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Grim Solace

(The Chasing Graves Trilogy #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Nothing is certain in Araxes. Not even death.

Stolen from the widow’s clutches, master thief and ghost Caltro Basalt must learn new ways to survive the cutthroat society of the Arctian Empire. His one hope for freedom and justice? A gift from the dead gods, who continue to beg for a saviour.

“This book swings for the fences with a potent mix of political backstabbing,
Published January 24th 2019 (first published January 23rd 2019)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  227 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
There’s been a lot of talk about grimdark in recent years: how to define it, what its qualifications are, and what value these stories offer. I think grimdark works best when it presents a harsh environment with morally ambiguous characters fighting for some aspect of hope – an endgame that aims to improve a given situation, or the world at large. In Ben Galley’s Chasing Graves, I had some difficulty enjoying the story as much as I could have because it appeared to lack that sense of hope. There ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Araxes…. Scratch that, it’s never safe and nobody ever thought that. If anything, it’s getting worse. Someone’s gone too far. It’s one thing when tourists and riff-raff are being murdered and enslaved, but now the soul-rich Araxan nobility are being aggressively disappeared. Helas has been given the unenviable job of finding out how and why, but she’s being blocked at every turn. It’s almost like someone important doesn’t really want her to do the ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Ben Galley for providing an ARC of Grim Solace, in exchange for an honest review.

Spoiler-free review. Please note that the quotes in this review are taken from the ARC edition and may change in the published edition.

You can find this and more at Novel Notions.

Grim Solace is a brilliant second book in this original and grim trilogy. Ben Galley wove a brutal tale of murder, treachery, greed and deception in a world that mastered death and bent it to the whims of the living.

Something I
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The epic game continues in Grim Solace, the ambitious and unrelenting sophomore installment in The Chasing Graves series.

And so we carry on with our journey into a battle of life and death, where mysteries are bound to arise from beneath the punishing sands. The so-called “Dead Gods” scheme with hopes of fixing a fractured world, but as with all the others with skin in the game, who can presume their true intentions? Factions lurking in the shadows cast by Araxes’ spiring towers at sunset clash
Laura Hughes
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliantly grim and funny follow up to CHASING GRAVES. Bring on book three!
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ben Galley becomes my go-to dark-fantasy author. His books are compulsively readable, dark, surprising, but also funny in places.

Grim Solace complicates things for all characters, especially for Nilith. We learn more about her goals and her dysfunctional marriage with Farazar. 

Caltro’s darkly-humorous voice entertains, but don’t let it fool you, his story is probably the darkest one. We just don’t feel it thanks to his unique narration. Also, Caltro gets some mind-blowing upgrades and I can’t wa
Michael Sliter
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 out of 5. Brief review since I'm behind!

Grim Solace was definitely better than the first outing! It is a direct continuation of the first book with a basically seamless transition (makes sense, since the books were all released back to back).

Caltro finally finds some fangs, so to speak, and this time around, I found his story the most fun to follow. The world continues to spiral out of control, and TOR Temsa is really bringing the chaos. His boldness is unprecedented, and the city (which fe
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Murder has always been a main-stay in Araxes, the law officials didn't put too much effort into finding soul stealers since the victims were typically of the lower class or tourists that no one was going to miss. Now, however, some of the richer nobles are going missing and things are getting tense. Heles has been assigned the task to figure out what's going on and to stop it. Not exactly an easy assignment.

Caltro has been kidnapped and is being held in a box... forced to open other locked boxe
Queen Terrible Timy
This review was originally published on Grimdark Magazine

Just like me, you should be very excited to be back in Araxes, where death is not the end, but just a new form of half-life. In book two of Ben Galley’s Chasing Graves trilogy, Caltro is still very dead and pissed at this fate, the dead gods, and Boran Temsa (who levelled his game up quite considerably since Chasing Graves) just to name a few. As Caltro fights for justice and his freedom, he constantly finds himself being tossed around lik
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good sequel but a little setback for me because I found the story was more focused on Caltro but Nilith was less present , more’s the pity. The story had a few lengths but I expect the last installment to unravel all the plots.I will read the last book because i need to see through this story.
Lynn K : Grimmedian
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
A heavy hitter, this follow-up to a gruesome, sometimes funny, and riveting tale , Chasing Graves, is a runaway winner.

Once again, Ben Galley has hammered out a stunning book which nearly eclipses its predecessor. It’s a story which only gets better with the telling. The pacing is relentless, and full of action on every side for each character we turn a page to. The situation has reached a boiling point, and most of the living and dead of Araxes have no idea that it’s about to blow up beyond any
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This is the continuing adventure of Caltro Basalt, master locksmith, Krassman, and bound shade in the great city of Araxes. He’s been kidnapped… or maybe ghost-napped from his owner, the Widow Horix, into the hands of someone who would very much like to use him and his skills.

Boss Temsa, now Tor Temsa is still on his killing spree through the nobility of the city, taking their fortunes for himself as he goes. He would very much like to use the skills of Caltro as
Scott  Hitchcock
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grimdark
Book 1: 4*
Book 2: 4*

One of the most enjoyable series I've read in awhile. I love the imperfect characters and world. If you liked Low Town and Blackwing series this is far superior IMO.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book two doesn't suffer from any book two hiccups. Everything moves forward, deftly orchestrated by the author, with more intrigue, more danger, and more excitement. We see a Caltro who is wrestling with himself and his sense of his own future, a self-examination that offers a glimpse of hope--more so than in book one--in what is otherwise a very rotten world. And I'll confess, I'm fascinated by what Nilith is up to and I fully expect Pointy to steal the show in book three.

Looking forward t
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Full review to come.
Al Burke
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
More Egyptian based hijinks. Review here - ...more
Greg Thomas
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where is the third?

Well the continued journey into this world Mr. Galley has created had just left me wanting more. Let's find out where our lockpicker ends up.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

We return to Araxes. Really, a city I don't want to visit! Grim Solace picks up not far from where Chasing Graves left off.

There's a lot of growth in this book. This time round there's much more forward movement in plot. We see people being maneuvered into position for something really spectacular and they don't even realise it's happening. This forward movement comes with a greater understanding of the world and our characters.
Joe Slucher
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a disclaimer, I won a copy of this book. There weren't any strings attached that I leave a review.

The book ends too soon! At first I was a bit annoyed at where things ended but on further consideration it's just perhaps that I was enjoying the book so much that there wouldn't have been a satisfactory place to end before the series is done. I really want to know what Horix is up to. I thought I knew but then something that happened didn't fit my theory. I expected Tom Waits' What's He Building
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Pembroke
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie
I started Grim Solace right after I finished Chasing Graves, as I was eager to see how several of the characters fared. Did I see what I was looking for? Yes and no.

Grim Solace picks up with our ghostly thief Caltro. Word of his usefulness as a lockpick starts getting around the city and he finds himself a pawn, torn between multiple factions who all want him for something. The plotting, backstabbing, and political maneuvering are all first-rate and Galley does an excellent job weaving the ambit
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having been totally immersed in Chasing Graves I was expecting more of the same but I found this one to have a mostly steady but slightly slower pace. That's not to say it was slow, it wasn't and I enjoyed it immensely. The characters were developed further and somehow I got to like a couple of the 'bad guys' Even had a few more wonderful characters added in this book and an end that has me seriously wanting book 3 NOW please! Well lucky for me it is available and so I'm going to have to break m ...more
Miriam Michalak
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, review to follow
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yep as good as the first...
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Talking about the middle book in a trilogy can sometimes prove difficult. The main characters have been spoken about and covered in the review of Chasing Graves, which got a brilliant 4.8 out of 5. The society built on necromancy has been analysed, a number of its failings pointed out in detail. Yet there is great need to speak about this novel and speak I shall!

Let’s first do a round-up of our characters: Caltro, our First-person PoV protagonist continues to be treated like a sack of potatoes –
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The author released all three books in this trilogy within a span of a few months, and perhaps that’s why I think of this series as one big story, rather than three smaller ones. That’s how I’m going to talk about them. Consider this a review of the entire series.

I was quite impressed with Galley’s standalone fantasy Heart of Stone, so I had high expectations for these. I’m happy to say that those expectations were exceeded in every way.

I’m a curmudgeon when it comes to prose quality, and I abso
I think this is the point where I'm supposed to give a coherant review, but my mind is stuck in the tricksy machinations of the murky city of Araxes. How is it that this bunch of, on paper at least, unlikable characters are just so compelling? They're all selfish and out for themselves. For goodness' sake, one of the stories isn't just about the journey, it is literally nothing but journey. Every 1000 miles or so of it. It's still the same trek as book 1! And yet I am snagged, hook, line and hal ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A couple thoughts on second books in series and why they may be better than the first…

Enough with the worldbuilding and the characters and all the get-to-know-you stuff… Now comes the heart of the story!
Usually we find a bit more character introspection in a second book. They can step back and maybe look in the mirror… Where have they been, where are they, where are they going? That sort of thing!
Isn’t The Empire Strikes Back the best Star Wars flick?
Now on to Grim Solace (Some minor spoilers if
Peter Buckmaster
This trilogy is holding my interest well and truly! Whereas the first book had a mystery factor based in not knowing quite what was going on but being intrigued nonetheless, the sequel has more of an excitement factor with wondering what happens next. We know who the players are, what their goals are (well, except one!) and are following their paths as they criss-cross, all the while chaos is rising and bodies are falling.
Nilith is still fantastic and (view spoiler)
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Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut Emaneska Series, Ben has released a range of epic and dark fantasy novels, including the award-winning weird western Bloodrush and standalone novel The

Other books in the series

The Chasing Graves Trilogy (3 books)
  • Chasing Graves (The Chasing Graves Trilogy, #1)
  • Breaking Chaos (The Chasing Graves Trilogy, #3)

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