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The Grim Company Hardcover – September 3, 2013

77 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Grim Company Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Video game designer Scull makes his fiction debut with this complex series opener, set in a fantasy world where the gods are dead and the Magelords who killed them now act as tyrannical overlords of an increasingly hostile, decaying land. As war threatens to bloom between the Grey City of Dorminia and Thelassa, a disparate group of not-quite-heroes are drawn into the conflict, including Davarus Cole, a callow youth convinced of his own heroism; Eremul, a legless mage; and several barbarian warriors long past their prime. The premise is fleshed out through political intrigue, graphic violence, and a richly detailed setting. It's not without flaws: female characters don't leave a lasting impression, and almost no one is truly sympathetic. Nonetheless, this novel will please fantasy fans who like their protagonists to sweat, swear, bleed, and obsess about bodily functions. Scull both revels in and gently tweaks genre conventions while delivering a visceral, sometimes off-putting story. Agent: Robert Dinsdale, A.M. Heath Literary Agency. (Sept.)


"[F]un yet fearsome, gritty and gripping in equal measure...The Grim Company is pretty brilliant."

"[S]pins a gripping tale with expertise and relish."--The Guardian

"[A] grisly, compelling read...hugely enjoyable."--The Daily Mail 

"A noteworthy and gripping debut that promises to develop into an altogether superior series--one well-worth getting hooked on at the outset."--Kirkus Reviews

"Luke Scull delivers a fantastic story that is ripe with action, strong characterization and a tight plot....This is one debut not to be missed and marks Luke Scull as one of epic fantasy's talented debutants."--Fantasy Book Critic
"[A] rollicking dark fantasy adventure novel. It moves with verve and pace...and is threaded through with a great sense of humor."--The Wertzone

"Highly memorable with a great cast and an even greater story all wrapped up in a mature world, told by a true story-teller. The Grim Company is one of the best fantasy books you will read this year."

"Luke Scull is more than good. He's the sort of author you buy on publishing date and read on the way home."


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Product Details

  • Series: The Grim Company (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; 2013 edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042526484X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425264843
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

LUKE SCULL was born in Bristol and lives in Warminster with his wife. Luke also designs computer roleplaying games and has worked on several acclaimed titles for Ossian Studios and Bioware.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca L. Murray on September 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story about a group of people who don't really want to be a group struggling against a common enemy: a tyrannical, god-killing magelord. Or that's sort of what it's about, but I'll get to that later.

The city of Dorminia is not a pleasant place to live. Crime is rampant and often perpetrated by the Red Watch who are supposed to keep the citizens safe. In the bowels of the city, a small resistance group is trying to make a difference. In a tower not far away, a good man with a horrible job is trying to do as little harm as he can while serving his lord, whom he knows is not on the side of justice but is better than the alternative.

Then the tyrannical mage lord goes and dumps a billion gallons of ocean onto an enemy city, killing everyone, all because the rival city beat his navy in a war for control of some magical islands. Now it's a free for all as the tyrant scrambles to gather more raw magic before another magelord can strike him while he's weakened. The rebels are scrambling to shut off the tyrant's only supply of raw magic. Agents for the White Lady, a somewhat benevolent mage lord, are trying to kill the tyrant and in the north, a barbarian sorceress is trying to come to grips with her own limitations as her people are being slaughtered by demons and famin. In a volatile mix like that, god only knows what might happen. Or not. All the gods are dead.

Let me start off by saying this book is not for everyone. It's very liberally sprinkled with foul language and uncomfortably detailed descriptions of things like an old man struggling to piss in an alley past his bladder stones. I found it very hard at first to care about these characters at first.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very solid beginning to the first book ofva trilogy. A particular point of view character, Davarus Cole, annoyed me so much at times that I wanted to put the book down, but then again that was sort of the point of his personality. I'm interested to see how he will be developed in the future. Everything else was pretty magnificently done for what I thought would be another run of the mill fantasy novel.
The fight scenes were particularly amazing, and very vague spoilers but there is a character named Jerek the Wolf and he has the most epic fight I can remember reading against a certain Augmentor. Augmentors are like super soldiers enhanced with magic by the Magelord who rules a particular city called Dorminia. The Magelords literally killed the gods and became immortal themselves. From what we are told there's Lord Salazar in Dorminia, Lord Marius in Shadowport, the White Lady in Thelessa, and the Shaman in the High Fangs. But there's even a Confederation to the East ruled by a collective of them.
The High Fangs is also the birthplace of my favorite character, Brodar Kayne, and characters like Yllandris and the demon she sees in the first chapter make it one of the most compelling settings for me. Again, the next book is only going to expound upon this, and I can't wait. And don't even get me started on characters like Isaac. Oh and supposedly there is a race of beings that lives acrosd the ocean but no one can get to the other side and no one has seen them since they left 2000 years ago. Just read this if you enjoy fantasy set in a dark world with mostly awful people. Some of them are good, and we can cheer for them. Definitely would recommend, and definitely will be buying the sequel! Do yourself a favor, sit back and get lost in this book for a while.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JPS on March 7, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite not having enjoyed this book as much as I wanted to, and being a bit disappointed as a result, this is not a “bad” first novel. There are number of interesting features in it, to which I will come back further on in this review. However, there are also three main elements which, when considered together, help explain my relative disappointment.

The first is a lack of originality. Other reviewers have already mentioned a number of similarities with Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy or with Glen Cook’s Black Company series. Some of the features selected by Luke Scull for his book also seem to have been borrowed from David Gemmel’s Rigante tales, such as the highlander with the double handed sword. Other features reminded me of Richard Morgan’s “The Steel Remains” and “The Cold Commands”, such as the introduction of mysterious and powerful aliens in his fantasy world that seem to have vanished from the face of the earth but are in fact not so remote. I could go on, and on for quite a bit but you certainly get the point and there is no need to risk spoiling the story.

A second problem was that I found the story rather predictable at times, and somewhat lacking tension and suspense. It is, for instance, rather obvious that the two highlanders will pull through despite the odds they face when fighting “Augmentors” – a mix between elite warriors and special police force and equipped with various magical devices.

Then there are the characters, some of which were not quite credible. This is for instance the case of Kayne, the former “Sword of the North”, which the author keeps describing as past his prime (he is over fifty), tired, worn out and lacking stamina, but who somehow manages to best everything that is thrown at him.
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