Dead Man's Steel

Dead Man's Steel

As the “gripping”* epic from the author of Sword of the North continues, the Grim Company must battle a dangerous new enemy that is determined to destroy all of humanity... In the City of Towers, former rebel Sasha and her comrade Davarus Cole struggle to keep the peace between the warring mages who vie for dominion. But when the White Lady sends Davarus south to the Shatt...

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Title:Dead Man's Steel
Author:Luke Scull
Rating:
ISBN:0425264890
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:448 pages

Dead Man's Steel Reviews

  • Bookwraiths
    Dec 02, 2016

    Originally reviewed at

    .

    was a novel I was eagerly looking forward to reading.

    and

    list among my favorite grimdark novels from the recent past, so, naturally, I assumed the final volume would be the best yet. Unfortunately, after finishing this installment of the series, all I feel is disappointment and a longing for what might have been.

    Picking up where

    ended, the new masters of Dorminia are the legendary

    Originally reviewed at

    .

    was a novel I was eagerly looking forward to reading.

    and

    list among my favorite grimdark novels from the recent past, so, naturally, I assumed the final volume would be the best yet. Unfortunately, after finishing this installment of the series, all I feel is disappointment and a longing for what might have been.

    Picking up where

    ended, the new masters of Dorminia are the legendary race called the Fehd, or Fade. These people descending upon the much fought over carcass of Magelord Salazar’s city, ruthlessly and efficiently destroying all opposition before preparing the opening phases of “The Reckoning” they intend to bring to the world. Eremul the Halfmage an eye witness to these goings on.

    A continent away in the far north, Brodar Kayne fights a desperate battle to save his son and his people. Krazka the Butcher King having taken control of the land and having thrown in his lot with an ancient evil, which threatens to drown the whole world in blood – unless the Sword of the North can somehow fight off the weakness of age and aid his fellow Northmen in destroying the cancer before it grows too strong.

    Meanwhile, Sasha and Davarus Cole find themselves in the City of the White Lady, slowly but surely pulled into the fight to hold back the rising tide of the Fehd. Surrounded by people whose trust is uncertain, dealing with their own festering curses, and burdened with their past problems, these two quickly find themselves drowning in responsibility and unsure whether they can meet the challenges they are confronted with.

    All that sounds like the makings of a great grimdark story, and for the first half of the book,

    was on the same upward trajectory as its two predecessors. Then things took a downward turn and never recovered.

    Why? Simply put the lack of a compelling villain or heroes.

    In my opinion, a story has to have both great villains and heroes to succeed. At times, I truly believe the villain is the more important of the two. And in

    and

    there was an outstanding cast of repulsive enemies for our jaded heroes to struggle against. Magelord Salazar. The White Lady of Thelassa. The Shaman of High Fangs. Krazka. And many more. Each one of these despicable examples of humanity fun to read about, driving the narrative forward either by a reader’s desire to see them killed or to learn what caused them to be the way they are.

    In

    , we have the Fehd. These guys are supposedly an ancient race, who once inhabited the land back during “the time before”. They are seemingly ageless, possessing of high level technology (cannons, handguns, indestructible crystal swords, city destroying bombs, huge ocean going ships, and airplanes) as well as being gifted with superhuman strength, speed, and agility. One could come to the conclusion they are overpowered without much effort. And this (plus their fairly boring and predictable personalities) causes the narrative to grind to a halt. They just aren’t terribly interesting. Nor are they despicable enough to make you hate them. Rather they have the feel of white coated research scientists who are busy clinically administering death to lab rats. Yes, you want them to stop. Sure, you dislike them. But you don’t care how they meet their end as long as you don’t have to look at them anymore. And that is how I felt about the Fehd. “Just get them away from me already!”

    The end result of the Fehd floundering is that our cast of grimdark characters must pick up the slack, which might have worked if Brodar Kayne or Eremul or someone other than Sasha and Davarus Cole were the leads. Unfortunately, these two friends become the focal point of the second half of the narrative.

    I admit, in the other books, I enjoyed Cole’s ridiculous antics and Sasha’s drug addict tale. They were wonderful supporting characters. People we followed along behind for a chapter, shook our head at when they did something stupid, and felt sorry for when life threw them a curve ball, but not the people leading the fight against the Fehd. I mean, really? These two are the heroes? (And I do use the word “heroes” lightly.) They and their personal struggles just did not have the strength to hold up the book unassisted by a great villain, and, sadly, the story feel apart once they had to carry it. (At least, in my opinion.)

    Which brings me to the only positive from this book: Luke Scull’s writing. Even weighted down with an underachieving pairing of villains and heroes, he somehow makes the story worth reading. His simple yet descriptive prose effortlessly guides the story forward, setting scenes, conveying emotions, and describing conflicts in an uncluttered way. His writing ability always reminding me of one of my favorite fantasy authors, Glen Cook.

    Like most people, I always want the concluding volume of a series to be the best ever. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t work out that way.

    trilogy was a fun ride, which made me love the kind of gallows humor and fierce action which Luke Scull can serve up, but

    was unable to live up to the very high standards its two predecessors set. While I am disappointed, I can truthfully say I’m still glad I read this novel, because it did bring closure to this story, and I will be eagerly awaiting the next story penned by its gifted author.

    I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

  • Andy
    Dec 27, 2016

    Found the last part easier to acclimatise with than the middle book, mind that’s oft the case.

    Its a tried & trusted formulaic trilogy with book 1 getting all the gang together, book 2 sees them go separate paths on their quests whilst book 3 puts them all on converging paths for the grand finale.... sound familiar?? No honest im not pouring scorn on whats fast becoming a standard grimdark plot as I do actually enjoy it so long as I ration my fill of it which I have done of late & maybe

    Found the last part easier to acclimatise with than the middle book, mind that’s oft the case.

    Its a tried & trusted formulaic trilogy with book 1 getting all the gang together, book 2 sees them go separate paths on their quests whilst book 3 puts them all on converging paths for the grand finale.... sound familiar?? No honest im not pouring scorn on whats fast becoming a standard grimdark plot as I do actually enjoy it so long as I ration my fill of it which I have done of late & maybe one of the main reasons I so enjoy this series – One series a cycle as I love to share my book love around a fair few genres & it jus doesn’t seem rehashed to me. I really enjoy these style of characters, some they be sympathetic, others deeply misunderstood, gentle giants, gobshytes, right wicked bastards, spiteful cripple that you root for (sound familiar anyone?), sword wielding hero, Battle Axe(s) wielding hero, mages, Augmenters, witches covens, demons, the undead & some race who kicked the Elves arses & have us humans up next!!...... I think I covered most of the cast.

    The downside, the book was split into 4 seasons & whilst I enjoyed Winter & Spring as it followed the story & our heroes....... Sumer & Autumn was told from a narration style where the story continued but was wrapped up in piece-meal here n there, parts were rushed, others seemed forced, some even contrived....... I wont say more but I did find myself not really enjoying the final ¼ of the book, it seemed a different writer & for sure a different style. I felt really flat at the end.....

    Overall IF you read shedloads of Grimdark you may not find enough differences amongst this to entice but if you’re an occasional into this genre & hanker for a newish author a la Abercrombie in character style you could do far worse than Luke Skull’s offering of the Grim Company.

    I like’s it immensely for about 2 & ¾ of the trilogy, 3 stars for the book & 4 stars for the trilogy overall.

    You might actually think my review is a bit of a hashup! Fair point Id say & so is the book on review.......

  • Manoj Subberwal
    Dec 04, 2016

    Great finish to a great trilogy, Jerek and Kayne are probably my favorite characters among all fanatasy books i read

  • Samir
    Jan 04, 2017

    This is difficult to rate. I hate it when the last book in the series is the weakest one. I hate it even more when the series in question is the one I love...It really makes me sad :(

    After a lot of pondering I decided to give this book 3.5 stars. First half of the book deserved a 4 star rating but the second half wasn’t as good so it deserved only 3 stars.

    If you had a chance to read my reviews of the previous books of this series you know that I gave them much praise and that the second book, S

    This is difficult to rate. I hate it when the last book in the series is the weakest one. I hate it even more when the series in question is the one I love...It really makes me sad :(

    After a lot of pondering I decided to give this book 3.5 stars. First half of the book deserved a 4 star rating but the second half wasn’t as good so it deserved only 3 stars.

    If you had a chance to read my reviews of the previous books of this series you know that I gave them much praise and that the second book, Sword of the North, was one of the best sequels I’ve read.

    When I started reading this everything was going smooth, the story picked up where it left off, the North was in a state of war and I was excited and eager to find out how will things play out. It also gave me an opportunity to once again enjoy the adventures of my favorite characters in this series, Brodar Kayne and his loyal friend Jerek, known as the Wolf.

    The ending of the second book left us with a cliffhanger, an ancient race called the Fade were coming back to Trine with a threat to destroy all of the humanity. They are the focus of the second half of the book and in my opinion, they are the reason why everything went wrong.

    The biggest issue I had with the Fade is their technology. They are an ancient race, a couple of thousands years old and they are using relics from a time they refer as “the time before”. Those relics are hand-cannons and crystal swords and I didn’t see a problem in that. They arrived on a huge ship wielding a huge cannon with enough power to destroy everything in its path. I didn’t see a problem in that as well. BUT, when their ruler arrived by an AIRPLANE, that was the moment I had to draw the line! It doesn’t end with that, they’re using elevators, cameras, drones, mind controlling devices and all that stuff was simply too much for me to digest. The worst moment was when the main characters had to use that airplane to travel. This is not a steampunk or an urban fantasy so having an airplane transporting barbaric Northmen is just plain wrong! For fuck’s sake! Why?!

    I can understand that with inclusion of the Fade, author wanted to give this story a grander scale but I think they were unnecessary because there were already enough interesting threads to explore further and conclude them in a better way. Although some of the conclusions were somewhat unsatisfying, the ending delivered a poetic justice.

    In the end, I can’t help but wonder would this book achieve its much deserved potential if the author decided to take things in a different direction…

  • Immie
    Jan 08, 2017

    Disappointed -- Feel like the author suddenly had an idea for a totally different series, got excited, and decided to try to fit it into this one. Really liked the first 2 books, but this read like a fanfiction mashup.

  • Louise Hendley
    Dec 25, 2016

    Really enjoyed this latest installment in the Grim Company series. There is potential I feel for further adventures with some of the characters, although for quite a few their journey will go no further! This has been one of my favorite series. I liked (most) of the characters I met on the journey and cared what happened to them along the way which to me is what a good book is all about.

  • Ralph
    Dec 17, 2016

    I received a free copy of this ebook through Netgalley.com, the author Luke Scull, and/or the publisher, Berkeley Publishing Group, in exchange for a review.

    This is the third book in The Grim Company series. I really enjoyed this series, but unfortunately, this book pretty much ends the series. Not that I know how much further the story could have gone if it did continue. I was a bit miffed about the end results( I try not to give spoilers), but understand everyone doesn't always get a happily e

    I received a free copy of this ebook through Netgalley.com, the author Luke Scull, and/or the publisher, Berkeley Publishing Group, in exchange for a review.

    This is the third book in The Grim Company series. I really enjoyed this series, but unfortunately, this book pretty much ends the series. Not that I know how much further the story could have gone if it did continue. I was a bit miffed about the end results( I try not to give spoilers), but understand everyone doesn't always get a happily ever after. If you like sword and magic stories, this series is a must!

  • ConstantReader Paul O'Neill
    Jan 07, 2017

    Up there with my top trilogies (Mistborn B Sanderson and Broken Empire M Lawrence). Absolutely fantastic, this final book was the best one yet and soooo satisfying.

    This had me on the edge of my seat, I could not put it down. I already want to go back and read the first book again.

    The characters are awesome. I cared for each and every one. Usually there is an annoying one (well Cole is annoying but he's annoyin

    Up there with my top trilogies (Mistborn B Sanderson and Broken Empire M Lawrence). Absolutely fantastic, this final book was the best one yet and soooo satisfying.

    This had me on the edge of my seat, I could not put it down. I already want to go back and read the first book again.

    The characters are awesome. I cared for each and every one. Usually there is an annoying one (well Cole is annoying but he's annoying on purpose so it doesn't count) but there isn't here. The development of each character is amazing. Splendid character arcs. And Kayne and Jerek, you nearly made me cry again damn you!! Best bromance ever. Even better than Mappo and Icarium.

    The series is filled with such heart and jam packed with sheer brute awesomeness. I can't speak highly enough of this and I hope Scull revisits this world.

    Great way to kick off my 2017 reading year!

  • Newton Nitro
    Feb 11, 2017

    Dead Man's Steel (The Grim Company, #3) - Luke Scull | Roc 2017, 450 páginas |Lido de 9 de Fevereiro a 11 de Fevereiro, 2017 | Nota 4 em 5

    SINOPSE

    Na cidade de Torres, ex-rebelde Sasha e seu companheiro Davarus Cole lutam para manter a paz entre os magos rivais que disputam o domínio. Mas quando a Dama Branca envia Davarus sul aos reinos Despedaçadas a procurar aliados entre os reinos caídos, ele descobre que sua batalha mais difícil pode ser um travada dentro. A essência divina agora residindo de

    Dead Man's Steel (The Grim Company, #3) - Luke Scull | Roc 2017, 450 páginas |Lido de 9 de Fevereiro a 11 de Fevereiro, 2017 | Nota 4 em 5

    SINOPSE

    Na cidade de Torres, ex-rebelde Sasha e seu companheiro Davarus Cole lutam para manter a paz entre os magos rivais que disputam o domínio. Mas quando a Dama Branca envia Davarus sul aos reinos Despedaçadas a procurar aliados entre os reinos caídos, ele descobre que sua batalha mais difícil pode ser um travada dentro. A essência divina agora residindo dentro dele oferece uma potência que poderia ser usado contra o Fade-mas com cada morte que o alimenta, Cole corre o risco de perder uma parte de si mesmo.

    Uma associação com um oficial desvanece-se concede ao Halfmage Eremul uma posição de privilégio entre os novos senhores do Dorminia. Ele testemunha em primeira mão o destino que aguarda a humanidade. Mas com sua magia lamentável em face da tecnologia avançada da Fade, o Halfmage deve confiar em seu juízo sozinho para salvar quem ele pode ...

    E no norte congelado, o guerreiro lendário Brodar Kayne luta uma batalha desesperada para o seu povo. Ele está correndo contra o tempo: um antigo mal selados sob as montanhas está prestes a se libertar, um mal que é mais velho que a humanidade, mais velhos do que o Fade, mais velhos, mesmo que os deuses e não vai parar até que o mundo inteiro está afogado no sangue ...

    RESENHA

    Um final metade épico doidimais, metade porra-louca nihilista e até sombrio demais além da conta! A trilogia Grim Company é fantástica e satisfaz totalmente os fãs de fantasia brutal, porém, e esse é o problema de muitas narrativas com diversos pontos de vista, a história dos bárbaros do norte, Brodar Kayne e seu parceiro Wold, é forte e dramática demais, fantástica demais, e diminui, em comparação, as outras narrativas.

    A sensação que tive ao ler o final foi de dois livros misturados, um, uma saga fantástica de um guerreiro nórdico aproximando o final de uma vida de violência e guerra, e outro uma mistureba pulp com fantasia, alienígenas, demônios, monstros cósmicos estilão lovecraft, deuses mortos e o escambau.

    Acho que o que me incomodou foi a quantidade de material e elementos novos introduzidos no final do segundo livro e em todo esse terceiro livro. São forças antagonistas demais para uma trilogia, e me passou um climão meio "caotiqueira", como um mestre de RPG que já está cansado de uma linha narrativa e começa a colocar novos vilões na história que acabam criando um "mexidão" que diverte mas que perde um pouco do foco inicial da campanha.

    Eu curti muito todas as duas narrativas, mas, muitas vezes, a passagem de um registro para o outro foi um pouco dramática. E nesse último livro, o terceiro ato pecou por isso, com a saga descambando para um final bem D&Dzão, que, apesar de muito bem feito, me deixou um pouco desapontado, em comparação com a qualidade do segundo livro da trilogia.

    Mesmo assim um final mega-épico doidimais, ultradark e muito, mas muito imaginativo! Recomendadíssimo!

  • Roy Goonewardene
    Feb 24, 2017

    Bittersweet ending. Scull has a lot of promise to be one of my fav authors. Just felt this was rushed and had some very strange/weird plotlines. Hopefully he can bring back a novel worthy of Bk 1 or 2.