Friday, January 30, 2009

Reading List: The Black Company, The Books of the South

The Black Company is one of my all time favorite series of books. What started as a likeable read when I read the first collection, The Books of The North which collects the first three books of the Black Company, quickly became one of my all time favorites as I tore through the 2nd collection, The Books of the South. This book collects the 2 part story that continues the adventures of the mercenary group, The Black Company after their part in the world changing war between the Empire of the Dominator and the rebellion of the White Rose. They quickly find their way wormed into another war, in which they have no stake only to learn that their being there may not be so coincidental and may have implications that go all the way back to the Company's conception centuries earlier. The third book in this collection, The Silver Spike, tells the aftermath of the previously mentioned war that the Company no longer has a part in. Thats really all I can say because I dont want to ruin anything for anyone who might be interested in reading it. The best thing about this series is easily the characterization. Yes, its a fantasy story that features magic, crazy creatures and power mad wizards but the story revolves around the people in the story, not the roles they play. This series is so good that even if it followed the classic fantasy recipe of archtype characters, it would still be one of the best series in the fantasy market. The other big thing is that you cant take anything that happens at face value. Somethings may seem rushed or contrived but as you keep reading, you realize that there was always a little more story that you werent privy to yet. In most cases I find that kind of thing annoying but it works perfectly for this series. I have to give this series my highest recommendation, especially if you like epic fantasy but are tired of cliche characters and reworked group up with the lovable loser who all of a sudden is the fabled most powerful guy alive now as they barely manage to find and kill the super bad guy storyline. Even if youre not a fan of fantasy novels, I dare say that you could still find the Black Company books entertaining. Now all I have to is wait for the next compilation that will hopefully collect the remaining 4 books of the series.

No comments: