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Book Review: The True Bastards

Table of Contents

“Fetching was once the only female rider in the Lot Lands. Now she is the leader of her own hoof, a band of loyal half orcs sworn to her command. But in the year since she took power, the True Bastards have struggled to survive. Tested to the breaking point by the burdens of leadership, Fetching battles desperately to stave off famine, desertion, and the scorn of the other half-orc chieftains, even as orcs and humans alike threaten the Lots’ very existence. Then an old enemy finds a way to strike at her from beyond the grave–and suddenly only one, faint hope for salvation remains.”

Title: The True Bastards

Series: The Lot Lands #2

Author: Jonathan French

Page Count: 584

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: November 1st, 2023

This was my second read from The Lot Lands series in just a few weeks. I read The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French just a few weeks ago and here I am already knocking out book two The True Bastards. I’ve really been enjoying this series overall so far. Unfortunately, I don’t own a copy of book three yet, so I’ll need to remedy that over the next couple of months so I can complete the series and have all three for my home collection.
The pacing seemed very similar to me as book one. I didn’t really pick up on any major changes to style, names or verbiage used. I did both visual read my hardcover copy when able and listened to the audio which is narrated by Lisa Flanagan who did an excellent job helping immerse myself into this story and world.
The world building continues to expand from book one. You could say that if someone was shining a light on the world in book one that was a tighter beam where book two it’s spread wider. We learn quite a bit more about the back stories as we start to understand a bit more about how we got to these points in the story on top of things simply progressing through the second book. The interactions between these cultures and factions certainly seem more intense to me in The True Bastards.
Character development was solid. Though I did enjoy experiencing more of Fetching’s story, I was a bit disappointed that we go so long in book two simply with some mentions of Jackyl without any action or scenes with him. It just seemed a bit of a letdown to have such a pivotal character in the first book be so absent throughout this one. With that being said the amount of struggle or growth we see so many of these characters go through in this book made it difficult not to have some kind of connection or interest with them. Fetching’s story is certainly something else as it unfolds!
As previously mentioned I’m really enjoying this series. As I get to recommendations I will say there is a reoccurring theme of potential rape in book two so if that is a trigger for some, they may want to avoid or just be prepared for that going in. Beyond that, this series has leaned toward the darker side of fantasy so if that is your thing, I’d say give it a go!

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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    1. The first one seemed a bit vulgar than I usually like but it evened out eventually. Book two definitely seemed to turn a bit and go darker. I’m interested in seeing what the third book has to offer.

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