Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten 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....
©1984 Glen Cook (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
I really couldn't find a plot in the first 2 hours of the book. The story line was erratic at best, and at times completely random. There were a few spots where I thought a passable story was going to emurge, but the incredible amount of similes and completely unnecessary elaboration on irrelevant details made it impossible to finish. At times, it seem like there was litterally a simile in every sentense. Many of them were really random comparisons of things that were either annoyingling hokey or hard to follow. I can tell that the narrator is partly to blame for this stinker of a performance, but the heart of the problem is weak storytelling. I regret the $4.95 I spent on this, but I'm glad I didn't waste a whole credit.
I wish I had heeded other reviewers warnings. This audiobook was not only not enjoyable, it actually irritated me immensely as I listened.
The narrator is overblown and a little ridiculous, but can be gotten used to. What cannot be excused is the complete lack of plot or comprehensible narrative. The protagonist, of whom two hours into the book I know very little about (and care even less) other than seeming to be a physician of some sort, is constantly mentioning unexplained events and unknown people as if reading the Table of Contents of a history book. He personally jumps from one event to the next with no explanation and no apparent reason. Perhaps that's reflective of the life of a mercenary soldier, but it doesn't make for a good story. About half-way through Chapter 2, I was so confused and frustrated that I re-listened to Chapter 1 thinking I just hadn't paid enough attention, but after doing so I realized I still had no idea what was going on and what's more I didn't care.
Having read/listened to hundreds of Fantasy books, this one is actually a first for me: the first time I cannot bear to finish. Maybe, as some have said, things improve towards the end, but I don't have that kind of pain tolerance.
I got this book because Steven erikson always talks about it in interviews. I burned through his audio books and don't know what to do with myself until reapers gale comes out. The black company was really good and I have never come across a situation like this, where one book series copies another (not at all in a bad way) to such a large extent. From barrows to the magic system it blew my mind how much Steven erikson use things from this book.
That being said, the Malazan books are way way better. The black company was unreal, please don't get me wrong, I am on the third or fourth audio book right now though and about to delete it with three hours left. It slowly failed more and more at giving me my Malazan fix.
So if your like me, desperate for anything like Steven erikson, the black company can hold you off for its duration with glee. The second book too. I wouldn't go past that though it just gets a bit boring. The Malazan books have got me like a school girl though fiend-ing for the D.
A congruent story.
I don't think any one wold want to.
I picked this up because a friend was reading it. I found out after a painstaking hour of listening to this thing that he threw the book out after about a third of the way through. I don’t blame him. I had to actually stop listening go to another book and come back due to boredom. I was annoyed by the reader and the writing was excessively choppy and uninspiring. Perhaps ether is something grand later in the book but I can’t stand the pain.
I really wanted to like this book, but half way through I just could not go on. It seemed very overwritten, but it is possible it was just the narrator that made it seem that way. There certainly seemed like something there calling to me, but sadly this audio version killed for me, what might be a good series.
What an absolutely abysmal book. I only got 2.5 hours into the book, but by that point I just couldn't take anymore. After 2.5 hours I had no idea what was going on. The story seemed to just randomly jump all over the place with no direction or purpose. I couldn't follow what was going on from one scene to the next. As one other reviewer mentioned, after 2.5 hours I had no idea who the main protagonist was, other than the fact that he was physician, nor did I really care. He was an empty shell of a character, as were all the other characters in the book (at least to this point in the book).
Marc Vietor's narration was not bad. It wasn't even close to his best work, but it wasn't bad. He was much better in Hyperion, and did an absolutely amazing job with 1Q84. I'm not sure if it was the story or what, but his performance was off this time.
I can count on one hand the number of books I have not finished in my life. Once I start a book, even if it's bad, I almost always stick with it to the end. This is the first audio book I have not finished. It's just BAD!!! I'm sure Glen Cook is a good writer (he has obviously written a ton of books and has a big following), but I doubt seriously I will ever pick up another of his books (written or audible). It's a shame I wasted a credit on this book.
I nearly didn't get this book because of the reviews. However I am very glad I did. In fact I am currently paying for book 3 because I can't wait for my next credit (the reason it gets 4 out of 5 is because the books are so damned short.) I have listened to many of the fantasy / Sci-Fi featured on Audible... and I have to say that this is a very worthy addition! ~ just had to get used to the first person perspective.... I am so used to the limited omniscient third, that at first it was hard to follow. Mayhapps that is why these nay sayers were so down on the book.
Try it out for a change of pace. Good Plot. Intriguing Characters, and Fun to listen to. However, remember that it takes some getting used to the perspective of the Author of the Annals.
I really liked this book, evil fighting evil, fighting evil. Some really good characters. Worth the credit!
After the last 3 books that seemed too g rated, I'm very excited about this series. It's dark. It doesn't muddle everything up with a love story. No contrite character interactions. I want more and I'm happy there is more.
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