'ONE OF THE MOST ORIGINAL FANTASY SAGAS TO COME ALONG IN YEARS' Kirkus
The long-awaited war has come in the sweeping conclusion to the Lot Lands trilogy, which began with Jonathan French's critically acclaimed debut The Grey Bastards.
War has come to the Lot Lands - and Oats stands upon the frontline. The formidable armies on the horizon are bolstered by divine champions, dread sorcerers and gunpowder. But Oats has won impossible fights before. He's a thriceblood, after all, more orc than man. And he hasn't forgotten how to kill. He'll stack the bodies high for his chief and his brethren, if that's the price of freeing the Lots from human tyranny.
Besides, the invading forces are getting a damned sight more than they bargained for. They're not facing a handful of half-orc hoofs, but a true army - one forged from all the peoples of the Lots. At its head are Fetching, in full command of the ruinous power that runs through her veins, and Jackal, armed with the blessings of a dead god.
Brimming with epic battles, surprising sorcery and fiendish twists, The Free Bastards is the rousing final instalment to Jonathan French's vastly popular Lot Lands trilogy.
Praise for the Lot Lands series:
'An addictively readable - and undeniably cool - fantasy masterwork' Kirkus
'If you're looking for a filthy, fierce, fun-fuelled read, then the Bastards have got you covered' Fantasy Hive
'A gritty adventure with a fantastic, foul-mouthed voice' Django Wexler
'A bloody good tale of battle, betrayal and war pigs' Brian McClellan
'Jonathan French has to be lauded for his plot ingenuity, bawdry charm and vicious characters.' Fantasy Book Critic
'I'd like to raise a tankard to The Grey Bastards' brilliance' Fantasy Faction
The triumphant conclusion to French's Lot Lands trilogy (after The True Bastards) thrills with combat and astonishing magic, balanced by skillful character development. This time, the viewpoint character is huge thrice-blood, half-orc Oats, a faithful friend to the True Bastards' female chief, Fetching. French sets the uncouth tone immediately, with Oats musing on the downsides of wearing a beard when vomiting, engaging in oral sex, and murdering frails (the half-orc term for humans). Said murder is the first act in a rescue mission of a group of half-orcs, swiftly followed by a flight from and battle with a troupe of Hisparthan knights, who are championed by the holy, near-unkillable Maiden Spear. The kaleidoscopic violence continues with a shipboard skirmish, an assault on a Hisparthan fortress, and a fight in a subterranean temple. Oats sustains grievous wounds to both body and spirit in the war with Hispartha until Fetching decides that Oats will lead the Bastards in accompanying the wizard Crafty to try something new: diplomacy. French paints Oats as a ferocious combatant but also as someone who cares deeply for his fellow Bastards and others in his orbit including children, humans, and even his ugly battle-boar and his combination of brawn, magic, and wit may win the day. Series fans will relish this thoroughly satisfying finale.