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The Black Company Audiobook

The Black Company: Chronicles of The Black Company, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Solly 12-14-11
    Solly 12-14-11 Member Since 2017
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    "This series is really good! Dark and intense"

    Well written and thought out, more of an adult perspective, great fight scenes. This is great escapists fantasy!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Kingwood Texas 11-01-11
    Mark Kingwood Texas 11-01-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Very good"

    At first you may not think much but as it goes on each book in the series gets better. The end in the last book was not expected but very good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Furtado 12-14-10 Member Since 2015
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    "good choice"

    If you like swords,wizards,magic, and a good story line you won't be disapointed. I read the books years ago and was always hoping someone would do an audio version. Marc Vietor did a excellent read and I think caught the book and characters flavor nicely.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 05-04-15
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 05-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Should have left it on the bookshelf...forever..."

    err... probably I shouldn't have gotten this in audio format - in paper format I could have skimmed the pages and pages of descriptive babble. Actually, I shouldn't have gotten it in paper format either. It should have stayed on the bookshelf.

    There is no real plot - it's just a bunch of blah-blah about some mercenaries and the battles they get into. The author is very descriptive and explains every detail, for example, about swinging a sword in battle and how it impacts and what happens after it impacts, and so on. It is not graphic though, just overly detailed. It's kinda like Cook wanted to copy Joe Abercrombie's work in its wordiness and focus on the steps involved in completing a task, but written for a YA audience, so there is no blood or guts or bad words. Oh, and there is no sense that justice is being sought, and no vigilante action... it's a straight up "group of men with various magical powers go to A and kill people, then go to B and are attacked, then go to C and have a battle"... ad nauseam. We don't know why they are doing this (other than it's their job), and we don't care since they aren't trying to right any wrongs, or solve any problems.

    So, essentially, it is long and boring and who really cares what happens to these wordily-described characters? Although there are pages and pages devoted to describing what they look like and their actions (i.e. they play cards a lot... yes, he describes their card games... "Goblin played card A, Raven played card B, then Bob won by turning over an ace")....they are all cutouts, except maybe the main character, and he's only fleshed out because he talks incessantly. Literally - talks incessantly - about everything: "person A did this and person B did that and person C laughed"... and so on. Too bad we don't care.

    If you like the premise of dark/violent fantasy, try anything by Abercrombie (extremely dark) , or Brett's Warded Man (less violent than Abercrombie), or even Weeks' Way of Shadows... All of them are what this book seems to be trying to be.

    The narration is okay - given how the book was written, I'm not sure he had much to work with. There is no swearing or gore or sex. I won't be reading any more in the series since I need there to be some plot or goal, and, if there is violence, I need it to be to the point, not half-hidden in descriptive babble that goes on for 15 minutes at a time.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sinisterinfant 01-13-15 Member Since 2012
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    "So dry"

    I liked the world and the characters but the story itself never seemed to rise above prologue for something else. Maybe it was the voice of the narrator give as if he is reading from history such a dry mode but it made any instances of battle or bloody revenge sound cold and uninteresting. Never really got into it. The story also seemed to just wander about. The characters felt do directionless (intentionally so I believe) but it also made the story seem aimless. Which made any attempts at resolution confounding because I didn't know where we were headed so it had no impact when we got there. There seemed to be more time spent on character s that died randomly them those, like the captain that made it through to the end. Overall can not recommend.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark YORK, PA, United States 03-18-14
    mark YORK, PA, United States 03-18-14 Member Since 2017
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    "I don't get it...."
    Any additional comments?

    There are numerous glowing reviews of this book, but I had a hard time finding positives about it. Full disclosure, I really tried but I could only make it 1/2 way through the book. My main issues are 1. Characters are just thrown into the mix - no description, examination, or reason why I should care about them 2. The story seemingly skips around - in one sentence the company is sailing toward a city, and the next they arrived and in the middle of a battle. 3. I didn't like the overall writing style-the final straw for me was having to listen to a 15 minute description of a card game - being played by characters that were not described even remotely as well.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 04-20-15
    Aaron 04-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "(shrugs shoulders)"

    i found most of the criticisms of this book posted by other reviewers are spot on. very shallow characters, ridiculous character names, no depth to the story, unrealistic dialogue

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Jackson United States 08-26-12
    Jeff Jackson United States 08-26-12
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    "Still Good, Fun Fantasy"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Company to be better than the print version?

    I don't know if "better" is the right word. But it certainly brought a certain attitude to the writing and the main character that fit oh so well.


    What other book might you compare The Black Company to and why?

    There is no book that compares directly to The Black Company. It is just that unique in the way it is told.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are just too many good scenes to pick only one. Sorry, but that's just the truth. Instead of scenes, I'll just give some of my favorite lines:

    “A chimp-sized, four-armed bundle of ugly exploded from beneath our table.”

    “Fate is a fickle ***** who dotes on irony.”

    “He had stumbled over a rainbow pot of power.”

    “I had a mental picture of a dark-haired, ageless beauty with a sexual presence that hit mere mortals with the impact of a mace.”

    “But, honestly, he was not nice people that day.”


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    A little long for that unless you have a whole day to kill. No, not really, even as good as this book is, the over the topness of it requires downtime to digest what has been said.


    Any additional comments?

    Still a classic. It's in my top 20 Fiction books of all time.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-19-16
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-19-16 Member Since 2008
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    "A book that shows its age."

    The Black Company was written in 1984 and isn't exactly written in a format that translates well to audiobook. The story is told from the perspective of Croaker who is both the Black Company's physician and Annalist. In addition to documenting the exploits of the Black Company in the "Annals" Croaker also reads older entries to the Black Company to recount the tales of those who have gone before. This book could be a considered a future reading of the Annals as they were written by Croaker.

    And therein lies one of the issues with the audiobook. You are given no clue when one entry ends and another begins so the story seems to just "skip" key parts. It can often take a little time to reacquire your bearings after this happens and this is reflected in many of the other reviews. Combine that with the fact that there isn't always the level of detail one would expect and you have a slightly disjointed and confusing listening experience. I feel I would have enjoyed this more if I had read the book instead of listening to it, but that is not a knock on Marc Vietor. He does a decent job reading this one especially since he has to portray a character who speaks in many different voices.

    I found Croaker and some of the other Black Company members to be interesting but at no point did I become overly attached to them. As mercenaries they have a twisted sense of honor and duty that doesn't necessarily make you root for them. After betraying one ruler who contracted their services they are reluctant to betray the next one because that would damage their reputation too much. They do reflect on their own morality throughout the book but as you would expect it gets put aside as needed.

    For those who initially got engaged in this series many years ago I would imagine it is a positive experience to listen to this one but if you are new to the series I would have to say there is better dark & gritty fantasy out there.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Parish 07-28-15
    G. Parish 07-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Tales of a fantasy mercenary company"

    The black company is a mercenary company in a fantasy world. hey are a group of misfits, with murder in their hands and cold eyes. They also have hearts and stories too though and you will come to appreciate them.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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