My Thoughts:

The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands, #1)The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 astonishing stars to The Grey Bastards! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

When I was contacted by Crown Publishing to read and review two fantasy genre books, I jumped at the chance. Not because this is my typical genre; not at all. That’s not because I don’t like fantasy because I do. For whatever reason, I don’t pick up fantasy books regularly. But I am drawn to these types of TV shows and films, and The Grey Bastards is ready for the screen.

Another thing that is ironic to me is that, while I’m no puritan, the title of this book contains a word I don’t use in my regular vernacular, and here I am typing the word repeatedly. Lol

As I was reading, I instantly thought that The Grey Bastards would appeal to fans of Game of Thrones. It’s brash, graphic in every way, and an epic adventure. It’s been compared to Lord of the Rings, and I can definitely see that comparison, too.

Jackal is a half-orc and a member of a brotherhood of same. Sadly, half-orcs are not accepted into human society, so they are forced live a hard-wrought life in the Lots. The brotherhood is called the Grey Bastards, and they are responsible for protecting the fragile human civilization from the extremely violent full-orcs; kind of intermediary between the humans and the full-orcs.

As with any great story, there are secrets, deep, dark secrets of which Jackal is unaware, and there is a secret that belies the peace between humans and half-orcs. An invasion occurs on the cusp of Jackal learning this news, and it leaves him questioning everything he thought was true.

This book completely transported me to the land of the half-orcs. I could see Jackal and all his compatriots as if it were a movie inside my head. This book is gritty, dark, gruesome, gruff, tough, and wild!

I can see why fantasy fans are eating this book up! It’s fast-paced, transporting, full of action, and an absolute thrill.

Thank you to Kathleen at Crown and Jonathan French for hours of pure entertainment! The Grey Bastards will be published on June 19, 2018.

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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.

Do you read gritty, world-building fantasies? Have any favorites? Do you ever read outside your typical genre(s)? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR