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Thursday , 22 January 2015 , 06 : 09 PM
The Grim Company By Luke Scull Review by Adrian Collins (Includes Spoilers!) I destroyed this book like one of Jerek's axes splitting a head open. It's been a little while since I've done that. Luke Scull has rocketed into my list of favourite authors. The Grim Company tells the story of the building war between god-slaying magelords and the roles a would-be hero, an aged barbarian exile, a crippled mage, a rebel, and the leader of the antagonist's elite guard would play in it - all the way up to the thoroughly enjoyable final battle. There are a great many things I liked about The Grim Company. There's a flexible magic and demon system. It's amenable, really inventive, doesn't require pages of explanation to understand it, doesn't saturate (there's a cheeky pun there, for those who have read the book) the story and leaves much to the imagination. The characters are enjoyable and easy to read about, with plenty of misfortune to make a reader chuckle and keep burning through the pages (I do also love an aged barbarian exile character; it's one of my favourite character themes). Most importantly, for me, those characters are morally ambiguous. I think that the best example of this ambiguity is also one of the most minor ones. The insight into Magelord Salazar we receive in the final chapters provides a wonderful moment of grey to the main antagonist and a linking to the perspectives and memories of many of the other protagonists. The different factions led by the mages who left the gods rotting in the dirt and seas are enjoyable, showing a wide range of Scull's world - from steppe-like nomads-cross-barbarians who have were-beasts and shamans, to the haven-like White Lady's city where all seems wonderful and rose-smelling (I say "seems" as I really get the impression we'll...