The Black Company

A 140 character summary: Gritty, complicated characters, a suitably twisty plot and enough cynicism to drown a world.

The Black Company was, apparently, one of the inspirations behind my favourite fantasy series: The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The link couldn’t have been more clear.

The series follows the acitivities of a mercenary group of soldiers in a semi-typical fantasy setting – a world spanning many cultures in a rough 18th Century type setting. The background adds character but the interest is in the veterans themselves: their thoughts, their troubles, their actions.

It’s a world of greys, morality and humanity. I cared and it made me think.


Things I noted down

Mystery and semi-explanations are a superb narrative technique; I knew less than the characters.

Nicknames – Croaker, One-Eye, Goblin – add a huge amount