4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2010
The final two Black Company novels (thus far). Has the journey over the last six books really been worth it? Yeah, I'd say so.
It does seems like Cook wrote himself into a few corners here or didn't really know where he was heading in the first place. Cook rushes along at breakneck speed (especially in the final novel) but even I managed to notice some lazy writing on his part, despite how caught up I got. I don't know if Cook really needed to kill off as many characters as he did too ("Many Deaths" being an appropriate title for this omnibus). I know Cook had always skipped major events in the past and has been notably unsentimental but there are times here when you wanted him to acknowledge the passing of some characters more than he did. His lack of mourning seemed a little gratuitous at times.
I think it's fairly easy to be critical of these last six Black Company novels, if only because they can't match up to the original trilogy. But, at the end of the day, I've read them all and even these last two were still a blast. Not perfect by any means (sometimes you'll wonder why Cook writes the plot the way he does) but if - like me - you've enjoyed the ride thus far then you'll definitely get something from this finale too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
I have enjoyed this series very much. It's had some ups and downs but generally It's engaging and keeps you reading.
Unfortunately after some great books this is where the series hits a bum note. It happens.
This is one of those where the author ditches nearly all the characters your invested in and brings those who you don't know, don't like or don't care about to the front. It's brutal. It has taken me weeks to read just 130 odd pages and If I hadn't enjoyed the previous books so much I would have chucked this in the bin by now.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Yes, it does do what it says on the tin/cover. Previously, the Black Company novels were good on action, good on characterisation and poor on description. The Many Deaths... returns to the narrative, epic style of telling that deliberately aims to recreate a sense of myth, but does so at the expense of the characters themselves.
There are many, many deaths of characters I had come to like that are glossed over - "and then X died" or "at then end of the battle, Y and Z were dead" are not fitting ends for our heroes and villains.
Yes, I know this is kind of the point, but ultimately it was unsatisfying. There are some good points and the resolution to the tales of Croaker and Lady are good, but overall I felt this was a bad end to the Company. Soldiers live, and wonder why - you may too after reaching the finale.