This series is indeed fantastic.
This series needed a thread, because it's awesome and doesn't get mentioned nearly enough/as often as it should. It also has some of the sickest cover art around.
Last edited by Seventh; 12-08-2012 at 06:22 AM.
This series is indeed fantastic.
I've got the 4 compilations sitting on my shelf. Read through Chronicles and Books of the South so far, it's a fun series. One-Eye and Goblin shit-stirring always makes me smile.
I don't mind the individual books being short in length, I find it keeps the action moving. Even if you've only got half an hour to read, it still feels like you've made progress.
I'll be starting the Glittering Stone books once I'm finished with the First Law trilogy. I heard they are a change of pace and decided to clear some of my backlog before starting them.
This is, unequivocally, my favorite series in the universe. I have, literally, 3 copies of several of the different books because I used to lend them out to people and not get them back before I wanted to read them again. If I find them in a box I'll take a picture. The first three books in particular are just awesome, but all 10 are great. There are two more "on the way" too, one that is set between the first and second books I believe, and then one that picks up again after the last book. Not sure of a projected release date, but he's already written a couple of short stories that are to be included in the first book.
My favorite thing about these books is the way he doesn't spend time going into vast detail about things. He does when it needs it, but you could probably fit everything specific he has said about any one character into a couple of sentences. Beyond that it is your imagination filling in the blanks, which for me resulted in characters I remember far more vividly than ones that have had pages and pages of description devoted to them.
Also, The Limper is one of the best characters ever, period.
I'm going to steal my post from the previous board because it says pretty much all I need to say about these books, and was helpful in getting at least one person to pick up the series, so maybe it will help again:
I still remember the first time I picked up that book in a Waldenbooks in 1985. The cover was sort of intriguing, but not overwhelming, and the covers on Shadows Linger and The White Rose were positively gay. I read the description and it sounded cool, but I just couldn't tell. So I opened it up to a random page and read. This is exactly the part I read:
My favorite book, ever.The latecomers arrived. One of the men demanded, “What became of the party in the Camellia Grotto?” His voice had a whiny, nasal quality. My hackles rose. It reeked of arrogance and contempt. I hadn’t heard its like since I joined the Black Company. People in Beryl hadn’t used that tone.
They don’t know the Black Company in Opal, I told myself. Not yet, they don’t.
The voice hit Raven like a sledge whack on the back of the head. He stiffened. For a moment his eyes were pure ice. Then a smile crinkled their corners—as evil a smile as I have ever seen.
The Captain whispered, “I know why Jalena suffered his attack of indigestion.”
We sat motionless, frozen by deadly imminence. Raven turned slowly, rising. Those three saw his face.
Whiny-voice choked. His male companion began shaking. The woman opened her mouth. Nothing came out.
Where Raven got the knife I do not know. It went almost too fast to follow. Whiny-voice bled from a cut throat. His friend had steel in his heart. And Raven had the woman’s throat in his left hand.
“No. Please,” she whispered without force. She expected no mercy.
Raven squeezed, forced her to her knees. Her face purpled, bloated. Her tongue rolled out. She seized his wrist, shuddered. He lifted her, stared into her eyes till they rolled up and she sagged. She shuddered again, died.
Raven jerked his hand away. He stared at that rigid, shaking claw. His face was ghastly. He surrendered to the all-over shakes.
“Croaker!” the Captain snapped. “Don’t you claim to be a physician?”
“Yeah.” People were reacting. The whole garden was watching. I checked Whiny-voice. Dead as a stone. So was his sidekick. I turned to the woman.
Raven knelt. He held her left hand. There were tears in his eyes. He removed a gold wedding band, pocketed it. That was all he took, though she sported a fortune in jewelry.
I met his gaze over the body. The ice was in his eyes again. It dared me to voice my guess.
Great thread. I never get tired of the first 3, and they were the first books I bought in digital form to carry around with me. The Books of the South are great as well, although I lose the thread towards the end. I played through the "Myth" games and loved the lore but it wasn't until I read the books that I realized it was stolen almost whole from the first trilogy.
Is there a website that explains what the fuck was going on in that universe? Its been a few years since I read it, but I remember mostly enjoying what I was reading but not really being able to put anything together in a cohesive framework. It really, really got into Indian/Eastern mythology in the second series too, but there was just so much stuff I didn't really understand about the daughter, the shadow lands, Lady, the original big bad guy and what happened to him, on and on.
It was pretty wild how the author fucked with the reader by having characters lie a lot.
Easily one of my top three series ever.
SFFWRTCHT: You’ve written ten books so far. Are there plans for more?
G.C.: Actually, there are, assuming I survive long enough to complete them. Port Of Shadows will take place in the interval between Black Company and Shadows Linger. A Pitiless Rain will follow on after Soldiers Live.
The Limper and Raven were some hardcore badasses indeed. Limper defined the phrase "some men just want to watch the world burn" 20-30 years before TDK. The part with all of Lady's henchman dieing at the end of the first series off-screen, then having a few suddenly pop back up on the other side of the world was just so random. Also, Goblin/One-Eye, best failwizards ever? You better believe it.
I got to "She is Darkness", it was the seventh book I read in the series (I skipped the Silver Spike) but after that I stopped, the series was just getting too long. I dislike the idea of an endless plot. The books really were awesome though, especially the early ones dealing with the Lady and the Dominator.
First of all, The Silver Spike is Limper-heavy, so skipping that is a mortal sin! Seriously, read it!
Second, if it helps any, the wrap-up in the final book is one of the best I've read insomuch as you just read ten books and you don't really feel let down, unlike many, many other series or even single books (looking at you Stephen King, Dean Koontz, etc.).
Sounds cool, is that book in the OP the jump off?
Cool, will check it out, thanks.
I haven't seen any actual sign of any more books in this series, unfortunately.
I can't remember where I left off either.. but it really is a great series. Now i'm gonna have to start reading it all over again thanks to this post
Yeah...I finished up Malazan and jumped right back into a reread of these guys. Having fun so far.
Been awhile since I've read these, might have to reread them soon!
Just starting book 1 (about halfway through). Clear that the doctor guy is the main character, but feel he's by far the least interesting (at least so far). Pretty good I have to say - its a different pace than I was expecting, but I like it.
This is one of the few fantasy series worth multiple re-reads just due to the world and characters. I haven't read it in a few years. As soon as I finish the latest Dresden book, I think I'll have to find my copies.
Great first trilogy, but when the company went South the series went with it. Couldn't get into fanfic quality romance between the lead character and that one villain.
Book one done - really liked it. Picked up a lot of steam there at the end. Interested to see how the story develops. Diving in to book 2 as we speak. Thanks for turning me on to this!
After one book, its not quite AGOT or anything - but its a really fun read. Like someone else said - even reading for an hour accomplishes a lot which is nice. Easy to digest.
Finished book two. Great, until the end.
There is a reason the ending is like that, more or less.
Also, as I mentioned in the FoH thread, don't forget that these are also supposed to be told from the perspective of the Annalist (Croaker for now), so he focuses on the things he wants to focus on, and shies away from the things he doesn't...like the death of his brothers in particular. This isn't in particular to this specific ending you're talking about, just the entire series in general. Croaker makes it clear he doesn't deal well with recording the death of Company members, and prefers to document/remember them through their lives. So sometimes you get a major character dying, and almost nothing written about it, presumably because Croaker can't bear to write about it.
At least, that's the way I always imagined it, and it worked for me.
what I find so fascinating is the fact that these books are almost 30 years old, and still read like something written a year ago. compare Black Company to any other 80ies Fantasy novel (hell take early WoT or Sword of Truth) and you realize what a masterpiece this really is.
I've been getting into Audible over the past year or so since I have a 1+hr commute each way...
Can anyone recommend this series on Audible? The narrator sounds dry and uninteresting in the sample, but I could say the same of other narrators that I've come to like the more I listen to them.
I stopped reading these because so far everyone that died had come back to life making deaths meaningless. I read some spoilers about a few mains staying dead finally but meh at this point.
Great first 4 books(silver spike being the forth) will go back some day I think as I really want to know what happens with Lady and def want to find out more about their past and the ancient weapons.
Last edited by Jarec; 12-25-2012 at 09:37 AM.
Is it Necro if I bring up a thread from page 2 of a 2 page forum ?
I started re-reading this series... Fucking hell, it is criptic as fuck. Maybe because english is not my primary language and I read when I am tired, but fuck this "blink and you will miss my meaning" type of crap. At least with Erickson, who writes in the same way, you have a 1000000 pages description of a unrelated story-arc to imerse yourself in right afther the moment of confusion.
Not do tell me what is the meaning of this paragraf here... Will it be explained later or am I just dense ?
Been years since I read these, need to break them out again and do it once I'm caught up with all the other shit I've got queued up to read.
If you got that far and didn't finish (if I'm correct in assuming you meant the final book), you should have. I'm not going to say you'll be blown away or anything, but the ending isn't bad compared to a lot of other series, and you were THIS close!
The books did lose a lot of their luster as it went on but I still found them worth reading. Nothing will ever surpass the very first time I read the first three though.
ooo this thread has excited me and I apologize ahead of time for its extreme randomness and jumping around.
Without a doubt my favorite series ever. I'm on my third reading of it right now (and I only just read it for the first time two years ago).
Well, not another READ but instead I'm listening to the audiobooks which, to my surprise, fit the mood really well. I was surprised by you guy's comments about Mark Vietor. I thought his voice fit really well and now he has sort of become THE voice of Croaker to me. Just FYI, he isn't the narrator for all the books, but for most of them. The only narrator I didn't care for was the one in "Dreams of Steel" becauseSpoiler:
Grumpy - Thanks for that link, I haven't seen such a recent interview in forever. Every time I'd google for news, I'd see very OLD mentions about "Port of Shadows" and "Shadows Linger" but nothing that gave me hope that he'd ever actually finish them. And I don't really like reading his interviews because he seems like sort of a jackass and I don't want to get to disliking him and having that sour my enjoyment of his books =)
Anyway, that article gives me some hope that we'll actually see the last two he's talked about for so long.
I think part of the reason I liked the books to begin with is they reminded me of Myth (for obvious reasons) though I didn't really realize it at the onset.
When I first read them, it was when the new omnibus editions were coming out. The originals are very hard to find (cheaply, anyway) as you may know. I ended up having to wait nearly a year between "The Books of the South and "The Return of the Black Company" and man was that torture because "Shadow Games" had one of the most bad ass cliffhangers ever.
I haven't gotten around to reading that new short story "Smelling Danger", anyone checked that out yet?
Zaide - I agree with Vvoid on his comments about the wrap up. Possibly THE most satisfying conclusion to a series I've ever read. The part of me who wants more Black Company books is excited for them, but another part of me hates to mess up such an outstanding ending. Also, be sure to read "The Silver Spike". The Limper as mentioned, plus a lot of wrap-ups on other familiar faces.
I'm like a lot of you... loved the first 3 and the later ones lost a bit of their luster. The first time through I LOVED every one, but the second time I didn't like "Bleak Seasons" and "She is the Darkness" as much, but I still loved the final two. I really enjoy how there seems to be no real overall plot initially, you're just following the lives of these people and, sure they get some purpose in book 3, but then for a long time after that there is seemingly no overarching goal, and then suddenly things just slam home and their purpose gets even more important than their earlier one. It just took me off guard at the time. And I really love how it pans out.
Last edited by vamenn; 01-15-2013 at 02:56 AM.
Just knocked out the final book in the series. Took forever getting through the last few books, as I didn't really care for them but wanted to "complete the story".
Agreed with what most everyone is saying - first 3 books were really tight, really entertaining, and really well written. After the 4th book, he sort of unravels a bit too much for my taste.. and the final books especially felt like an entirely different series than I had started with. Still better than playing computer games I think, but I can't help but be a little annoyed at how he concluded the series (though I agree the ending was pretty satisfying). Wish he had stuck with what made the first 3 great.
Thanks for the recommendation though!
Just bought the 1st compilation couple days back. Hope it's as good as I'm hearing!
By far one of my top series of all time. I think its about time for another read through.
This review on GR sums up this series perfectly.
And I agree w/Rime. Croaker rules, and so does this series.Originally Posted by Daniel Roy on Goodreads
to...hate on this book
How do you hate this series?
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