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Sword of the North

(Grim Company #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,452 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Some legends never die...

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
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Roc (first published December 10th 2014)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  3,452 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Review contains 'bad language'.

Every year (OK 3 times I think), around lunchtime, I cycle down to the Bristol Fantasy Convention, Bristolcon, about 6 miles from my house, and spend a couple of hours in the bar.

In doing so back in 2013 I met, at random, authors Luke Scull and Snorri Kristjansson. Both of them happened to find themselves in Bristol again this Summer and (on separate occasions) came round to Casa Lawrence for a few beers, leaving copies of their latest work in their wake.

So, I have
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

As a huge lover of the first book of this series, Sword of the North was a novel I had to get my hands on. The Grim Company had introduced me to a delicious grimdark world populated with so many fantastic characters and filled with loads and loads of gory action that I really needed another fix of Luke Scull’s addictive concoction. And he definitely delivered here.

Grim Company ended with our band of heroes ripped apart after the tyrant Salazar’s defe
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
So rather than gaining freedom the city of Dorminia has traded one magelord tyrant for another. Shockingly the new tyrant, The White Lady, cares even less about the people of Dorminia than their old tyrant Lord Salazar. While her public appearance is graceful and caring she's far more depraved than Salazar. She quickly moved to dispatch all threats such as the arrogant Davarus Cole while working him out of the narrative of Lord Salazar's downfall.

The Sword of the North at its best for me left me

I came, I tried, I threw it in the bin.

Well, I deleted it from my Kindle, which is somewhat less satisfying but you get the point.

Paul O'Neill
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such an impressive series that must be read!

I love all the characters. I love the world. I love the mysteries that are yet to follow and I have no doubt that I'll love the next book also, which just happens to have been released today (nice timing but I didn't mean it!).

Most impressive is the character arcs. There is a real journey for all the characters and real growth. I nearly cried at the whole Kayne and Jerek thing!

Please read it...I need to talk to someone about it with...
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sword of the North (The Grim Company, #2), Luke Scull

The Grim Company is a debut high/dark/grimdark fantasy trilogy by Luke Scrull. The Gods are dead, slain by the Magelords some five centuries ago. Humanity is on its own, but now they are ruled by those mages.

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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars guest review at Fantasy Book Critic:

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Of the many fantasy sequels coming out this year, Luke Scull’s Sword of the North is high on my anticipated list. The follow-up to the hit that was The Grim Company, this second book continues with a story teeming with fantastic characters, a strong plot, and plenty of action.

In the first book we met Brodar Kayne, a hero from the cold reaches whose battle prowess and skill with a blade ea
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
This is some seriously high quality grimdark, with a brilliant cast of flawed and complex protagonists that you cannot help but become invested in.

The major story careens between Brodar Kayne, Davarus Cole, Sasha and Eremul the Halfmage whilst also flirting with the tale of how Brodar met Jerek, the Wolf, and earned his name forty some years before. This secondary tale gradually catches up to the current story and provides some of the most poignant and heartfelt moments I’ve ever encountered in
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's grimdark and there's dismal.
There's gritty and there's crass.
There's realistic and there's forced.
There's convoluted and there's psychedelic.
There's five stars and there's two.
Igor Ljubuncic
Jul 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, luke-scull, dnf
Well, DNF.

I realized I was not having fun, I was skipping entire pages, and I never skip pages.

I'm too old to read books for the sake of it.

First, I remember nothing from the first volume. I actually had to read online to figure out everyone compares this guy to Joe Ambercrombie (maybe because they are pals), and I remembered thinking it's nothing like. Then, I remember some floating ladies and this wheelchair mage.

The second book starts weirdly - odd combat scenes that serve no purpose with dra
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm quite sure If one really wanted to they could point out a lot of things that a wrong with this book: it's pace is very quick, characters appear seemingly out of nowhere to move the plot along, there may be some Deus Ex Machina here and there and some other smaller issues. But I. Here to tell you that none of then matter because this series has been nothing but awesome so far. Scull write characters that I find exactly to my tastes and the amount of crazy shit that is packed I to these 400-50 ...more
Fantasy Review Barn

Did I like The Grim Company, Scull’s epic fantasy debut from last year? Of course I did. Hardly over hyped it was the type of book that felt designed to hit all the right notes of a popular series. Yet despite its familiarity almost by the numbers feel (*cough* First Law *cough) I never felt that it was derivative of the works it could be compared to. It took a well-worn feel and gave it a life of its own. I immediately was ready for Sword of the North to come out so I could c
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I thought I only read the first part a little while ago...... so why am i drawing a blank with recollecting the names...... is it cause i lost a bit o blood recently perchance or is it the turning of the dreaded 5-0...... either ways its grand so far as im getting to meet all these NEW & wonderful characters again!

A lot of very likeable characters too But it does read more like a collection of short stories as they’re scattered about the realm(s), some in new places which at first is hard to
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Luke Scull because

1, I always have a good time reading his stories. Going back to his world felt like coming home. I’m totally comfortable and familiar with his protagonists, and I welcomed them as long seen acquaintances.

2, He managed to write the darkest dark fantasy WHILE he made me believe this is not a dark fantasy at all. :D There is something in his writing style/narrative which helps you get over all the blight you read about. But this is just an illusion…This is a fucking sick s
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I heartily congratulate myself on the completion of this particular book, as it took me an awfully long time to read. Other books, little time and temporary loss of interest made sure the book would take me a month to finish. Yesterday morning, I was only about one-fourth of the way done with the book. But then I sat down and thought to myself: Ojo! You've got to finish this book! You've got to say NO to reading-greed and finish this one before you move to other books(which are numerous). Here I ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it

Full review over at The Bibliosanctum

Read Mogsy's review over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: When it comes to sequels, it’s hard for the authors to write them, as often they have to do so within a strict time limit as well as take into consideration reader expectations. Now imagine if your debut was a successful one, Terry Brooks took 5 years between his debut Sword of Shannara and the follow-up Elfstones of Shannara. Supposedly he had written a different book but his editor had him
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, arc
See the complete review posted on Book Frivolity. Check out other Fantasy and Historical Fiction ruminations there as well!

POV's: Multiple
Narrative:Third Person, Limited, Subjective

My first reaction when I finished Sword of the North was: You want gritty, this is like rubbing yourself all over with an emery board!

Sword of The North is possibly the darkest Grimdark novels I have read in quite some time. The world is broken, the characters are all in horrendous situations and the outlook is abou

Mark Halse
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Decidedly a much better read than the first book. Like I mentioned in my review of THE GRIM COMPANY, the thing that I liked least in the first book was that it ended just as I got acclimated to the characters and world.

Starting SWORD OF THE NORTH I knew the characters and (basically) understood the world so I could really sink my teeth into the story. And, oh what a story! This book had it all! Demons, zombies, drug abuse and of course the sickest and the most hardcore barbarian since The Blood
Steve Wasling
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm sure there's a light at the end of the tunnel for these characters; It's most likely the blast-wave of a nuclear explosion, but still!

Excellent if almost unremittingly grim follow up to the aptly name Grim Company see the characters continuing to not have the slightest hint of fun or good luck. This time we get some nice back story on Kayne and Jerek to really rub salt into the wounds, whereas Sasha spends the book drugged to the eyeballs, feeling sorry for herself and having to deal with he
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Loved the first novel. Loved this one twice as much. It's a brilliant sequel that greatly improves upon the first's strengths. Brilliant characters to love and to hate; superb pacing and thriller-like plotting. Scull is an author to keep your eye on - and more than that he's an author Fantasy fans should read as soon as possible.

Even the author's wordsmithery is slightly improved in this round. The first novel did have a few flaws in what I'd call text imprecision, in wording, mostly. Though as
Charles Bronson
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"If Eremul had learned anything from years spent with his nose buried in books on history and philosophy, it was that contentment was the most transient emotion of all. The human spirit was not meant to float suspended in the calm waters of equanimity but rather to lurch wildly from one crisis to another."
I feel this reflects the general theme of this dark, explicit, twisted tale. This sequel joins the ranks of my top 5 fantasy novels I have read this year. Beware Big Shots, Luke Scull is the r
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I have finished reading of the second book "The Sword of the North" and I would like to comment bellow, but please be aware that It may INCLUDE some light SPOILERS. Readers Beware.


Pantheonic Literature is perhaps as old as humanity`s firs epic i.e. The Gilgamesh - If not older, making it one of the oldest tropes in collective imagination.Humans have always included Gods as a pivotal part of the narrative,  often being the cause or the effect of mayor events. Heroes may be tested, rewarded
Michael Sliter
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I want to like the Grim Company series. I really do. But there are too many things holding it back.

Let me first say that I think that Luke Scull is an excellent writer. The prose is well-crafted, and the dialogue often engaging. But, the storytelling, here, could use some work.

Sword of the North is a story of coincidences. In most books, we can suspend our disbelief a bit at chance encounters. But, when the amount of disbelief is equivalent to a billion gallons of water dropped over the top of a
As slow as I was in making my way through this sequel to Luke Scull's impressive debut, The Grim Company, one might think I was disappointed, bored, or some nasty combination of the two.

In fact, I was naught but entertained ... and exceedingly time-poor.

I've developed something of a pattern to my purchasing of books of late. The ones I truly want to read, to savour, to honour the author's work by paying the full fee - they are the books I buy from a good ol' fashioned bookstore in hard copy. Tho
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the book about Brodar Kayne. Through flashbacks and the main story he is crafted into a grey, fully-fleshed character. He's a perfect example how the past can haunt you or even come back with a vengeance. The path deficiency of his life shapes him in his choices.

Another character a truely liked was Sir Meredith. The man is a knight from Tarbonne, presently serving in the Kingsguard. He is a man who thinks he doesn't get what he deserves, what he is ought to get as a knight. Combine that
Xara Niouraki
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In my review of the first book I hoped that Luke Scull would find his own voice. Did he? Oh YES he did!.

The Sword of the North is an excellent book. The characters have acquired substance and feel like real people. It's full of great battles, huge swords, blood, demons, monsters, gods, mages, gore, human experimentation, dark humor, love, tragedy, hate and revenge.

A huge improvement compared to the first book in the series.
James Cox
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The characters are really fantastic and well written. I enjoyed this book!
Owen Gaines
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Book one of this series was good enough to bring me to book two. But, book two is good enough for me to call it a must-read series for grim-dark fans! Great stuff!
Christine J Randall
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Either there is less swearing in this second book of the trilogy, or it became less obvious to me -- probably the latter. I like the way the book begins 36 years back, briefly, before picking up not long after The Grim Company left off, with the regular flashbacks rolling forward until they culminate in a shocking revelation for one of the characters. More larger-than-life characters are introduced, ones you have the feeling you have met elsewhere. Some don't do too much, but I expect they have ...more
Gavin Brown
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I love Scull's world building. This is a dark and grim world where nothing ever goes to plan. It's inhabitants, Scull's protagonists, are beset by disaster after catastrophe. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, justice is nothing but a pipe dream, and heroes are all deeply flawed.
It's taken me a while to get the book read, but that's nothing to do with the quality it. In fact, this second novel by Luke Scull is even better than his debut. If you like your fantasy grim and bleak but full
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LUKE SCULL was born in and lives in Bristol. Luke also designs computer roleplaying games and has worked on several acclaimed titles for Ossian Studios and Bioware.

Luke's first novel, THE GRIM COMPANY, was shortlisted for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award, 2014.

Visit his website at:

Other books in the series

Grim Company (3 books)
  • The Grim Company (The Grim Company, #1)
  • Dead Man's Steel (The Grim Company, #3)

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“Jerek shook his head, the moonlight casting a shine on his bald scalp. “You’re turning into a right old pussy and that’s a fact.” Kayne sighed. “Age will do that to you.” 5 likes
“The great poets are full of bullshit. Love has nothing on hatred's capacity to give a man purpose.” 2 likes
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