"Four years passed, and no one died."
I love Glen Cook's novels! In a way, I'm sad that I completed The Black Company series and have to move on to a new series. After eleven books you would think that you would be relieved and ready to read something else. I am going to miss the anticipation of waiting for the next one to come out, or which characters doing what, and even what's going to happen at the end.
Soldiers Live is is the last book in the Black Company epic series ( I shouldn't say that it is definitely going to be the last. Glen Cook said he'd like to write a couple more Black Company novels, but he has other contracts). This is the last book that follows the original members from the very first book. After so many pages, you really get to know Croaker, One Eye, Goblin, and all the newcomers. Glen Cook really threw in some twists and turns to this one. The action at the beginning of the book is quick and to the point - one page chapters will do that - with a little "empire building" at the middle and back to non-stop action for the conclusion.
I might say that this is one of the best written books in the eleven book series. The first book takes a little time to warm up to his style. Soldiers Live reminds me more of Book two than any other book in the series. It's well written; abrupt at points, but that's the whole ordeal you get to deal with. It makes the book exciting. Glen Cook makes it easy to follow. You aren't bogged down with so many characters that one chapter has you attempting to remember who's who and where you are.
All in all, Glen Cook did an excellent job of bring story and characters front and center. The only thing that might be missing is a more detailed ending. And I stress "might"! It's an excellent book. I'm going to miss the emotion you felt even though this was about a bunch of amoral soldiers. I'm sure I've said this before, but if you're going to pick up a Fantasy series for the first time you should probably pick this one up over Williams, Tolkien, and even.... Jordan! If you enjoy Cook then you'll find yourself enjoying those guys just as much.
"Is is immortality of a sort.
Memory is immortality of a sort.
In the night, when the wind died and silence rules the place of glittering stone, I remember. And they all live again."
Rating: 9 of 10 caffeinated beverages! It's too good. I am half tempted to start the whole series over again tonight. *sigh*