Great story and narration. Marc Vietor is engrossing as Croaker. This was my first experience with this fantasy series, and I loved it. It's a truly enjoyable novel much in the mold of Dark Fantasy.
Then this is the book/series for you. Very dark story, and a few of the characters are a little underdeveloped thanks to it, but all in all, a good listen/read.
Yes, this story is action packed and has a lot going on
Yes, but it did take me awhile to get use to his narration. I felt it was often hard to pick out transitions in the story due to a lack of pausing in the reading. His style can seem a little monotone also; however, he has a natural edginess in his voice that fits the dark theme of the story.
There are situations that pertains to war that are vivid and can be disturbing especially to younger readers.
This is a great story with a refreshing point of view of a select circle of soldiers within a mercenary group. While the Black Company can be mercilessly violent and guilty of committing foul acts during the horrors of war, they exhibit steadfast loyalty found amongst soldiers. The world of The Black Company is dark with blurred lines between good and evil which constantly tugs at the morality of the characters. Overall I greatly enjoyed the story and plan on following the entire series.
If Robert Jordan had fought in Vietnam, seen the worst of humanity in both the enemy and in his own comrades, and then came home to write a fantasy series, it might have felt something like this.
The message of the book is clear: There are no good guys, just degrees of evil.
Black Company is about a band of mercenaries caught up in a war of swords and sorcery. Their moral compass is nearly non-existent, save for loyalty to each other.
The story is well-told, gritty, dark, completely gripping, and will at times leave you in revulsion for what the "heroes" do. You may love the unique characters, but you'll be hard-pressed to admire them.
Spoilers for those who may need fair warning on the content of the book and moral position of the main characters:
- Killing, torture, lying, cheating, theft are all condoned by the protagonists and are actively described in the narrative.
- Murder of civilians including women and children by both sides is treated as normal, though sometimes regrettable. Incidents are mentioned but not described in detail.
- Rape of civilian women after battle is condoned and considered normal as a "reward" to the mercenary protagonists. Rape incidents are mentioned, but neither described nor eroticized by the author.
- An incident of a child being gang-raped by enemy soldiers is discovered and stopped by the protagonists. The rape itself is neither described nor eroticized by the author.
This book is a great example of a mature Fantasy genre, a book full of contrasts, of seemingly terrible characters that somehow make their way into your heart. The pacing is agile and the subjective point of view and the superb performance really does the job of immersing you into the fantasy world. This book is by no means "High Fantasy" it is more of a "Human Fantasy" book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be hearing the rest of the series!
Well written, in a manner perfectly adapted for an audiobook.
Getting the "evil" point of view is original and refreshing, as are the characters.
Plot twists like I haven't seen in a fantasy novel in a while.
Vietor has done an incredible job. You almost feel like you're a part of the Black Company.
Recommend to a fantasy lovers!
It took me through the first third of the book to really start understanding who the characters were. There was not a lot of voice differential from the reader, so it made it even more difficult if they weren't one of the Taken.
Overall I enjoyed the book, just understand it's not one seamless story but more three short stories loosely tied together.