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on 14 March 2016
Dark and twisted.

The title and blurb make the book sound more heroic than it is, there is no real quest and fellowship here, the characters are varied and often unlikeable and the quest is of questionable importance.

This is very much in the style of Joe Abercrombie, the 2 old warriors and the godlike mages fell very familiar, but there is more than enough here to make it interesting in its own right.

The characters are an interesting mix, the main protagonist Cole is an irritating and arrogant fool for most of the book and we do get to see his personality change as the arrogance is literally beaten out of him, some of the other character are interesting too, the Supreme Augmentor is an unusually well drawn character for a bad guy, he is used to show that there is no simple good and evil here but that the mages inspire loyalty and believe in what they do.

The book does start slowly and the only real flaw is that Cole is annoying for the first half so his part of the plot is a bit weak.

The plot is good, there is plenty of misdirection, back stabbing and a few twists along the way and the ending is good, dark and complex with no clean victories for anyone.

The mages' war in the background and the history of killing the gods and breaking the world allows a lot of scope for future books.
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on 30 June 2017
I couldn't make up my mind about this. The story is good, though inconclusive - even on a "part 1 of 3" basis. The characters were a bit one-dimensional and the Tale as a whole was simply three or four story-lines that never actually united anywhere (to happen later on, presumably). So, for instance, the "Company" never emerges; there's not even an indication that the disparate characters ever will come together in the future. On the other hand, there definitely IS plenty of "GRIM" around the place: grim characters, grim settings, especially grim action, and a lot of grim language for no very good reason that I can figure out. The author's style is very much 'in your face', and there may be many readers who like it that way - for me, it seemed only to hinder the development of the plot (or I should say "plots" as no single narrative thread has yet emerged). Still, overall, I enjoyed reading it but I haven't decided yet whether I shall go further with the series.
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on 5 April 2017
Gritty, violent and comical, “The Grim Company” is Luke Scull’s enjoyable grimdark debut with all the hallmarks of its genre.
The characters are familiar classics in grimdark fantasy, each annoying and adorable in equal measure. The Wolf was and remains my favourite even after completing the trilogy, but Sasha grew on me, though she’s too two dimensional for my tastes in “The Grim Company.” The stoic and violent but soft-hearted barbarian trope has a special place in my heart, for some reason, and the Wolf is all you want in that archetype, and then some.

What makes this book difficult to put down is the pace that the story unfolds. It masterfully builds to a chaotic and crazy final quarter that was making me yell ‘What!’ in frustration, surprise, outrage, confusion, and delight after every chapter.

Any lovers of Joe Abercrombie’s work would love Luke Scull’s books. I hadn’t read any grimdark for a long time and really enjoyed getting absorbed in the tragedy and comedy of Brodar and his Wolf, Cole and Sasha, and poor Eremul the Halfmage.

“The Grim Company” is a must read for fantasy fans who relish violence and filth along with their heroes and magic.
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on 23 August 2015
This was one of the best fantasy stories I have read in some time.
The author's style reminded me of the late great David Gemmel's stories and characters.

Set in a world where powerful mages killed the gods and then split off to rule the shattered lands each with their own form of tyranny, the story features a great set of characters caught up in the power struggles.
Characters include some expected stereotypes, like the destined hero Cole, who I admit really annoyed me at first and a fabled northman with a conscience who really is a hero, but they all develop well. I found myself alternately hating, liking and being annoyed with characters which is always a good sign that the author has drawn me in with great writing.

A great series and one that I will be following.

Thank you Luke Scull a refreshing and well written story.
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on 26 May 2016
A really good first book, took a little while for me to get into and with multiple storylines it suffered a little with pacing issues in the first half of the book, but by about halfway through it hit it's stride and dragged me along for the ride. A whole collection of characters that on the whole were well written my favourite by far, the old highlander Brodar Kayne! It had a very powerful and interesting magic system with everything from spelled items to shape changers...with plenty of action and a stand out set piece at the end, this book made for a pleasant surprise and I look forward to book two.
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on 15 February 2014
It is a dark and gritty tale. The world building is excellent and I enjoyed the set up of the Magelords and the war against the Gods. The characters are well drawn though I did wonder, as I read, why the 'hero' shifted from one person to another as the book progressed. This was perhaps clever plotting, bearing mind the ending and the set up for book two, or the realisation that the original hero wasn't that likeable and heroic. I am choosing to believe it was the former of the two - the book is too well written and engrossing for it to be the latter.
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on 15 May 2016
It's been a long while since I enjoyed a good ADULT read, brilliantly realistic and down to earth, good story plot and twists. Loved the two highlanders, two old war horses getting rheumatics lol! All the characters had there own secrets, All were fully fleshed out.....I made the unusual decision to buy the next book well before I got near the end of this.......Bravo Luke Scull!! Hope all your books are as good as this...
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on 19 August 2017
Really enjoyed this, reads very much like a Joe Abercrombie book but faster paced and less world building. Could have done with better character development and some of the concepts needed more window dressing, but I'll be buying the next book in the series.
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on 12 February 2016
Nothing in this is original, pretty much everything being traceable to some bit of Abercrombie. Doesn't matter, though, because within its own terms it works perfectly. This is grimdark on jet skis. The characters are really vivid, the humour and grotesqueness (of which there is much) somehow doesn't detract from the excitement of the story. Will definitely read the next one.
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on 22 March 2017
Scrolled through dozens of books before finding this. If you like Joe Abercrombie and similar authors I think you will enjoy this book. Well written with with some good characters and looking forward to reading the next two in this trilogy.
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