The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French is a raucous epic fantasy set in a world populated by orcs, humans, centaurs, wizards, and more. The story centers around The Grey Bastards band of half-orcs who with other half-orc gangs patrol the southern border to protect humans from full-blooded orcs.
The well-written main character Jackal is the rising star in the gang. The novel opens with a seemingly routine visit to the local brothel by Jackal and his two best friends, but the visit quickly becomes serious as the gang members are complicit in the death of a human soldier of royal blood. This sets off a series of events that includes a power struggle between Jackal and the current leader of the band. History, tradition, and egos collide as Jackal and The Bastards try to survive in the waste land of their lot.
French’s writing is excellent; he combines great character development and world building.
I highly recommend this one to any lover of fantasy with the caveat that this book can be vulgar at times with much sexual humor and graphic violence. This book was self-published in 2016 and will get a major-publisher release later this year, which I predict will be a success.
5 out of 5 stars
Comes out on June 19th, 2018.
Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing, and Mr. French for an advanced copy for review.