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The Black Company: The First Novel of 'The Chronicles of The Black Company' Mass Market Paperback – Mar 15 1992


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The Black Company: The First Novel of 'The Chronicles of The Black Company' + Gardens of the Moon: Book One of The Malazan Book of the Fallen + Name of the Wind:  The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (March 15 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812521390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812521399
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 10.5 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Josh Bowman on June 27 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a member of the Sci-fi book club, which released the last four volumes of this series in two hardcover books. As a present for my birthday, my father sent me those books because he thought I might like them. I only read two of the four, and then I got distracted. A year later I picked up this book.
Well, at first I kept asking myself "What the...?" when reading about the characters, because the opening is like coming into a story when it's halfway through. That's the point though, the feel for this book is supposed to be 'this is the beginning of the series but not the beginning of The Black Company.' Cook pulls that feeling off really well, and I understood that was his intention about half way through the book when I was reflecting on the beginning.
Also, some people have complained about the multitude of dropped names that have no significance. Here is a chance to explain that a little, the company is large in this book, I forgot the exact number, but a couple of hundred people. In my life, I know the names of a couple of hundred people, and you probably do as well, and you probably know some of the most important things to them in their life. (I.e. the sport they play, the car they drive, the basics of their personality) and that is exactly how Croaker, our guide for this book, describes many of them. An example would be if you were at a party with a friend who knew no one you might say "That's Sarah, she's sweet but a little thick." Cook does something similar but with a character named Kingpin on page 275, "Kingpin is a lazy bastard, but swings a mean blade." and he is mentioned maybe three more times in the book.
Finally, the atrocities of war have bothered people. Not that they are graphic, but that they are understated.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With all the glowing, five star reviews on this site, I have to concede there's a strong possibility that I simply didn't "get" some important aspect of the book. I thought I'd post a dissenting review anyway, though, just to show that it is possible to not like this book, if nothing else. I thought the characters were week and hard to identify with, the plot wasn't even worth caring about, and there was no underlying point or redeeming value whatsoever. This is military fantasy, and that's a very specific field that maybe not everyone would fully appreciate. My advice: be aware of your tastes before you buy this book.
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By DocColls on Oct. 11 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
These books are amazing. I actually read The Annals of the Black Company which encompases all of the books of the first series. However you have to go about it, find and read these books. I'm slogging my way through that ridiculous Robert Jordan soap opera, and let me tell you I, long for the fleshed out characters and unique and believable plot turns that one finds from this jewel of an author. Cook truly has a sense of what an epic should be. In following the company one feels a touch of machinations greater than the world around you, and the dreadful choice of altering that which is to come. I felt as though I had been physically moved whenever I finished one of these tales. Glen Cook is a true story teller who has that rare talent of writing in the fantasy genre and making it completely believable. You care about the characters because they're real, you are scared of the bad guys because they are truly menacing and imaginatively evil, and you get sucked in to Cook's world because it is vivid, deep, and detailed. Read them and don't stop with the Black Company until he does.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By events3 on May 29 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Black Company, the last of the 5 companies which started out from mythical Khatovar, is also the title of the 1st book in this series which ably melds gritty realism and high fantasy.
This book introduces us to Croaker, surgeon, soldier and annalist of the BLACK COMPANY. Being used as bodyguards to defend the hated syndic against his own people and the vorfalaka (were-leopard) terrorizing the city, they are paid a visit by Soultaker the sorceress, legate of a powerful nearby empire. Faced with a no-win situation, the company takes service with the powerful legate in the combat with the rebel forces of the WHITE ROSE.
Questions of moral philosophy abound. The Lady, ruler of the Empire is ruthless and beautiful, yet with sudden impulses of sympathy. Wife of an even darker and more horrible being, the Dominator, the Lady managed to escape while leaving her old husband imprisoned in a living death (of sorts). Soultaker, their patron appears much more patient than many of her fellows among the TEN WHO WERE TAKEN (despite the possibility of becoming the Company's greatest enemy) and treats them much more as equals. The rebel force of the WHITE ROSE, committed to fighting the "evil" Lady, are every bit as ruthless and bloodthirsty as their adversaries. And the evil Lady, taken with Croaker's fantasies about her, becomes protective toward him and is willing to risk life and power to prevent the rise of the twisted Dominator.
Never has the boundary between good and evil been easier to cross or harder to define for the Black Company - or the reader. A dark, yet realistically gritty tale heavily borrowing from eastern mythologies, this is well worth reading by anyone who is willing to accept that rather than everything being black or white, there is a lot of gray in the world.
If you haven't already done so, buy it now!
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