MATTHEW VON LUKAWIECKI
The Black Company by Glen Cook is a fantasy novel unlike any other. Usually, fantasy novels have a clear and definitive sense of what is good and what is evil. In this book, however, these concepts don’t really exist. Everyone is evil to various degrees and all that really matters in the long run is which side you happen to be on. It’s all relative. This book follows the stories recorded by Croaker of The Black Company. Croaker is the lead doctor of the Black Company, which is the last great group of mercenaries in the world. Due to his education, he is also the historical record keeper and writer for the company. During this portion of his tale the Black Company is hired by the Lady, who is a mystically powerful empress.
As it turns out, a rebellion had begun to overthrow the Lady due to a prophecy foretelling the arrival of a child called the White Rose who would overthrow the Lady’s dark reign. The White Rose was to be the embodiment of good in the world. However, the White Roses followers committed just as many atrocities as those they were trying to fight against. The Black Company’s job was to crush the rebellion and protect their new patron, the Lady.
The story is full of excitement and discussion of the good and bad in people. It keeps itself entertaining with extensive action scenes and lots of plot twists and mysteries that will keep readers guessing on a constant basis. Overall, it’s a wonderful read for those fantasy lovers who want something a little different.