Monday, 3 December 2012

The Black Company by Glen Cook || Book Review

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead. Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her... So begins one of the greatest fantasy epics of our age—Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company.

I had heard alot about the Black Company, it kind of has the status of a classic in fantasy literature andd with good reason.
As I started out reading the book, the first thing I noted was the names of the characters which were very reminiscent of Joe Abercrombie's books, the use of personality adjectives and nouns like Silent, Goblin,Darling etc as names.
Starting out the book underwhelmed me with talk of vampires and were-panthers, but as I went deeper the real and more deeper issues of soldierly camaraderie and brotherhood started coming to the forefront. The prose is excellent, and is worth of the tag literature, the writing may have been better than a number of books being published nowadays, Cook's vocabulary is vast and he uses it to his advantage. There were quite a number of catchy lines.
The characterization is impeccable, each of the characters feels like a real person of flesh and blood, with his own fears and hopes.
The relationship between the two wizards One-eye and Goblin is one of the more interesting ones, with their constant bickering and show of animosity which isn't quite as deep rooted as the two would like to show.
The philosophy of evil as being a relative term and depending on where one stands is analysed.
There is much of military tactics and stratagems alongside a few assassinations. The magic is also a constant factor though it isn't the most interesting part of the book, because it takes its presence as granted and there is no explanation or root of its origin and nature.
The book was published a very long-time ago and so must be excused a few weaknesses.
Overall the book was a very worthwhile expenditure of time, totally engrossing and enjoyable.
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