Series: The Lot Lands #1
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
THE GREY BASTARDS is one of the best fleshed out fantasy worlds I have read this year. Hell, it’s one of the few fantasy books I finished this year. Jonathan French is a talented storyteller and created a cast of characters I enjoyed following.
My favorite aspect of the story is the half-orc characters. They were terrific, interesting, flawed, and the most foul-mouthed people I have met. Jackal, the hero, is cunning, ambitious, naïve and loves his land. Oats the loyal friend and all around bad-ass. However, Fetching drew me in the most, the only female half-orc allowed to join the Grey Bastards. Fetching (and it’s interesting how she got her nickname) is fierce, intuitive, and in the forefront of the action. I loved how French built a strong and loyal friendship between the three and their banter so vulgar but realistic. Speaking of loyalty I enjoyed the close bond Jackal and Oats had with their hogs.
French could’ve made this story darker, but he did an excellent job of adding humor to make the reader laugh and root for Jackal, Oats, and Fetch. The world building was impressive and the history of the half-orc world is told seamlessly. There is action, battles, twists, and so much at stake, I didn’t want to stop reading.
THE GREY BASTARDS is a story filled with intrigue, betrayals, friendship, sacrifice, and duty. It’s not for the faint heart but for those readers who truly love a dark, gritty, and hilarious story filled with filthy mouthed and charismatic characters.