I was more curious about this book than truly drawn in by the description before I started it, but once I did, I read through the day and cursed those real-life moments that intervened (like making dinner and going to the bathroom and stuff like that). The Grey Bastards is a fast-paced read, dark but full of adventure and camaraderie. I don’t know where the second book will take me, but I can guarantee I’ll be along for the ride. If only I could find a hog of my own to ride… Recommended By Beth C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“A dirty, blood-soaked gem of a novel [that reads] like Mad Max set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. A fantasy masterwork.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
Live in the saddle.
Die on the hog.
Call them outcasts, call them savages — they’ve been called worse, by their own mothers — but Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard.
He and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness.
And once Jackal’s in charge — as soon as he can unseat the Bastards’ tyrannical, seemingly unkillable founder — there’s a few things they’ll do different. Better.
Or at least, that’s the plan. Until the fallout from a deadly showdown makes Jackal start investigating the Lot Lands for himself. Soon, he’s wondering if his feelings have blinded him to ugly truths about this world, and the Bastards’ place in it.
In a quest for answers that takes him from decaying dungeons to the frontlines of an ancient feud, Jackal finds himself battling invading orcs, rampaging centaurs, and grubby human conspiracies alike — along with a host of dark magics so terrifying they’d give even the heartiest Bastard pause.
Finally, Jackal must ride to confront a threat that’s lain in wait for generations, even as he wonders whether the Bastards can — or should — survive.
Delivered with a generous wink to Sons of Anarchy, featuring sneaky-smart world-building and gobs of fearsomely foul-mouthed charm, The Grey Bastards is a grimy, pulpy masterpiece — and a raunchy, swaggering, cunningly clever adventure that’s like nothing you’ve read before.
“A filthy, charismatic and frankly excellent read.” Mark Lawrence, international bestselling author of Prince of Thorns and Red Sister
“A funny thing happens when reading The Grey Bastards. You’re rolling along, smiling at the novelties on display, but then, almost without warning, you find yourself truly in the world French has created, and it all becomes wonderfully familiar and convincing. The world-building creates exactly the kind of seamless transition that makes fantasy literature compelling, informative, and just plain fun.” R. A. Salvatore, New York Times bestselling author of The Legend of Drizzt
“French flips the fantasy script as the monsters become the good guys, fueling an action-packed, sneakily smart adventure. Half orc and all badass, Jackal is a hero you won’t soon forget.” Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of Alive and Infected
“Refashions high-fantasy tropes into something both vibrant and highly entertaining...a fantasy take on Sons of Anarchy might seem an unlikely starting point for an excellent novel, but Jonathan French manages it with considerable aplomb.” Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy
About the Author
Jonathan French lives in Atlanta with his wife and son. He is a devoted reader of comic books, an expert thrower of oddly shaped dice, and a serial con attendee.
Jonathan French on PowellsBooks.Blog
The Grey Bastards
is an epic fantasy set beyond the borders of the decadent kingdom of Hispartha, where for the sparse inhabitants of the Lot Lands, the threat of orc raids looms over daily life. The last Great Incursion is 30 years in the past, and Hispartha has all but abandoned the Lots...