The Black Company series has carved out a niche into my personal literary landscape. I read the titular novel as well as the second novel in the series, Shadows Linger. I will probably complete the series at some point, perhaps even reread the first novel.
The first novel is told exclusively from the perspective of Croaker, the copmany physician and annalist. consists mostly of mostly marches, and is punctuated by large set piece battles. The second is an occupation story (not sure I’ve read one of those before). The storyline flowing through the novels puts the company and its members in increasing danger, brings the user closer to the major players in the company, and increases the stakes for the wider world.
There are multiple factors that contribute to the moral ambiguity of the novels. The relationship between the Lady and Dominator (chief antagonists) is unclear. The company is primarily concerned with their own survival amid changing political and moral situations. They will serve any that will pay them, and they think likely to win. And the company itself takes recruits of dubious morality, as long as they don’t endanger the company.
Ultimately I think that the personalities of the individual company members, the narrative style, and the moral ambiguity effectively interested me in the fates of the individuals, and want the best for this terrible band of brothers. I’m interested to see how this cycle unfolds.