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Cold Counsel

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  53 reviews
In Chris Sharp's new epic fantasy Cold Counsel, Slud of the Blood Claw Clan, Bringer of Troubles, was born at the heart of the worst storm the mountain had ever seen. Slud’s father, chief of the clan, was changed by his son’s presence. For the first time since the age of the giants, he rallied the remaining trolls under one banner and marched to war taking back the mountai ...more
ebook, 302 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by Tor.com
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  53 reviews


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James Tivendale
I received an ARC of Cold Counsel in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Chris Sharp and Tor.

The Troll, Slud of the Blood Claw Clan was born amidst the most intense storm that the world had ever witnessed. The narrative of Cold Counsel is about his bitter revenge following on from the eradication of the Troll race in a brutal genocide manufactured by the Elves. Luckily, newborn Slud, son of the clan's leader was whisked away from destruction by the witch Agnes in secret. The ta
...more
Bradley
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-shelf, fantasy
This was a lot of fun. It harkens back to the days of Sword and Sorcery with Conan raising his axe and revenging himself, only this one takes a full slant of the tale.

He's a troll. A troll hero, growing up with a needle-teethed hag who's been training him to be a whirlwind of destruction from his birth following the obliteration of his tribe.

The best part is, we never have to deal with those pesky humans. We've got goblins galore, all of whom are fun and interesting and colorful, PoV's that simu
...more
Justine
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
A bloody revenge story that will probably appeal most to those who like RPG lit. That isn't necessarily me. While I appreciated some of the witty elements (which to be fair, included a lot of swearing) and the interesting assortment of characters, the actual story was a bit narrow for my taste.

The story is pretty much focused on a single campaign by the main character, with guidance from his adoptive "aunt", to invade a mountain fastness and kill everyone inside in the most gory way possible. I
...more
Lindsay
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a fantasy world set after Ragnarok, the last surviving troll seeks vengeance on the goblin tribe that has taken residence on the mountain his people called home. Slud Blood Claw has been trained and magically conditioned since birth by a powerful hag to be the ultimate tool of brutal vengeance. On his path to victory over the vile Khan of the Rock Wolf goblin clan he encounters an extremely varied cast of bizarre characters.

Fair warning: this book seeks to gross you out on nearly every page.
...more
Robyn
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
3.5 that I'm rounding up. A troll tale, set in a Norse mythic world and centred around revenge.
Althea Ann
DNF at 21%.
This one just isn't catching my imagination.
It's always an interesting conceit to tell a story from the point of view of a "bad guy." However, while Slud the troll is indubitably a "bad guy," he's merely thuggish and brutal, rather than interesting. He's also rather dim-witted, and doesn't seem to possess any personal motivation: his quest for revenge is merely something that he's been trained into by his 'foster-mother,' Agnes.
Agnes could be an interesting character, but rather than
...more
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
In a forgotten crease of the mountain there is a part of the forest where a dark conjuring has hidden two trolls from everyone and everything for two decades. It is in this hut, deep in the Iron Wood, that Aunt Agnes, an ancient troll, has raised and trained the young troll she whisked away from the great war with the Elves and the eradication of their entire race in order to have him take back what is his and more.

“Revenge,” the troll answered with a humorless smile. “Slud’s come to break de mo
...more
Crazy4Books
Ive only read a few books about trolls and goblins so I was excited to jump into this. Maybe Im just not use to adult fantasy but the writing slowed my reading pace. I felt like it didnt flow easily and I found myself rereading a lot of sentences which was my only real issue with this book. I know adult fantasy typically takes more concentration on my part so I didnt let it diminish my excitement for the story. The world and the characters were fascinating but it took me about a quarter of the b ...more
C.W.
A dark, brutal revenge story set in a mythical fantasy world - fairly straight forward in both premise and execution - but lacking in a certain something that makes it anything more than what it is at face value. Not bad, but not great either. Full video review: https://youtu.be/198E_ojjXwU
Samuel Peterson
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
An absolutely triumphant return! Chris Sharp has definitely found himself in this dark, grotesque fantasy-on-steroids. I can't wait to read more of Slud's exploits in future installments. Great, cathartic read!
Bridget Mckinney
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I spent two days trying to read this and made it about 40% through before I gave up and skipped to the last two chapters. I'm sure it will be a great read for the right reader, but that apparently isn't me.

Slud manages to be both unlikable and boring, spending much of his time as a passive protagonist following a path that has been set out for him by the woman who raised him.

Agnes is potentially interesting, being the revenge-focused remnant of something much more ancient, but she's also (as fa
...more
Nthato Morakabi
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually didn't read the synopsis to this book before I selected it, which happened to be a good thing. It is merely the introduction to a grander story that slashes it's way onward. Intermingled with a lot of Norse mythology, Cold Counsel was a book I enjoyed far more than I thought I would.

It follows the story of Slud. He doesn't seem to be the sharpest knife in the kitchen, merely a fantastically large brute who has been raised by Aunt Agnes, a witch living in a dark forest called Iron Wood
...more
Laura Hughes
A troll, a night-hag and an undead goblin walk into a bar.

What? Oh, it’s not a joke. It’s how the post-credits scene would look if Chris Sharp’s novel were a Marvel movie instead of a book.

The axe-wielding beauty on the cover is Slud. The last surviving warrior of the Blood Claw Clan, Slud isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact, he may even be the bluntest – or so it seems. Slud’s thick dialect can easily be taken as evidence of stupidity; but don’t be fooled. Mountain trolls might not
...more
Florian
Pretty straight forward dark fantasy revenge story. It's an easy and quick read and overall enjoyable, if that's what you are looking for.
Jamie
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Sharp's latest foray into dark fantasy and ended up finishing this adrenaline-fueled yarn over the course of two winter nights. Cold Counsel can be summed up in a single word: epic. Slud is my new favorite character and Sharp's approach to fantasy is bloody fantastic. Sharp creates a world layered with mythology and fills it with memorable characters that are both wicked and tender. All hail Slud!
Lesley
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy is not my usual genre but when I came across this book the description spoke to the kid in me who had loved Conan the Barbarian and Lord of the Rings. I decided to read it and was not disappointed. The book grabs you from the first page and doesn't release you again until the intense ending. I love the sheer efficacy with which C. Sharp writes - not a word or sentence is wasted and as a result every sentence packs a vivid, action-packed punch. The writing is evocative and raw and the res ...more
Milliebot
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, world of warcraft fans, people who like swearing
This review and others posted over at my blog.

This book was so much fun!

Slud, our…hero…is a blunt, violent and foul-mouthed troll (though he is definitely out-foul-mouthed by his unwilling goblin companion, Neither-Nor) and he was so refreshing! I can’t think of the last time I read a book with a completely non-human cast and reading about primarily trolls and goblins was certainly a first.

Slud is nearly the last of his kind, except for his bizarre Aunt (who isn’t really his aunt) Agnes. She’s
...more
BookLoversLife
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Having loved this author's previous book, I jumped at the chance to review this one. This tells the story of Slud, who was the sole reminder of the Blood Claw Clan. As a babe, he was found by an old witch named Aunt Agnes and she proceeded to mould him into the perfect weapon to get revenge.

Slud was absolutely terrifying!! A big brute of a troll, with no morals, whom has been raised by Aunt Agnes by completing challenge after challenge, all designed to make him nearly unbeatable and impervious
...more
Lorna
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I requested an ARC of this book because I loved C. Sharp's last book, The Elementalists.

My forays into fantasy for adults are pretty mundane (e.g., G.R.R. Martin) so this was not my usual pick. But I found it oddly enthralling. Maybe because of the election, I was looking for something to escape my reality. Whatever the reason, I am pretty sure that Agnes, one of the main characters, is just what I needed to filter all my rage into. She is the twisted, reincarnation of a goddess wronged, and sh
...more
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"The spirits of the air had been left to their own devices, but the flames continued a slowed advance along the ridge. The ground was still hot below Agnes's feet. A crust of char covered the earth in the fire's wake, and the dense, towering woods had been turned to a spotty field of blackened spikes. The air was heavy with smoke, and with every breath, Agnes sucked more of it into her lungs, inhaling the essence of the trees she'd destroyed. All of the forest's anger and sadness was hers to tas ...more
Sachin Dev
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-great-reads
What happens when an indestructible Troll, an immortal Witch, a grumbling and frequently death-defying Goblin warrior get together ? They plot revenge. They wage war. And all shit breaks loose.

Cold Counsel is a nod to the classic sword & sorcery tales of the old, wrapped in layers of new sensibilities that appeal to us readers, now used to realistic amounts of grit in such make-believe grim worlds. Slud, the lead character - a Troll, the last one left in this world, is brought up by an old
...more
George
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had a great time with this book. Slud is awesome!
Marilyn Sharp
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SHARP'S LATEST BOOK, COLD COUNSEL, IS A FAST PACED , BLOODY WONDERFUL ROMP. A GREAT ESCAPE FROM REALITY. FANTASY ADDICTS WILL LOVE THIS ONE.
Macon
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got a galley copy from the publisher. Loved the grounded, tactile approach to fantasy--the world-building and mythology feels layered and rich but we never get bogged down in it. Sharp gives us just enough to sense his total knowledge and control of Slud's world but keeps his focus (wisely) on the propulsive narrative which reads, at times, more like a heist/revenge story that happens to feature a troll rather than a traditional fantasy epic. It's dark, certainly, but not self-serious. As brutal ...more
Jeremy Szal
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An ARC of this book was received from the publisher in exchange for a free blurb:

"This is an old school, classic adventure for all those young at heart and willing to join the heat of battle. Sharp by name and by craft: he’s not just an excellent actor, but also an excellent writer."
Daniel
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great fantasy romp! Slud is a Troll, adopted by an old witch named Agnes. He is raised harshly and with purpose as Agnes trains him to be self sufficient, tough and a deadly fighter. On a random chance Slud runs afoul of a large tribe of goblins, led by the Mountain King, a corpulent, power mad drunkard. The ensuing fight destroys Agnes and wounds Slud greatly, and the goblin wolf riders burn the only home Slud ever had. He runs and finds instructions from Agnes, including a poti ...more
Christian Gompert
If you like stories steeped in Norse mythology, unapologetic anti heroes, vicious combat, or primeval fantasy, you will devour this book.
I haven't pursued these types of stories much in my own reading life, so I was a real flight risk from the onset. But the opening passage announces its brutal, epic elegance, and I was drawn instantly into the narrative. I enjoyed the ride all the way through, surprised to find an unforgettable story of hope, triumph, and (dare I say) companionship in seemingly
...more
Daniel
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like:

1) Grimdark fantasy
2) Conan the Cimmerian
3) Morally ambiguous characters
4) A story with a wicked sense of humor
5) Bloody and thunderous battles
6) The idea of a troll as the protagonist

Then you will love this book.

I did.
Aline Marie
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of fantasy novels, and they became very formulaic after a while so I had stopped reading them unless someone recommended a book as particularly outstanding. This book would definitely fall into that latter category - it is refreshing to read a story where the bad guy is the center of the tale. The writing is tight, imaginative, bloody. The characters have unique voices and a depth of backstory. This makes it a fun read and I hope to see more from this author!
Joseph Phelps
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, fun read. While guilty of some minor convenient plot points that made it feel like the characters cheated from time to time, overall the story was very satisfying. A high point for me was the originality of the story, and the unique and interesting cast of characters.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Cold Counsel [Sept 2017] 10 30 Oct 18, 2017 09:30PM  

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