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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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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 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 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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on 26 April 2017
Not for me so can not review
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on 10 April 2017
Not going to give anything away, but simply say if you liked gemmel style you will like this so buy it!
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on 2 November 2016
Hard to put downr.Cannot wait for part three.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 March 2014
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. There is also his moody companion Jerek, who gets into a tizzy rather too easily and seem ready to slit anyone and everyone’s throat on the slightest provocation. Finally, there is the young, delusional and insufferable “anti-hero” Cole, who believes he has a grand destiny to fulfil and learns, too late, the truth about his origins. Again, none of these characters are exactly “badly” drawn or two dimensional. It is just that, in various ways, they seem a bit too excessive to be believable.

Having mentioned these elements, the book also has some very interesting and rather good features, particularly when it comes to “world-building”, as at least another reviewer has also mentioned. I rather liked the idea that the semi-devastated and declining continent when the action takes place is the result of a long war against the ancient Gods that the Mage Lords finally won some five hundred years before. They killed the Old Gods whose dwindling substance is still used as a source of magic – the description of one of the battles opposing one of the Gods against the Mage Lords is particularly good. They became immortal in the process and shared the continent between themselves, or rather between the Mage Lords that had survived.

I rather liked the character of Salazar (the name might not be an entire coincidence), the Tyrant of Dorminia. It is through him that we learn that the Mage Lords, initially the most gifted among the Mages, rose in revolt to defend themselves against the old religions when these tried to exterminate them. They then became themselves ruthless, oppressive and cruel tyrants in their respective realms, waging war against each other and, in the case of Salazar, destroying all the other mage living in his realm. While this parable of the one-time victorious and idealistic revolutionary turned paranoid tyrant over time is not exactly original either, it is rather well presented, and one of the better features of the book.

Added to this are glimpses of the rest of the world, which we will no doubt get to know more about in the two other volumes of the trilogy. One is the Unclaimed Lands, where an alliance of Mages seems to rule. Another is a place far in the north from where rather terrifying monsters seem to originate in growing numbers and threaten the Shaman - another Mage Lord, with his rather fascinating hybrid monsters - and his community of subject Highlanders. A third is the mysterious Fade, a race that has vanished from the continent, leaving the ruins of an impressive city behind it.

All in all, this was an interesting read, even if not quite an exciting or a fascinating one, and I will certainly read the second volume when it is published in the hope that it is better than this one. Three stars.
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on 18 August 2017
Frustrating story that went no where fast, no likeable characters, none of them in depth, and too much gratuitous bad language. The English language is a beautiful thing, not very evident in this book. I struggled to finish it and nearly gave up half way through, but kept thinking it may improve. It did not.
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on 1 July 2015
Likely nothing you haven't seen before, I struggled through the first half before it became mildly entertaining, I remain indifferent about finishing the trilogy
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