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The Grim Company Hardcover – September 3, 2013
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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."--Tor.com
"[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."--SFBook.com
"Luke Scull is more than good. He's the sort of author you buy on publishing date and read on the way home."--TheBookBag.co.uk
Top customer reviews
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It's not a bad book but it is NOT particularly grim or dark at all.
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. The entire first chapter seemed to serve no purpose other than introducing a few plot ideas because I found myself actually cheering for "the bad guy" when the city was destroyed the same way I might have cheered on God when he smote Sodom and Gomorra. But for all the gratuitous vulgarity, the story did start getting interesting in a train-wreck kind of way, so I kept reading.
I have no blooming clue when, where, why or how I started to care about the fate of the main characters, but I found myself at four in the morning gasping and wailing "NO!" because I had no more pages to turn and I was not ready for the story to be done. Holy cow. If you are a fan of Steven King's "Dark Tower" series, you are going to really like this book. If you like dark fantasy, you are going to like this book.
Four stars, because I really could have done without some of the descriptive details of pissing past bladder stones, but yeah. Give this book a try. On a weekend, when it won't matter that you read all night because you couldn't put it down. I'm off to nurse my book hang-over with copious amounts of coffee now.
The plot is good, and doesn't follow the standard mold of the normal good vs evil, at least not yet. I feel that this might have more of a role due to some foreshadowing, but I am only half way through the second book at this time. What I liked most about this book is that I didn't hate the bad guy, and I could even follow the logic that lead him to where he was. I find this to be what drove me to like the book as much as I did. I always hated books were the bad guy is bad for the sake of there needs to be a bad guy for the heroes to face off against.
Most recent customer reviews
Think 'The First Law' by Joe Abercrombie, but with a slightly comedic take.Read more
This is not the worst fantasy I've read. The author lacks focus.Read more