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Murder, Mystery and Intrigue: The Grim Company Trilogy by Luke Scull

Friday, September 29th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The Grim Company-small Sword of the North-small Dead Man's Steel-small

When I first heard of Luke Scull’s debut fantasy novel The Grim Company, which features a band of mercenaries in the service of the White Lady, I assumed it was an homage to Glen Cook’s classic debut novel The Black Company, about a band of mercenaries in the service of the Lady. But folks have compared it more frequently to Joe Abercrombie than Cook. Here’s Niall Alexander at Tor.com.

The Grim Company is as grimdark as fantasy gets… [it] is a genuinely great debut: fun yet fearsome, gritty and gripping in equal measure… In truth, no-one does grimdark fantasy better than Joe Abercrombie, but by the dead, Luke Scull comes incredibly close. The Grim Company can’t quite eclipse the likes of The Heroes, or Red Country; all told, though, this is a more satisfying debut than The Blade Itself.

In large part that’s thanks to an action-packed narrative, paced like a race. There’s never [a] dull moment in The Grim Company — even in the middle, where most stories sag. Here, there and everywhere there are extraordinary set-pieces: battles, by and large, but what battles they are! In the interim, there’s murder, mystery and intrigue; a meaningful, if somewhat simplistic magic system; no shortage of snappy banter; and such smooth worldbuilding that I hardly noticed it happening… Shiver me timbers, The Grim Company is pretty brilliant… a sterling exemplar of what the genre has to offer today.

Read the complete review here.

The Grim Company was published in hardcover by Roc in 2012. Here’s the description.

The Gods are dead. The Magelord Salazar and his magically enhanced troops, the Augmentors, crush any dissent they find in the minds of the populace. On the other side of the Broken Sea, the White Lady plots the liberation of Dorminia, with her spymistresses, the Pale Women. Demons and abominations plague the Highlands.

The world is desperately in need of heroes. But what they get instead are a ragtag band of old warriors, a crippled Halfmage, two orphans and an oddly capable manservant: the Grim Company.

It was followed by Sword of the North in 2015.

In The Grim Company, Luke Scull introduced a formidable and forbidding band of anti-heroes battling against ruthless Magelords and monstrous terrors. The adventure continues as the company — now broken — face new dangers on personal quests…

As Davarus Cole and his former companions were quick to discover, the White Lady’s victorious liberation of Dorminia has not resulted in the freedom they once imagined. Anyone perceived as a threat has been seized and imprisoned — or exiled to darker regions — leaving the White Lady’s rule unchallenged and absolute. But the White Lady would be wiser not to spurn her former supporters: Eremul the Halfmage has learned of a race of immortals known as the Fade, and if he cannot convince the White Lady of their existence, all of humanity will be in danger.

Far to the north, Brodar Kayne and Jerek the Wolf continue their odyssey to the High Fangs only to find themselves caught in a war between a demon horde and their enemy of old, the Shaman. And in the wondrous city of Thelassa, Sasha must overcome demons of her own.

Because the Fade are coming…

The first two novels are now available in paperback from Ace Books; the third, Dead Man’s Steel, arrived in hardcover from Ace at the beginning of the year. Here’s the complete publishing details.

The Grim Company (432 pages, $8.99 paperback, $2.99 digital, March 4, 2014)
Sword of the North (467 pages, $7.99 paperback, $5.99 digital, March 1, 2016)
Dead Man’s Steel (400 pages, $27 hardcover, $13.99 digital, January 3, 2017)

The cover artist was not credited.

Read an excerpt from The Grim Company at Tor.com.

See all our recent coverage of the best in Series Fantasy here.

 

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