Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Silver Spike (fourth novel in the Black Company series)

(Originally posted on Saturday, 29 August 2009)

My rating: 7/10 (low re-reading value)
Please read my post from April 2009 to find out about my rating.
Please read my post from May 2009 to learn about Glen Cook’s style of writing.

Another book that is very hard to rate. It's very original and fun, but has some obvious flaws. Let me start with positives. The first half of the book is as good as the second half (unlike in Shadows Linger and The White Rose). It is a different kind of action, because most part of it takes place in a closed city. Although the city is not under siege (it’s closed by the units stationed within the city) the problems are similar. Glen Cook creates a unique and believable atmosphere about that closed city.

Second storyline tells about former members of the black company who decided to take their own road. They realise that not everything was taken care of and they have to finish the job. Toward the end of the book both storylines come together in that closed city. I consider this book together with the first Black Company trilogy as a whole, because it closes some loose ends.

Now to the negatives. The Silver Spike suffers from a similar problem as Shadows Linger. It is supposed to be a chronicle written by one of the characters, but the shifting of the perspective makes it a little strange. I wonder how the annalist was able to describe things that were happening far away? Besides at some point this character is described from another point of view as a total stranger. Don’t get me wrong. The shifting of the perspective is enjoyable, but not in a book that is supposed to be a chronicle.

Another problem with this book is some additional and very strange point of view. Let me say that this perspective is not a human point of view. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I must say that I found it somewhat annoying. It explains some things but it is still very strange and doesn’t fit the chronicle at all.

Overall I must say The Silver Spike was a very enjoyable book for me but I still decided to get rid of it. The main reason was the fact that the main characters are different than in the original trilogy and they are weaker in comparison. Considering its low re-reading value I rate it as a good (solid) novel.

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