• The Grey Bastards

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonathan French
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 17 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (767 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $35.00

Buy for $35.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

“[A] fantasy masterwork.... A dirty, blood-soaked gem of a novel [that reads] like Mad Max set in Tolkien's Middle Earth. A fantasy masterwork." (Kirkus Reviews - starred review)

Jackal 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 front lines 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 heard before.

 Praise for The Grey Bastards“Saddle up the war boar and set off on a wild, gory thrill-ride that ends in an awesome climax and begs for a sequel.” (Daily Mail, UK

“Non-stop action, though not for faint hearts.... The Grey Bastards live up to their name in all respects.” (The Wall Street Journal)

©2018 Jonathan French (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A filthy, charismatic and frankly excellent read." (Mark Lawrence, international best-selling author of Prince of Thorns and Red Sister)

“A funny thing happens when reading The Grey Bastards. You’re rolling along, smiling at the novelties on display, but then, almost without warning, you find yourself truly in the world French has created, and it all becomes wonderfully familiar and convincing. The world-building creates exactly the kind of seamless transition that makes fantasy literature compelling, informative, and just plain fun.” (R.A. Salvatore, New York Times best-selling author of The Legend of Drizzt)

"French flips the fantasy script as the monsters become the good guys, fueling an action-packed, sneakily smart adventure. Half orc and all badass, Jackal is a hero you won't soon forget." (Scott Sigler, New York Times best-selling author of Alive and Infected)

"Refashions high-fantasy tropes into something both vibrant and highly entertaining..a fantasy take on Sons of Anarchy might seem an unlikely starting point for an excellent novel, but Jonathan French manages it with considerable aplomb." (Anthony Ryan, New York Times best-selling author of the Raven's Shadow trilogy)

What listeners say about The Grey Bastards

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    456
  • 4 Stars
    212
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    16
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    472
  • 4 Stars
    166
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    10
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    411
  • 4 Stars
    189
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    19

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Was this written by a high schooler?

Listening to this book was like listening to a child try to act mature. I imagine a child asking themselves what differentiates a child’s language from an adult’s, and arriving at swearing and sex. In the first chapter we get a soulless and cliche fantasy reproduction of cops harassing minorities, we get dick jokes, we get muscles described as “frightfully compact.” Unless you’re talking about a missile or something venomous what the hell is going to be so small it’s scary? Nothing, that’s what. So how do you except muscles, of all things, to be frightening because they’re small?

This book is like a Netflix anime’s idea of maturity; it isn’t intelligent, it isn’t subtle, it isn’t refined, it isn’t cool; it’s the difference between a PG and R rating, and really disappointing. I like stories about outcasts, about oppressed groups dealing with oppressors, and would have liked to have liked a book about half-orc soldiers riding hogs. But not like this. Not like this.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Flawless

most days, after a long day in the salt mines the only thing I want to put in my ears is grandmother's icepick. I then found The Grey Bastards and now there are two things. for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, Sam Sykes, and any other authors of dark, gritty fantasy with. an oxcart full of black humor and well defined and represented characters. this nifty collection of words elicited many genuine LOLs from me and I quickly became invested in these wonderfully unique half orc antiheros. Author has created a refreshingly new fantasy world that I can not get enough of. buy this book.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Drivel

One dick joke after the next, and I'm no prude. Shallow, misogynistic characters, an orc version of SAMCRO. Awful drek. This review has nothing to do with the narrator.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Decent story but no interest in continuing

It takes 10 chapters to get used to the terminology of the Lot Lands and start enjoying the book.

Jackal is interesting as well as the politics of the world but seeing what the sequel is about makes it easy to drop off at the first book.

The vulgarity of the world is a bonus and makes the world cone alive. Sadly the lesser make characters including the main one are completely sex-controlled while all women are superior in character and control. That is a part of every entertainment product since 2016 and a new story would be nice.

Past that the action scenes are less memorable and over quick.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Started as a good time, ended up crying multiple times.

I thought this book would be a romp and I feel hoodwinked from have ended up with a very emotionally compelling story and a set of characters that I am wholly invested in.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Great Ride!

Do yourself a favor and listen to this book! It's like if World of Warcraft and Sons of Anarchy had a fantasy novel baby lol. ❤️❤️❤️Loved it

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Vi
  • 06-24-18

Even for a fantasy book, this isn't believable.

The writing is good but the characters are horribly written. Without spoiling much, let me explain. Imagine you are a strong warrior & an orc killer. Then, your brother that you dearly love since childhood wants to kill you on a whim for no good reason. As in no argument, nothing. Just because. Just on a whim. And imagine your reaction to that is wishing that he doesn't get hurt in the act of killing you, while you lay down to make it easier for him. If such weak characters annoy you, I would suggest you avoid this book. If senseless melodrama & romance is what you seek, where characters, who are described as veteran warriors, make emotional decisions like a child as opposed to a normal person, you would love this book.

I was fooled by the 5 star reviews and wasted my money on this one. So I'm leaving my review here for people who enjoy strong characters to not be tricked like I was.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

i don't like my job either!

the narrator is a talent for sure..... however, barely tries to pretend he has any F to give about the content.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fresh take on fantasy

I really enjoyed the overall story, the writing was very colorful and engaging. A fresh look on fantasy, there were some lulls but that made the high points much higher. Overall highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

“This is the buzz you are looking for!”

A fresh take on old tropes — not an easy task. Mr. French delivers with a story that is both creative and well-told.

1 person found this helpful