Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another tour with The Black Company...

So, as part of my usual frenetic shifting between reading materials (thank you so much, ADD), I've decided to go on campaign again with The Black Company. It's been a while since I last journeyed with them. I really love the beginning of the first book, during their dissatisfying stint in Beryl, then subsequently meeting Soulcatcher and heading north. However, I feel that the tale bogs down a bit when they reach Oar. But I suppose that part of the story gives a good glimpse into the infighting between the Taken, and the beginnings of the doubts that the Company has about their new employer, The Lady.
Have you read about the deeds of The Black Company? If so, please share your memories of the tales, what moments/scenes might have stuck in your mind, etc. Also, have you ever gamed in the world in which the stories are set?


  1. I've read the first three books 5 times. I've enjoyed the series but the books of the South seemed to stray from much point. Still fun.

    I was a playtester for Green Ronin's Black Company game. But I recommend you use your favorite system and don't get bogged down in rules menutia.

    Things that stand out from the series: When the BC boys tried to take down the limper with a pack of dogs and a ballista! That was awesome!

    The fiasco that was the Silver Spike. It reminded me of the Thieves' World books. Great stuff.

    And also who could forget: "There are strangers on the plain Croaker."

  2. It's one of my favorites. I just today finally remembered to bring my loaner copy to a guy at my gym to loan to him.

  3. I've only read the first trilogy (The Books of the North: The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose), but I really enjoyed them. I know exactly what you're talking about regarding when you think the story bogs down - my friend had a very similar reaction. However, that never really bothered me.

    I really loved these books. I took me awhile to get used to the writing style - Cook is very much of a "show don't tell" type of author, and for the first hundred pages or so, I kept flipping back and thinking, "I must have forgotten something. Who is this person?" or "I don't remember that happening!" and then realizing that it's because Cook doesn't explain things. He just writes it and lets you figure it out as you read along. It's actually a better way of writing but it just took me a bit to get used to.

    I really love the villains - specifically, "The 10 Who Were Taken." That is one of the coolest ideas for "bad guys" that I've ever come across in fantasy literature and I absolutely love that the 10 actually change over the course of the story, and sometimes the people you least expect end up becoming part of the Taken.

    I also think Cook had a neat idea of how he named things with descriptive terms, both people and also geographical sites (specifically cities); e.g., "Whisper" or places like "Rust," "Needle," or "Chimney.". It was a refreshing change from the typical fantasy names that are just full of apostrophes and random capital letters.

    I also agree with Jim about "There are strangers on the Plain, Croaker." That certainly grabbed my imagination!