Company books, and I am working my way through the four omnibii: this is the third.

I am getting used to the changing narrator now, and these 2 books are from the viewpoint of Murgen the standard bearer. Initially I felt peeved that we had switched from Croaker, but these felt fine coming from Murgen. There is a lot of One-Eye (especially) and Croaker and The Lady in these books and that was a welcome return to the real heart of the Black Company for me.

The switching/drifting around of Murgen's affliction/condition is confusing at first (especially the first jump) but does allow some nice development of the character and license for us to see things from multiple viewpoints and timings - a very useful and well applied technique here. The fact that we find out very little of why this happens in these two books is tantalising, and I applaud the author for not feeling like he had to explain or hint too much.

The action is reminiscent to me of the first omnibus - page after page of fluid, interesting story which has that real timeless feel, like it could go on for ever. Sadly it finally had to come to an end (but there are 2 more books in the next volume!) but I feel I had a really generous portion of excellence in these 2 stories and am raring for more.

I am absolutely loving these books still, and can't wait to start on the fourth and (sadly) final omnibus real soon
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Previous Stupid Review, 29 Dec 2009
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M. Waterson "Martyn" (Preston, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
Yes, this is an omnibus edition but that as now effect on the overall quality which is fantastic. Do the research before buying...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Good Condition, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
The book is in excelent condition and arrived as planned. Recomended Seller. Thank You.
El libro llegó en excelentes condiciones y el día estimado. Vendedor recomendado. Gracias.
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2 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad sales strategy., 6 Dec 2009
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Andreas (Bergen, Norway) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Return of the Black Company (Paperback)
I bought this book happily thinking it was a new book in the series. It's not. It's just two older books('Bleak Seasons' and 'She is the Darkness') put together and given a new name. What a waste of money.
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The Return of the Black Company
The Return of the Black Company by Glen Cook (Paperback - 15 Sep 2009)
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