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Title: Soldiers Live
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company #10
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
The Final Chapter of the Black Company. The Company has made their home in the new world, but nobody wants to stay. Not the company, not the people of the world. So between Sleepy and Croaker, the Black Company once again invades their "homeworld."
But Kina, Shivetya and the Lady's Sister are still around and still plotting. Is the Black Company the people we have come to know in the last 10 books, or is the Black Company an idea that mutates and changes across time and across worlds?
What a fitting end to this series. All of the characters we have come to know meet an appropriate end for the Black Company. Which means that about 9/10th's of them die.
That brings up the first thing that I appreciated about this series. Cook walks the razor thin line of making us care for and like particular characters and still making them meet the problems that they face without the assurance that they will survive. Cook doesn't introduce characters JUST to make them die but neither is anyone a Luke, Han or Leia.
The worlds go on. I like a happily ever after, but until the End of Days and the Judgement Day, I know that just won't happen. It is good to see how humans strive and continue to fight. I wouldn't like a steady diet of this bleak outlook but I do appreciate the reminder that life is tough and people we love do die.
Cook is also very deft with his philosophizing through his characters. Instead of being beat over the head, we get quick slaps to the back of the head. A little sting just to remind us.
Finally, the story. Cook took us through a journey that spanned worlds where we were only expecting towns. Powers and Prophecies came and went, people rose and fell and through it all the Black Company existed. In different shapes, in different forms, with many purposes but always surviving. I loved reading this series and thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent in this world.