Impressions #9 (Cook, Martin, Marillier)

black-companyDarkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead.

Then comes the prophecy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more…

320 Pages
Tor
published in 1984

1. the Black Company
2. Shadow’s Linger
3. The White Rose

Since I read The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, I LOVE mercenary companies. And this is a WHOLE series about a badass mercenary company, that features cranky old soldiers, cunning wizards, ruthless & mysterious assassins and of course a were-leopard. Every story needs a were-leopard.

The story is written from the viewpoint of Croaker, the company’s historian and doctor. Although he rambles and whines a bit sometimes and is very cynical, I liked his perspective. The company doesn’t really care for whom they work, as long as the money is good but due to some manipulation, they end up working for the real nasties. A powerful sorceress called only ‘The Lady’, who has the power over the 10 who were ‘Taken’ – undead wizards with different powers. Such nice fellas like ‘Bonegnasher’, ‘The Hanged Man’ or my favourite – ‘The Limper’, a murderous maniac whose face is rotting away before your eyes. Of course, the Lady’s ultimate goal is world domination and the company is there to help her. If they like it or not. There are some rebels standing against them though and there’s talk about ‘The White Rose’ being born again. It is said she will stand against The Lady and her army.

The story contains a lot of violence, war, plotting, power-struggles and the characters are all pretty cool. I liked Raven and Silent, a wizard, the most and will definitely continue reading.

songsIN this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate.

480 pages
Gallery Books
published in 2010

With stories by Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Jim Butcher, Jacqueline Carey and many others. A few stories in this are based on the authors’ previous works so a little knowledge won’t hurt. I didn’t mind, because I know and love so many of the published authors anyways. One of my favourite stories in this was written by Jacqueline Carey. It takes place during the events of her novel Kushiel’s Dart and gives us a different perspective. I thought it was beautifully written but not sure how much someone who hasn’t read her Kushiel Trilogy would appreciate it.. I also especially liked Neil Gaiman‘s story as the end really surprised me. It made me check out more of his work and now I am a fan. I liked the mix of different genres. We have Fantasy, SciFi, Post-Apocalyptic, Contemporary.. Worth reading!

heir-to-sevenwatersThe chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest and a new heir has been born. But the family’s joy turns to despair when the baby is taken, and something unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there?

416 pages
Roc
published in 2009

1. Daughter of the Forest
2. Son of the Shadows
3. Child of the Prophecy
4. Heir to Sevenwaters
5. Seer of Sevenwaters
6. Flame of Sevenwaters

When I want to read Romantic Fantasy, Marillier is always a good choice. Her Sevenwaters books rely on Irish mythology and always feature a female point of view character. I loved the first 2 books, but unfortunately didn’t like the third one. Part 4 was better again, mostly because I liked the main character, Clodagh, and the setting. It takes place at Sevenwaters and in the Otherworld. YAY especially for the last! The plot is always the same.. Kind of. Female lead has to go on a journey or quest to find herself, meets love of her life on the way and they end up together. It’s mostly a slow burn and that’s why I like it. Also, lots of the characters from the previous books appear and that made me happy! Will definitely read the last 2 books as well.

4 comments

  1. I just started the 10th, and final, Black Company book. If you liked the first couple, chances are you’ll like the whole series. And it helps that it is a continual storyline about the Black Company, unlike Malaz where you literally jump around the world and from time to time and from group to group 🙂 BC is much easier to follow…

  2. Oh, the Black Company sounds like a lot of fun! I think that the words “badass mercenary” and “cranky old soldiers” were the best selling points you could use 🙂
    As for Marillier, I’m right now reading her second “Blackthorn and Grim” novel and enjoying it immensely, so I’ll add these other titles to my list for further exploration. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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