This is the greatest dark fantasy series you've never heard of. It's told from the point of view of Croaker, the medic/annalist for a cut throat group of mercenaries. You're reading a copy of his annals, the written history of the company during his tenure. The Black Company aren't nice guys, it's an outfit made up of murderers and worse, and they fight for the highest bidder. Lately the company's situation in the city of Beryl has gotten grim (like pestilence from the piles of bodies in the streets grim), and its leaders have tough choices to make regarding its future. A shadowy emissary from a distant empire could either be their salvation, or the harbinger of unimaginable dooms. This is dark fantasy told from the ground level perspective of the men fighting for kings, warlords, and emperors. You won't find Game of Thrones-ish court politics and backstabbery, but there's plenty of intrigue and deception. The world is as vast as Middle Earth, and as rich and complex as Westeros. Cook's choice to tell his story through a first person narrator like Croaker is brilliant, as you're getting a perspective that's limited and sometimes unreliable. As a writer, Cook simply has to be experienced, no paltry description here will suffice. To say he's the Ernest Hemingway of dark fantasy would be close, he speaks volumes with the fewest words possible.
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophecy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more.... --From publisher description.