The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

The Grey Bastards was another of those books that I had to give a second chance after putting it down – and I’m glad I did. Like Red Rising – second time was the charm.


The Grey Bastards

by Jonathan French

(The Lot Lands #1)

Kindle Edition, 529 pages
Published November 16th 2015

The Grey Bastards – Jonathan French


The Grey Bastards – Jonathan French




The Grey Bastards was another of those books that I had to give a second chance after putting it down – and I’m glad I did. Like Red Rising – second time was the charm.

I have owned this book since June of last year. During one of my research on new fantasy books and authors I must have come upon it and liked the “Sons of Anarchy…with half-orcs” description. Now, having finished the audiobook and really looking forward to the second book, I can confirm that it indeed had a SoA vibe.

The half orcs and their hogs were a tightly knit group, rugged guys that took no prisoner and survived only by giving it all. In an unforgiving land, where the strength of the hoof meant survival or death, they fought to the teeth to keep what was theirs.

The world building wasn’t too complex or complicated, which was a nice change. But it was fascinating enough for me to get invested and to enjoy the ride. Because a ride it was. A full blown half orc adventure. Full of action, blood, brotherhood, survival, sacrifices and an underlying story that is far from over.

What really stood out the most for me was the imperfect personality of Jackal, the main character.

We have lot’s of flawed characters in romance and fantasy, but nothing like Jackal. He wasn’t the smartest, or the strongest. iHe made mistakes, read situations wrong or just not quick enough to prevent repercussions. He was a regular dude, I mean regular half orc. Someone who would do anything to safe his hoof, but nevertheless a character with flaws and whose decisions would come and haunt him eventually. Someone who didn’t have answers to all the questions. A guy, who had to muddle his way through, one step at a time.

It took me maybe a third of the book until I became really invested in the story. At that point I came to know the different characters, picked my favorites, and even had a couple to ship – Jackal and Fetching. Yes there is a small romance going on, hope the author won’t kill it in the second book.

There were also numerous twists not only for me as the reader, but for Jackal too. Honestly, the book was full of action bursting events – one after another. No breather for either me or the characters. It would make for an awesome movie. The land, the different breeds, the hogs, their brotherhood – everything.

So, I’m just going to sit here and wait for book two (which sounds to be from Fetching’s POV) and hope it won’t take too long – October 2019 if I’m lucky.


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The Grey Bastards – Jonathan French



The Grey Bastards - Jonathan French LIVE IN THE SADDLE. DIE ON THE HOG.

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs.

Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs.

When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious.



Jonathan French is the author of the Autumn’s Fall Saga and The Grey Bastards.

His debut novel, The Exiled Heir, was nominated for Best First Novel at the Georgia Author of the Year Awards in 2012. Jonathan’s second book, The Errantry of Bantam Flyn, rose to #6 on the Kindle Norse/Viking Fantasy bestseller list, proudly sharing the top ten with Joe Abercrombie.

His newest work, The Grey Bastards, is best described as “Sons of Anarchy…with half-orcs”. It won the 2nd annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off in 2017, and was soon acquired by Crown Publishing.




The Grey Bastards – Jonathan French

About corina

I’m a blogger, photographer, and unapologetic book addict. I love strong female characters, major jerks, and Happily Ever Afters.

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