The difference between a hero and a killer lies in the ability to justify dark deeds. But this is the Age of Ruin. And there are no heroes...
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.
©2013 Luke Scull (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"Luke Scull looks to be a writer who will hit the fantasy Genre like an augmented Hammer. His writing is compelling, exciting and engaging, it drags you off to experience life in the city of Dorminia in very short order." (Robin Carter at Parmenion Books)
"His book is amazing, wonderful, compelling, exciting, sarcastic and magical. His writing and style will drag you into the story and make you feel like you are living in Dorminia. There are far too few words in this post to explain you how amazed I was with this work." (Maja Majdak at Booktoreview)
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"Uninspiring teen fantasy"
I picked this up following many rave reviews of the book, but could not relate to it.
Its certainly a dark, gritty sword&sorcery epic with mean mages but, in my view, adds nothing to the adult genre. It may work better as a teen piece
No! The book has attracted some good reviews but for me its the weakest attempt at an s&s epic that I have read for a long time
Possibly. On this occasion I found his voice acting to be rather stilted. I found it difficult to connect the voices to characters, particularly women
For me the writing style was slow and stilted and the characters simplistic and juvenile. I thought the world building was better but certainly not enough to redeem the rest
Its been said before many times, but yet again seems appropriate "meh!"
"You can't hide TH Fronting"
No, this is my second try and While I was hooked on the story the reader repeatedly TH Fronts, that is he turns brothers into bruvvers and ruthless men into roofless men and it makes me unhappy. More so because he's not a bad reader but if this is his job he should not speak like that
The half Mage, he's morally ambiguous and I love his self doubt
I would not, this will be a problem if he records Sword of the North or Sword of the Norff as he might have it
Yes apart from the reader, I wanted to throttle him in one sitting
"Not quite like Abercrombie as I was hoping for"
Story – 3.5/5
The story is quite entertaining – it is action packed and full of casual brutality like any decent grim fantasy should be. The battle at the very end is what fully redeemed this from just getting a mediocre review. It was extremely epic, and described well which kept me hooked long after I was supposed to switch it off and do other stuff.
The main issue with this story is the characterisation. You can definitely tell that Luke Scull is a computer game writer, where characterisation is less of an issue as long as the action (and the gameplay of that action) is done quite well. It wasn’t completely amiss; I just didn’t finding myself caring enough about any of the characters so the twists and turns (which were also plentiful near the end) didn’t have anywhere near the impact they could have.
The plot is quite good, but is nothing new and innovative. The story felt like it borrowed a lot of ideas from other writers such as Abercrombie, Sanderson and Lawrence. I started getting a better feel of Scull’s own ideas towards the end in the final battle, so I hope he uses this side more in future novels.
It was a good enough debut that I will purchase future books by Luke Scull, especially as most authors improve following the criticisms of their first novel.
Performance – 4.5/5
As with the Broken Empire trilogy, Joe Jameson was excellent. Each character had a distinctive voice (there were plenty to do), and the action was narrated in a way to add to the excitement. Joe Jameson gets better and better the more that I listen to him.
Overall – 4/5
I felt Joe Jameson voice was to young for this book just didn't seem to gel with the story. I felt he was a bit detached from the story, and never managed to draw me . His characterization of gruff older males just didn't seem right. Female voice was good but after awhile they all sounded the same. lost track a few times of who he was meant to be.
I was really looking forward to this one, but oh my what a disappointment. I really struggled to get to the end of this . Found the plot to be a tad convoluted, and lost track of what was going on so many times. I had no empathy with any of the characters and felt they were all a bit mediocre, and It wasn't until the last few chapters that I actually started to "get it" But too little too late, For me it's the first audio book that sent me to sleep, but I don't even feel like I missed anything. A forgettable listen.
"Not to keen on this new style of fantasy"
I loved the narrator, Joe Jameson is fantastic as always. He has the right voice for fantasy, and is the only reason why I managed to get to the end. As others has mentioned the main character is, to be polite, irritating, though I would more than happily use other words. I get the sense that he is meant to be, however that means nothing. He undergoes no character change whatsoever throughout the book other than during the last chapter, which if you have read Joe Abercrombie you can see it coming a mile away.
Something that is considered more traditional fantasy. After reading Joe Abercrombie then basically reading it again just now something with a happy ending would be great. Michael J Sullivan most likely.
Despite the heading on my review I don't avidly dislike this style of fantasy it's just identical to Joe Abercrombie, they both have the "cripple" character; the barbarian from the north the arrogant noble; and the seemingly good wizard that turns out to be using everyone. It's literally identical except with characters I just simply don't care about. It's not cheery fantasy and can get very hard to get through if there is to much of it. Maybe if I hade listened to this a few books after Joe Abercrombie I might of liked it a bit better.
"Well narrated, but bad language throughout"
I was looking forward to this book. The tale is one of magic, quests, good vs evil. However, I found it really difficult to concentrate on the story at all due to what I felt was completely unnecessary bad language. It began to feel like every other word was an expletive for the sake of it. I appreciate that some of the characters are a little rough and ready, but even so, I felt offended. It just felt plain childish.
I certainly won't bother with another Luke Skull book!
Joe Jameson did a fine job as narrator.
If i could have played editor, I'd have asked the author to revise some of the language. Perhaps he could use a thesaurus and learn how to describe a scene using words larger than four letters.
I'm sorry to have gone on in this review. It makes me sound like a prude (or some would sat hypocrite!) It's not the case, I've grown up around farmers, mechanics, builders and my school mates! 'Nuff said. This book just really hit a nerve in a way that no other has. Thank 'goodness' for the great listener guarantee!
This is the first in a trilogy and I don't think I will bother with the rest. It is quite good fun but doesn't seem to be different enough from all the others around at the moment. I finished it because I normally do finish talking books, but was quite glad to find I had missed bits by dozing off!
"Grim, but not too Grim"
A wonderfully well built story and world where the characters have to face the gritty reality of Magical Tyrants and there seldom being any good choices. The characters were not too stereotypical; although the plucky youth and grizzled warrior are present, but tackled in a less than stereotypical way. Also the female characters were particularly well done and interesting in their own right. Also brutal and bloody in parts, it is not excessive given the events of the story. The story line itself is very good and I'm looking forward to the next book.
Joe Jameson really does well to making the characters come to life. The sound quality I was pleased with as I've had some problems with other books from audible.
"A great start."
I was unsure of what to expect. However, the sample and summary were sufficiently interesting for me to try. There is a LOT of swearing in it so be warned, and do not be offended, it is a part of the nature of the world that you are entering when you listen to this book.
The tale is worth working through. If I had to describe it I would say that it reminds me of marmite ... You will either love it, or hate it. I starting off with the later and am definitely on the path of the former.
I hope I have been suitably circumspect for you. I can only say that I look forward to the sequel. If the author can continue with the same strength or better then this is the start of more than one great saga. The characters are larger than life, and as with all good adventures, there are some harsh lessons to be learned and, I hope, some great heroics to be performed.
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