Five hundred years ago, the world was destroyed in the celestial Godswar. Seeking to throw off the shackles of the deities who created them, a cabal of mages rose up and made war upon the Gods. Though they won out, it was at a great cost: the ensuing cataclysm brought forth the Age of Ruin to the world.
Five hundred years later, the world limps on, seemingly winding down to an inevitable end. Dystopian city states have arisen, each presided over by one of the Magelords who first made war.
Corrupted, near-immortal, and far too powerful, those wizards who once sought to free the world now make war upon each other, while the helpless populace limp on from day to day.
Into this blighted world, steps Davarus Cole, a boy obsessed with notions of heroism and adventuring, who burns to do great deeds. One night, in a reckless act, Cole gets himself into a brawl with the authories. He quickly finds himself sent away from the city, where the world still groans from the ancient cataclysm, and the corpses of Gods lie deep beneath the bedrock, leaking wild, uncontrolled magic into the world.
Luke Scull lives in Warminster in the UK, and is lead game-designer at Ossian Studios, developers of computer role-playing game, The Shadow Sun. Luke began his career as a hobbyist game designer, being headhunted by Bioware when one of his mods for their game, Neverwinter Nights, became a hit in the online community. Since then he has worked as designer on the Neverwinter expansion, Mysteries of Westgate, and an unreleased expansion for The Witcher role-playing game. The anti-heroic The Grim Company is Luke's debut fantasy novel.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous on 18-04-13
Bland and uninspiring... a resounding "meh!"
I picked it up because all reviews rave about how Luke Scull is the "new Abercrombie"... and I thoroughly disagree!
I mean, sure, it's gritty, dark fantasy with some political intrigue and some not-entirely-unexpected plot twists, but the similarities end there for me:
1. Writing style: I cringed at all the clumsily presented exposition: do characters really need to flap their mouths all the time telling each other stories and plot elements that they should all be familiar with, just because the author didn't find any more inventive way of informing the reader? (also, do we really need a painstaking physical description of every character as they enter the scene? HINT: no). Dialogue in general feels forced and unnatural, again more like the author talking to the reader than the characters talking among themselves.
Also, the characters' vocabulary is all over the place, switching from low-class to high-brow with no sense of continuity; thesaurus abuse is also evident in the use of "erudite" words such as "coruscation".
2. Characterization: I guess the author tried to break some clichés, but in my opinion tried too hard... the characters feel more like a collection of quirks with a backstory than actual living beings, and their reactions to events feel awkward and forced, as if you could see the Plot holding every character's strings and forcing them forward (the ridiculous battle and ensuing dialogue with the Shaman at the end of the book comes to mind).
3. World-building: nothing earth-shatteringly new in the setting (mage wars, magic fading away, ancient evils emerging...), so I will simply give this a pass and see what the author comes up with to tighten it up in the future.
Finally, about the voice acting:
I had quite liked Joe Jameson' interpretation of "Prince of Thorns" by Mark Lawrence, and I was expecting more of the same; instead, I found the delivery quite stilted and weak, and the voices unsuited to the characters at times (especially women).
19 of 22 people found this review helpful
By Brian Keaney on 09-04-13
Like Game Of Thrones But With A Lot More Laughs
Set in a world in which the gods have been murdered by a cartel of magicians who have since fallen out and now compete for dominion, The Grim Company is a multi-viewpoint fantasy with some distinctly original touches (for example, the decaying bodies of the gods are responsible for freaks of the climate), plenty of graphic violence and a dark but contagious sense of humour. Its central characters, deeply flawed and often thoroughly misanthropic, are boldly drawn and quickly take hold of the imagination of the reader. The result is a compelling piece of storytelling that keeps you listening until the last sentence. A bit like A Game Of Thrones but with a lot more laughs.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful