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Trinitytwo's View: The Grim Company by Luke Scull


The Grim Company
Author:  Luke Scull
Series:  Grim Company 1
Publisher:  Roc, September 3, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $26.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425264843 (print)
US Debut

Trinitytwo's View: The Grim Company by Luke Scull
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.






The Grim Company is a dark and brutal epic fantasy set in a landscape where over 500 years ago the gods were destroyed by an alliance of Magelords. The Magelords are no longer united, because one source of their powers is the corpses of the dead gods and the “raw magic” they collect is running low. The story opens with Salazar, the Magelord and Ruler of Dorminia exacting revenge on a neighboring kingdom by magically dumping enough water to fill a small ocean upon its city, resulting in its utter obliteration. Salazar rules his own country by oppression and fear. His magically enhanced army mercilessly seeks out dissenters who can expect torture, enslavement, or death. Enter Davarus Cole, a hero in his own mind, and wielder of the enchanted blade, Magebane. Cole’s impetuous actions land him in trouble with Salazar’s heavy handed Red Guard. It takes world-weary warrior, Brodar Kayne, to save him from himself and the Guards. With the help of Jerek, Kayne’s sidekick, Sasha a compatriot of Cole, and Isaac the mysterious manservant of the Halfmage, Emerul, the roster of The Grim Company is complete,and so begins the exciting events in their quest to destroy Salazar.


Trinitytwo’s Point of View:

The first book in a trilogy, The Grim Company is decidedly grim. Luke Scull has created a world that seems without hope. Magelords killed the gods and now rule their world with iron fists. How does one stand up to all powerful, practically immortal, beings that are able to destroy gods? It’s really a rhetorical question, as one doesn’t or at least not very well. I really wasn’t surprised to learn that Mr. Scull is a video-game designer. His description of disembowelments, death, and mass destruction are flawlessly grisly and remind me of the mayhem I have witnessed unfold in various violent video-games. The language is foul, the tortures are highly descriptive, and maiming, killings and carnage abound. I have to admit that I cringed from time to time. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but this adventure is definitely not for the weak of stomach. (Also, just a heads up, there are excessive references made to hemorrhoids.) I felt that the first half of the book was too depressing to keep me fully engaged. The Grim Company’s quest seems to be an exercise in futility and for the most part the members of the company are off on their own, which belies the title. I was slightly disappointed with the massive amounts of setups that lead to ultimately unanswered questions. Undoubtedly, they will be answered in Book 2 or 3, but a little more closure in Book 1 would have been nice. I also didn’t connect to most of the members of the Grim Company. There really wasn’t a definitive bad guy or good guy, just many different perspectives. Davarus Cole was written to be obnoxious and although I liked the fact that he wasn’t a traditional hero, it was hard to root for him. Brodar Kayne, the grizzled veteran with a tragic past and a volatile best friend was easier to like. Sasha, the sole female in the Grim Company, was a disappointment, as her character did not seem very fleshed out. By the second half of the book, however, I realized I had grown to care for more of the characters. It became increasingly harder to put the book down and I was sorry when I reached the last page. I am very curious to find out where the tangled web that Luke Scull has woven is going and who will remain to see it through. This isn’t a book that I would recommend to the meek. If you like your fantasy dark, with a pinch of twisted humor, you will ultimately find The Grim Company compelling, satisfying, and something to savor.



Read an interview with Luke here.


2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013


It's time for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for September 2013!


2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013


Since Cover Wars was so much fun as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, we're doing it again for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge. Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2013 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when I have it.


Vote for your Favorite September 2013 Debut Novel Cover!
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Voting will close on September 30, 2013.

(Please note that when you click "View" above it will take you to the PollCode site. Please click "Back" there to come back to this post. Leave any comments below.)




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013
Cover Art by Victo Ngai




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013
Cover Illustration © Kerem Beyit


Interview with Luke Scull, author of The Grim Company - September 3, 2013


Please welcome Luke Scull to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interview. The Grim Company (Grim Company 1) is published today. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Luke a Happy US Publication Day!



Interview with Luke Scull, author of The Grim Company - September 3, 2013





TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Luke:  You mean outside of school? Probably at age 20, when I wrote my first module (adventure) for the Neverwinter Nights roleplaying game. I remember it had around 15,000 words, which felt like an absolute marathon at the time. At that point, the writing was secondary to learning how to script and use the game's toolset. It wasn't until the sequel when I discovered I had some actual writing talent.



TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Luke:  I struggle to write in silence. I like stuff going on around me, which I then do my best to block out! When I'm sitting there all alone my mind wanders. I find I can write well at night, but during the day I'm far more productive on, say, a beach than I am by myself in an office. Weird, huh?



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Luke:  A little of both. I begin with a basic story outline that contains the major plot points, which I then try to connect in the most interesting way possible. Too much planning removes the fun of the writing process. It's a case of knowing that sweet spot between constructing the skeleton of a great story and keeping myself interested in filling in the blanks.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Luke:  I always find going back over old chapters a nuisance. As a game designer I constantly evaluate and tweak, and that means I simply can't leave writing alone unless it's perfect. I'm always judging, analyzing, polishing. This tends to slow me down greatly unless I've enjoyed one of those rare periods where the words seem to flow flawlessly first time around. That doesn't happen often!



TQ:  Describe The Grim Company in 140 characters or less.

LukeThe Grim Company is an epic fantasy about a group of anti-heroes set in a world of long-dead gods, rampaging demons, and immortal tyrants.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Grim Company?

Luke:  I started to write The Grim Company to fill the time after I was made unemployed and my gaming project had stalled. I'd always wanted to try my hand at writing a novel and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Grim Company?

Luke:  Other than reading a lot, I did little research besides the usual Wiki-mining for subjects I knew little about (e.g., sailing). I had a lot ideas that had built up over the years, so it was mainly a case of plunging right in, establishing my narrative voice, and getting into a rhythm.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Luke:  The easiest character to write was probably Cole. He's an arrogant idiot with a habit of surviving by the skin of his teeth. Somewhat worryingly, it was straightforward for me to conjure up the thoughts and deeds of a self-delusional fool who could alienate everything around him while believing himself the cock of the walk...

The hardest character to write was either Yllandris or Sasha, mainly because they're both female and somewhat damaged.



TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Grim Company?

Luke:  My favorite scene is the eventual confrontation between two characters who can probably be considered the most noble and likeable in the book. Unfortunately they happen to be on different sides. It a great action scene but also, I hope, quite moving.



TQ:  What's next?

Luke:  I'm still writing Sword of the North, which is the second book in the trilogy. It's a long and complex novel and I want to ensure that it establishes me as a fantasy writer to watch, rather than one who succumbs to that sophomore slump.

I also had a prominent role on an RPG for mobile platforms that is due out in the next 4-6 weeks. I both wrote and designed The Shadow Sun, which is set in a dark fantasy world similar to The Grim Company. It could be the next big thing on Apple devices.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Luke:  My pleasure! Thank you for having me.







The Grim Company

The Grim Company
Series:  Grim Company 1
Publisher:  Roc, September 3, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $26.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425264843 (print)
US Debut

Interview with Luke Scull, author of The Grim Company - September 3, 2013
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.





About Luke
(Text and photo from the Author's website)

Interview with Luke Scull, author of The Grim Company - September 3, 2013
LUKE SCULL was born in Bristol and lives in Warminster with his wife. Luke also designs computer roleplaying games and has worked on several acclaimed titles for Ossian Studios and Bioware. His latest project, iOS fantasy game The Shadow Sun is scheduled for release in 2013.




Website  ~  Twitter @Luke_Scull

The View From Monday - September 2, 2013


Happy first Monday in September and Happy Labor Day to those celebrating. I hope this week will be filled with reading and new books!

You can find a PDF printable shopping list of this week's releases here.



The View From Monday - September 2, 2013



There are 5 Debuts this week:

Cain's Blood by Geoffrey Girarad;

Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet 1) by David Hair (his adult Debut);

Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson;

Reanimators by Peter Rawlik; and

The Grim Company (Grim Company 1) by Luke Scull.



From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors:

Unleash the Curse (Imnada Brotherhood eNovella) by Alexa Egan; and

Daughter of the Sword (Fated Blades 1) by Steve Bein is out in Mass Market Paperback.




September 1, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Bridge (ri) Iain Banks F
Synners (ri) Pat Cadigan CyP - SF Materworks
Carving Fantasy & Legend Figures in Wood, Revised Edition: Patterns & Instructions for Dragons, Wizards & Other Creatures of Myth Shawn Cipa Crafts
Dangerous Visions (ri) Harlan Ellison (ed) SF - Anthology SF Masterworks
Some Like It Wicked (e) Lauren Hawkeye PNR
Tales of the Ghost Sword Hideyuki Kikuchi Gh - Anthology
Her Alpha Protector (e) Gwen Knight PNR
This Strange Way of Dying: Stories of Magic, Desire & the Fantastic Silvia Moreno-Garcia F/H/SF - Short Stories
Candlenight (ri) Phil Rickman SuTh
Frankenstein Mary Shelley SF - SF Masterworks
Crysis: Escalation Gavin Smith SF - Crysis (Game Tie-In)
She Walks in Darkness Evangeline Walton H/M
The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells SF - SF Masterworks
Crystal Venom (e) Steve Wheeler SF - Fury of Aces 2
The Art of War David Wingrove F - Chung Kuo 5
Ice and Fire (ri) David Wingrove F - Chung Kuo 4



September 2, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Unleash the Curse (e) Alexa Egan PHR - Imnada Brotherhood Novella
Fairies in My Fireplace (e) R.L. Naquin UF - Monster Haven 3



September 3, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Releasing the Hunter Vivi Anna PNR
The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF Mike Ashley (ed) SF - Anthology
MaddAddam Margaret Atwood Dys - MaddAddam 3
The Last President John Barnes PA/SF/Th - Daybreak 3
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All Laird Barron H - Collection
Daughter of the Sword (tp2mm) Steve Bein HistF/UF - Fated Blades 1
Damaged Souls David Bernstein H
Between Two Fires (h2tp) Christopher Buehlman H
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (h2tp) Lois McMaster Bujold SF - Vorkosigan Saga 14
Cold Days (h2mm) Jim Butcher UF - Dresden FIles 14
The Nameless (ri) Ramsey Campbell H
How to Date a Dragon Ashlyn Chase PNR - Flirting with Fangs 2
Daybreak (tp2mm) Ellen Connor PNR/PaR - Dark Age Dawning 3
Maiden Flight Bianca D'Arc PNR - Dragon Knights 1
The Angel Stone Juliet Dark UF - Fairwick Chronicles 3
Sex and the Single Princess Bonnie Dee
Marie Treanor
PNR - Fairytale Fantasies 4
Monsters of the Earth David Drake F
Have Monster, Will Travel Lila DuBois PNR - Monsters in Hollywood 4
Dark Lycan Christine Feehan PNR - Dark 24
Voracious (tp2mm) V.K. Forrest PNR - Clare Point 5
Would-Be Witch (tp2mm) Kimberly Frost PNR - Southern Witch 1
The Shadow of Mist (e) Yasmine Galenorn UF - Otherworld Novella
Cain's Blood: A Novel (D) Geoffrey Girard SF
Stories of Terror and the Supernatural Herman Graf H/Su - Anthology
Realm of Shadows (ri) Heather Graham PNR - Alliance Vampires 4
Ghouls, Ghosts, and Ninja Rats: Paranormal Crime Stories That Just Might Kill You Martin H. Greenberg (ed) PC/H - Anthology
Mage's Blood (D - Adult) David Hair F - Moontide Quartet 1
The Death of Integrity Guy Haley F - Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Battles 13
Death's Lover Marie Hall PNR - Grim Reaper 1
Man Who Sold the Moon / Orphans of the Sky Robert A. Heinlein SF
Born to Bite (tp2mm) Hannah Howell
Diana Cosby
Erica Ridley
PNR - Anthology
Heaven Made SaraLynn Hoyt PNR
Mira Corpora (D) Jeff Jackson GB
Savage Species Jonathan Janz H
Soul Kissed Erin Kellison PNR - Shadow Kissed 2
Styxx Sherrilyn Kenyon UF - Dark Hunter 23
The Servants of Twilight (ri) Dean Koontz H/Th
Geek Girls Don't Date Dukes Gina Lamm PNR - Geek Girls 2
Dark in the Woods Rosemary Laurey PNR
The Shadow Lamp Stephen R. Lawhead F - Bright Empires 4
The Art of Stealing Time Katie MacAlister FR - Time Thief 2
Chimes at Midnight Seanan McGuire UF - October Daye 7
The Savage Dead Joe McKinney SF/Z
Priests of Mars (h2tp) Graham McNeill F - Warhammer 40,000
The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul Jon F. Merz F - Shadow Warrior 1
Heroes Lost and Found Sheryl Nantus PNR - Blaze of Glory 3
McFall (Kindle e-serial) Scott Nicholson H
Vampires Need Not...Apply? Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Accidentally Yours 4
A Skeleton in the Family Leigh Perry PCM - Family Skeleton Mystery 1
Half Blind Christine Price PNR - Freelance Magic 1
Reanimators (D) Peter Rawlik H
Isaac Asimov's I Robot: To Obey Mickey Zucker Reichert SF
The Fabric of Sin (e 1st) Phil Rickman PM - Merrily Watkins  9
The Remains of an Altar (e 1st) Phil Rickman PM - Merrily Watkins 8
To Dream of the Dead (e 1st) Phil Rickman PM - Merrily Watkins 10
Under a Graveyard Sky John Ringo PA
Shaman Kim Stanley Robinson F
The Last Threshold (h2mm) R. A. Salvatore F - Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms: Neverwinter Saga 4
The Legend of Drizzt 25th Anniversary Edition, Book I R. A. Salvatore F - Forgotten Realms: Legend of Drizzt Omnibus
The Eternal Highlander (ri) Lynsay Sands
Hannah Howell
PNR
The Grim Company (D) Luke Scull F - Grim Company 1
23 Years on Fire Joel Shepherd SF - : Cassandra Kresnov 4
Revenant Eve (h2mm) Sherwood Smith F - Dobrenica 3
The Given Sacrifice S. M. Stirling F - Change / Emberverse 10
Lord of Mountains (h2mm) S. M. Stirling F - Change / Emberverse 9
Bad Things (ri) Tamara Thorne H
Eternity (ri) Tamara Thorne H
The Forgotten (ri) Tamara Thorne H
Hunter's Heart J.D. Tyler PNR - Alpha Pack 4
The Protected Shiloh Walker UF - FBI Psychics 4
Damek's Redemption N.J. Walters PNR - Legacy 6
Half a Crown (h2tp) Jo Walton AH/Noir - Small Change Trilogy 3
The Lost Wolf's Destiny Karen Whiddon PNR - The Pack
Ritual Magic Eileen Wilks UF - World of the Lupi 10
Happy Hour In Hell Tad Williams UF/Noir - Bobby Dollar 2



September 4, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Business As Usual: A Tor.Com Original (e) David Barnett SP



September 5, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Come Closer Jessica L. Jackson PNR - Look Behind You 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback

AH - Alternate History
CyP - CyberPunk
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
Gh - Ghosts
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PaR - Post Apocalyptic Romance
PC - Paranormal Crime
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update: Luke Scull and The Grim Company - August 21, 2013


2013 Debut Author Challenge Update: Luke Scull and The Grim Company - August 21, 2013


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.



Luke Scull

The Grim Company
The Grim Company 1
Roc, September 3, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
US Debut

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update: Luke Scull and The Grim Company - August 21, 2013
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.


Trinitytwo's View: The Grim Company by Luke Scull2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2013Interview with Luke Scull, author of The Grim Company - September 3, 2013The View From Monday - September 2, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Update: Luke Scull and The Grim Company - August 21, 2013

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