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Hardcover Bleak Seasons: The Sixth Chronicle of the Black Company (GLITTERING STONE/GLEN COOK, BK 1) Book

ISBN: 0312861052

ISBN13: 9780312861056

Bleak Seasons: The Sixth Chronicle of the Black Company (GLITTERING STONE/GLEN COOK, BK 1)

(Part of the The Chronicles of the Black Company #diffirent short stories (#6) Series and The Books of the Glittering Stone (#1) Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. "Let me tell you who I am, on the chance that these scribblings do survive....I am Murgen, Standard bearer of the Black Company, though I bear the shame of having lost that standard in battle. I am...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Another great Cook book!

I have read all the Black Company series. Gritty, down-and-dirty fantasy at its' best. Definately recommended. However, if you haven't read one yet, start with Black Company or the omnibus edition.

Crows Always Watch

Glittering Plain marks the turning point in the Black Company's quest to return to Khatovar. A new narrator - Murgen - steps in to permanently take the place of Croaker, who has disappeared in battle and is presumed dead. Dejagore has fallen to the Company, but now is under siege by the Shadowmasters. Lady, who filled in for one volume is outside the city seeking a way to free it, but the real story is within, in the desperate struggle of the members of the Black Company and their cohorts to survive both the battles and the betrayals of their own kind. Murgen is a weaker narrator than either Croaker or Lady, and will take a bit of getting used to. As his character develops over this volume and the next the weakness plays an important role. But, at first, you may get the feeling that Glen Cook has slipped up a bit. Much of Murgen's weakness is the result of several disasters he is trying to deal with at the same time he is plagued by a continual series of fugue states that have the narrative darting over both time and place. Cook always liked to tell more than one story at a time, but in the Glittering Plain series the literary device becomes the mainstay of the narrative. As much as I liked the book, I found this a confusing approach, with much of the story being told passively. But the story has its own strengths as well as Cook brings the reader further into the cultures of the South and tells a more realistic story of life under siege than a fantasy story normally gets. Bleak Seasons is an unsettling rather than a dramatic book, told from a less than heroic viewpoint. It sets the stage for the volumes to come and introduces the new themes that Cook has chosen to develop. Most important, we meet the Nyueng Bao, a people on a sacred pilgrimage who were caught up in the war with the Shadowmasters. This strange people, reminiscent of the indigenous Vietnamese who played similar roles in that war, must hang their hopes on Murgen and his fellows despite vast differences. Murgen himself is drawn into a Nyueng Bao family and much of the volume and those that follow will explore the story of a proud people forced by circumstance to assisted people they would otherwise consider hopeless barbarians. It's rather difficult to talk about this book without strewing spoilers all over, so you will have to forgive me for staying away from the plot. This is an intricate novel that labors under a sense of impending doom. It is an intimate, often confusing novel that is often more intensely personal than its predecessors. Cook is trying to shift gears and I think he succeeds, although he will leave some readers behind in the process. If you stick with it, I think you will find the result is satisfying, but if you are looking for more pure military fantasy you may be a bit perplexed.

A cult classic and the dark side of Steven Brust

Imagine reading a series in which Steven Brust decides to explore the dark side of Vlad Taltos, and you have The Black Company.The Black Company is an easy to identify with group for anyone with a career in law enforcement, the armed forces or health care. It's a series of books that captures the general feeling of those branches of service in which the constant exposure to the dark side of humanity numbs the senses and shapes the character into states of lower emotional connection to the world.The Black Company is a group of misfits that have nothing in life but their brothers in The Company and whatever miserable situation they find themselves in at the time. The Company is life. The Company is the air that they breathe. And the Captain, the Lieutenant, and the Annalist and Standard Bearer are the people that hold the torch that leads the way into ever plunging darkness. And it is that feeling of impenetrable doom mingled with the Company's "make the best of what life throws at us" attitude that is the reason that the reviews on all the Black Commpany books bring out such a wide variety of opinions. If you haven't lived this kind of life, you won't get these books, or enjoy them.The people in the Company are at the end of society and have nothing else to do but put one foot in front of the other and hope that they stay alive just one more day, so that at least they can be miserable instead of dead.Bleak Seasons is my favorite of all the Company books, and is in many ways like the rest of the Black Company series. It is a sarcastic, down to earth tale of the worst possible situation anyone can find themselves in, a siege, in which at least five different groups of people are forced to live together under the worst of circumstances, and where atrocity is a way of life.There are the mandatory evil wizards all about, except with the refreshing angle of Cook's narrative in which we actually get to see and hear some of their more human sides: their doubts, their weaknesses, and the torment that goes with the territory.Also refreshing is the mortality that Cook bestows all his characters with. Despite their awsome power, some of these wizards are quite afraid of dying, and are not exempt from making mistakes, or misjudging the unintended consequences of their actions. Because Cook takes us there, we see a fresh approach to the usual machinations in the fantasy genre.Looking for dark plots? There aren't many, other than just plain darkness, dark humor, and doubt. Instead these bad guys are trying to get land, riches, and rule the world, much like modern day governments and tyrants. So, you will either love it or hate it, and for good reason. These books aren't for everyone.Cook thrives on describing the subtle but interesting relationship between those who are miserable and those who know how to make the best of being miserable. The difference is that the latter survive, while the former are trampled. The Company always survives as it is always better

A cult classic and the dark side of Steven Brust

Imagine reading a series in which Steven Brust decides to explore the dark side of Vlad Taltos, and you have The Black Company.The Black Company is an easy to identify with group for anyone with a career in law enforcement, the armed forces or health care. It's a series of books that captures the general feeling of those branches of service in which the constant exposure to the dark side of humanity numbs the senses and shapes the character into states of lower emotional connection to the world.The Black Company is a group of misfits that have nothing in life but their brothers in The Company and whatever miserable situation they find themselves in at the time. The Company is life. The Company is the air that they breathe. And the Captain, the Lieutenant, and the Annalist and Standard Bearer are the people that hold the torch that leads the way into ever plunging darkness. And it is that feeling of impenetrable doom mingled with the Company's "make the best of what life throws at us" attitude that is the reason that the reviews on all the Black Commpany books bring out such a wide variety of opinions. If you haven't lived this kind of life, you won't get these books, or enjoy them. The people in the Company are at the end of society and have nothing else to do but put one foot in front of the other and hope that they stay alive just one more day, so that at least they can be miserable instead of dead.Bleak Seasons is my favorite of all the Company books, and is in many ways like the rest of the Black Company series. It is a sarcastic, down to earth tale of the worst possible situation anyone can find themselves in, a siege, in which at least five different groups of people are forced to live together under the worst of circumstances, and where atrocity is a way of life.There are the mandatory evil wizards all about, except with the refreshing angle of Cook's narrative in which we actually get to see and hear some of their more human sides: their doubts, their weaknesses, and the torment that goes with the territory.Also refreshing is the mortality that Cook bestows all his characters with. Despite their awsome power, some of these wizards are quite afraid of dying, and are not exempt from making mistakes, or misjudging the unintended consequences of their actions. Because Cook takes us there, we see a fresh approach to the usual machinations in the fantasy genre.Looking for dark plots? There aren't many, other than just plain darkness, dark humor, and doubt. Instead these bad guys are trying to get land, riches, and rule the world, much like modern day governments and tyrants. So, you will either love it or hate it, and for good reason. These books aren't for everyone.Cook thrives on describing the subtle but interesting relationship between those who are miserable and those who know how to make the best of being miserable. The difference is that the latter survive, while the former are trampled. The Company always survives as it is always

This series should be bigger than the Wheel Of Time!

An excellent read, though it might be confusing if you haven't read the rest of the Black Company series. No all-powerful characters. Characters you can relate to on some level. This isn't some flowery fantasy ala Eddings. It can be brutal. There is no definite line between Good and Evil...just like in our reality. An excellent series...get them all: The Black Company / Shadows Linger / The White Rose / The Silver Spike / Shadow Games / Dreams Of Steel / Bleak Seasons / She Is The Darkness (to be released Fall 1997)
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