The Company is about 5 legendary war veterans (the survivors of A Company) moving to an island to live as simple farmers. The war did things to all of them (and they did things to the war) that has left them scarred both physically and emotionally. They have secrets and old wounds eating away at them. And that’s not to mention the wives and ‘servants’ they organise to go with them.
The story has a bit of a slow build up and moves between the past (the war) and the present, offering snippets that build layer upon layer.
What can I say. There is the fabulous writing; the deep, conflicted, morally ambiguous characters; the interesting setting; fabulous dialog; and all round attention to detail. The tension on the island builds palpably as we find out more about the characters and the things they have done in the past. Nothing is simple and nothing is as it seems.
I think I may have described the last KJ Parker book I read, The Folding Knife, as a bit of a disappointment, but only in comparison to her (I’m going to say her though nobody knows for sure– well, obviously someone does, but it isn’t the world at large) other stuff.
The Company was definitely a step up, putting it along side The Hammer, though still not nearly as good as The Engineer Trilogy or the Fencer Trilogy. It is still a great book for those looking for something a bit different to the usual fantasy fare.
4 Stars (on the KJ Parker scale)
5 Stars on any other scale