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The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

The Grey Bastards

by Jonathan French

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734239,440 (4.04)6



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I freaking loved this!!!! It's high fantasy meets Sons of Anarchy and it couldn't be any cooler. Legit, this is one of the most unique and exciting fantasy books I've read in a while. It's gritty, raunchy, bloody, funny, and action packed. The characters are amazing, the world building is unmatched, and the plot is tightly woven together. This better be the beginning of a long series, because after a journey like this, I AM ALL IN! I want more! Jackal is a member of the Grey Bastards one of the nine hoofs who lord over the lot lands. They're barbaric half orcs and proud of it, they live in the saddle and die on the hog. Jackal has long had his sights set on the leader's seat and when the Grey Bastards weak willed leader lets some savage orcs live after an attack, Jackal is furious. He's got rampaging blood lusty centaurs, ravaging orcs, the sludge man, and some dumb ass frails (humans) to contend with before he can try for the leaders seat, but that doesn't slow his roll. He's got ladies to screw, enemies to kill, and Grey Bastards to laugh with. One hell of a book!!! ( )
  ecataldi | Sep 10, 2018 |
“Jackal ignored him, throwing his arms wide in a mock flummox. ‘The name escapes us. Anyway, he’s some inbred, overstuffed sack of shit that weds his cousins, fucks his sisters, and has small boys attach leeches to his tiny, tiny prick.’”

In “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French

Didn't Warcraft come about because they were originally developing a Warhammer game, then lost the license before publishing? Yes. Do we need another Warcraft book derivative with half-orcs and shit like that?


Many spin-offs or Plan Bs have become much bigger than the Plan A:

- The Playstation became much bigger than the N64, for whom Sony were developing a CD drive before they had a bust-up and Sony decided to do their own console

- Warcraft/WoW became many, many times bigger than Warhammer

- "Assassin's Creed" was initially created as a Prince of Persia game but converted into something that became ten times as big as its origin franchise.

- "Star Wars" was what George Lucas created when he couldn't secure the rights to "Flash Gordon". Guess which IP is bigger now?

- Hasbro/Tomy created "Transformers" as a response to the Bandai "Robo Machines/GoBots" toy range, and were accused of ripping them off. Thirty years later, Robo Machines are pretty much forgotten, and Transformers movies make billions.

- "The Hunger Games" lifts very obviously from "Battle Royale", but THG is now a worldwide IP titan whereas BR is now thought of as a well-regarded cinematic footnote.

- "Mac and Me" became far more famous and successful than E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial, and is now one of the most highly-regarded movies of the 80s.

- Do we need another Warcraft book derivative with half-orcs and shit like that?

One of the above-mentioned claims is false. Care to guess which one...?


Roses are red
Violets are blue
This book is crap
And the sequels will be too.

NB: This world seems to know no CGI-battle (the book equivalent I mean) saturation point. It'd be cool if this book were just about some orc refugee rambling around the landscape, eking out a living on the edges of the conflict zone, maybe falling in love with a human refugee and the whole thing going down with zero scenes of violence, some Orc-philosophy shit and inter-species love on top pf everything else. It's hard these days not to thirst for violence-, foul-mouthing- and conflict-free books; they're such a rarity. ( )
  antao | Aug 5, 2018 |
The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1) by Jonathan French is a powerful, deeply moving, gritty, emotionally powered book that thrilled my every being! I felt I needed to shower off sweat, blood, hog hair, and grime when finished with this amazing book! It was the best book I have read in soooo long!
So rich in world building in every facet..just so detailed yet told without pointing out details, if that makes sense. The multiple species and the differences in their life habits and habitats.. WOW. Elven, Orcs, Half-Orcs, and Wizards, and of course humans. The story is about a group of Half-Orcs and their group called the Grey Bastards. The history of these, and all the fighting Half-Orcs, is so emotionally charged and thrilling...I wanted to get on a hog too!
After reading this book I tried to read several books and I couldn't! I felt I was reading children's books compared to The Grey Bastards. This book spoiled me! I tried a cozy mystery, a fun fantasy, and a few others and decided I shouldn't read for a day or two and then read. I had to just let the story marinate in my head and then read something else. I am still thinking about the book a few days later. I finally picked up another book but nothing compares to this. I bought his other books now. I hope it lasts until book two comes out! I am addicted to his rich, gritty, wild but wonderful writing!
I requested this book and the review is voluntary. I received an arc copy of the new edition. ( )
  MontzaleeW | May 9, 2018 |
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher for review.

If this book were a movie, it would be rated R. Very liberal use of the f-word as well as other colloquialisms for various reproductive acts. It very much reminded me of playing AD&D with a handful of teenage boys back when I was one of only two females playing with a large group of them. It also reminded me of how much fun that was.

The good guys are mostly good guys. The bad guys are slimy, diseased, backstabbing, and just generally unpleasant. There are warriors and wizards, half-orcs and elves and humans. There are big battles and small fights. There is friendship and love and family and loyalty.

I liked it. ( )
  seitherin | Mar 12, 2018 |
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Jackal was about to wake the girls for another tumble when he heard Oats bellow for him through the thin walls of the brothel.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0988284553, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 23 Feb 2016 21:29:12 -0500)

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 worldbuilding 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.… (more)

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