SpeculativeFiction


Bleak Seasons


After the events in Shadow Games left the Black Company with neither of its commanding officers, with Dreams of Steel covering the consequences of that loss, Bleak Seasons (the Book of Murgen, and the first book of Glittering Stone) picks up the story of the majority of the surviving Company -- those who made it into the walls of Dejagore.
The tale is disjointed in space and time, as the narrator is subject to hallucinatory fits that drag his mind to other times and other places.  Some of that is the result of facing a long, horrific siege under awful conditions; but some may be the result of supernatural forces.  The resulting three narrative threads can sometimes make the story hard to follow on first reading, and force an emotional distance upon the reader (one that, interestingly enough, matches the narrator's desire to keep his own mental distance from his experiences during the siege).

Despite being the occasion of the author's jump to hardcover, this is one of the weaker Black Company books.  With both Croaker and Lady missing from large portions of the book, and the narrator focused more inward than outwards, there's little sense of familiarity.  Those who have been caught by the mystery of the Black Company's quest for Khatovar, however, should not be tempted to skip this volume; it contains events significant to later books in the sequence.  And there is more than enough of the traditional excitement and intrigue to keep the reader interested.

More than anything else, this book reads like the author experimenting with slightly different narrative devices to tell his story.  They don't work well, and the following book returns to a more traditional narrative.

This entry was published Thu Jun 30 03:44:44 CDT 2005 by Matthew and last updated 2018-06-27 01:18:02.0.

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