Just because you’re paranoid does not mean they’re not out to get you. A group read with my fellow GR mercenaries Choko, Eilonwy, and Sarah (by the way, thank you for the picture idea).
I will try to give a very general idea about this installment of The Black Company to the people completely unfamiliar with it. Imagine unicorns and rainbows,
My Little Pony,
Well, these are not even remotely close – they are so unlike each other they might come from different galaxies. How about Sesame Street? Surprisingly now we are getting closer.
One of the main themes of the book are people being paranoid in suspecting everybody and consequently trusting nobody. In the vast majority of cases the paranoia is justified as your closest allies are always ready to stick a knife in your back the moment you become stupid enough to turn the said part of your body to them. They betray you to your common enemy only to backstab them as well, sometimes only one page later. Sometime late in the book things got so intense I had trouble remembering who was fighting on what side – and this is my reread.
Coming back to the plot the novel starts exactly where the last one left. The Black Company is ready to go on offensive even if practically everybody thinks this is exactly the wrong season for it. The Captain and the Lieutenant of the Company are hell-bent on revenge, so it is not exactly clear what the driving force behind their motivation is and whether they were really ready for a winter campaign. Because of paranoia I mentioned above even these two are not completely truthful with each other. The level of trust between people who have different agendas goes all the way to negative values.
I can go on and on, but it is sufficient to say this is one of the best book of the series. If you made if this far you will continue going on – and not just because there are only two books left; the quality and excitement improve with each following installment. You have been warned.
As for the rating it is very simple. Any book which keeps me awake in the middle of the night during the reread is worth unconditional 5 stars, period.