• The True Bastards

  • The Lot Lands, Book 2
  • By: Jonathan French
  • Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 50 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following the runaway success of Jonathan French's critically acclaimed fantasy adventure The Grey Bastards comes book two in the Lot Lands series - The True Bastards

Lead from the saddle. Dare to survive. 

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. 

A standout adventure fantasy debut that's down, dirty and damn good fun - perfect for fans of Joe Abercombie, Mark Lawrence, Markus Heitz's Dwarves series and Stan Nicholl's Orcs series.

©2019 Jonathan French (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about The True Bastards

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  • Simon
  • 11-03-19

Brave Mr French!

So having wowed us with the first book in the series it would have been very easy for the author to have just trotted out more of the same. However, following what seems to be a growing trend he consigned a lot of the previous lead characters to near history and swapped things around considerably. It takes guts to play with a winning formula and having found characters and a narrator that got him rave reviews French has not only produced a compelling new lead but swapped sexes which of course does pretty much mean a new narrator too.

There's still lots of what made the first book so great, the 'hoof' is still as bad-ass as it was before and Fetch is certainly no shrinking violet! It's still crude and irreverent, it's still violent and not scared to have characters perform vile acts though I would actually say that this time possibly the crudity went up a notch and possible wore on me just a little as I went through it, not too much but it did get a bit repetitive.

So, very brave, even quite daring from Mr French and I think that he's pulled it off. I wasn't quite so enamored with this one as I was the first one but I'll still be looking in to see where he goes next!

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. Hart
  • 06-30-21

Typical second trilogy filler.

Loved the first one, the development of the characters was a particular strength. The instalment chose not to focus on that strength and it just seemed like it was a set of unfortunate incidences, all saved by a blinding stroke of luck. Ponderous is the word that comes to mind. I really enjoyed the narration of the first book and although dismayed by the change initially, Lisa Flanagan did a good job with some ordinary material. There were times I could almost hear her thinking ‘really?’

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  • ben sutton
  • 06-20-21

Good book, poorly read

Good story but the narrator can only seem to do 3 voices. Would pay again for a proper narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • david kelly
  • 11-08-19

Excellent sequel

I loved the first book and this second book has not let me down. Really cant wait for the third book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julie Jennings
  • 03-28-21

can't wait for the next one.

Good sequel. looking forward to the next installment. Well read, had no trouble distinguishing the characters.

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  • elmina121
  • 01-17-21

French!..You must finish this story.

I totally enjoyed the Grey Bastards and True Bastards was just as entertaining with a brilliant story full of action and mystery. I truly cannot wait to hear how this ends... Does Ruin return to aid his sis? How will Hyspartha respond..cant wait!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Djmars
  • 04-06-22

Excellent sequel

as others have said switching main character and narrator after a successful first book seems strange, but it works. fetch is who you are listening too and it works. if you are not sure give it a go you can always return, but do give it a go get a couple of chapters in first.

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  • Alan
  • 02-01-22

Epically Orcish.

An absolute fantastic follow up to the first book The Grey Bastards, The True Bastards has just brought The Lot Lands series to the next level. Half Orcs riding big ass hogs known as the hoof with loaded stock bows is just bloody epic. A fun hilarious vulgar tale that you just won't be able to put down, great plot and setting and the characters are so good. Orcs are one of my favourite subspecies in fantasy and with this series you get the good guys and bad guys. In the story so far, the Grey Bastards home the Kiln has fallen and Fetch is now chief to the True Bastards. But with being chief and being a female leader of a hoof it isn't easy, Fetch faces massive challenges ahead, trying too build a new Lot and keep everyone and from starving. But when a new enemy turns up threatening to destroy everything she has built so far, she must do everything she can stop it or die trying. An excellent read for all you Orc lovers out there, I truly and highly recommend. Live in the Saddle, Die on the Hog....🐗🐗🐗💥😁

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  • Asra
  • 11-10-21

Well...

There are good points, bad points and really bad points.

The change of the narrator makes sense as the main character is female, even if I liked the old narrator more. The story develops nicely, with unexpected twists and turns.

Things that are bad :
Neglected crucial details, very little explained, if anything, often rushed forward or just stuck in the middle of something else.
Endless, meaningless conversations with 80% of swearing. I don't mind vulgar if it makes sense, but here at places, it was just forced in, no reason at all.
Neglected characters, like (spoiler alert!) guy who earned his living performing sexual favours suddenly lost his scalp and "fruits", then laughs it off like he lost a sock. Why not just kill him? Maybe he plays a role in the next book, in that case, the writer just did it poorly.
Description of the sexual act like in the cheap erotic novel. Actually made me laugh. Seriously?! Luckily there was only one, so it can be forgiven.
All in all, ood enough for me to listen to the third one.

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  • M. J. MccArtney
  • 11-05-21

As good as the first

brilliant start to finish, well performed too. I like it how this gives a different perspective.

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  • Alex H.
  • 02-10-22

Great story, but the delivery is very meh.

It's book two, so I'm obviously enjoying the story. It's good to see Fetch struggling with things in this one, whereas in book one, she was the unfallable bastion of perfection.

This is my 38th audio book, and whilst there have been a few undesirable narrators, I have never disliked listening to a story this much.

I'll ignore the default frustration of having a narrator switch from one book to another, which changes the voices and accents you have come to relate to each character for this review.

Honestly, Lisa seems to be either extremely bored narrating this story or is begrudgingly doing it despite REALLY not wanting to.

I am in chapter eleven at this point and there are currently more than twelve different characters with identical voices, speech styles and accents, all spoken in a lazy manner that gives off a very "uuuuuuugh fiiiiiiine I'll read the story to the class" kinda feel.

The rest of the characters that she does put effort into have no soul in them. There are comments and statements in high stress situations that are narrated as half asleep all through the story, and the audible vibe doesn't match the urgency of the situation.

To her credit though, Lisa at least manages to keep the accent of Crafty and others from his homeland consistent with that of the previous narrator.

Maybe she is simply inexperienced, and I am wrong about the above. Either way, I hope this is taken as constructive criticism as opposed to outright whinging.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-21

Another good one

Great 2nd book. Awesome story. I was a little bit thrown when I heard a woman telling the story. Took a little bit to get used to. This book is from Fetch’s point of view. Can’t wait to dig into the 3rd book.

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  • love to read
  • 04-11-21

soots, sand & slaughter

really looked forward to this sequel and wasn't disappointed.
a little slow to begin, but many threads were being brought together for a terrific well rounded tale. if you enjoyed the first, the second will certainly please

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  • Shelley
  • 04-04-21

Wow!

A gripping tale. Full of Orcs, Elves, Frails and Mongrels. So much better than Lord of Rings - I hope this is made into a movie. I can’t wait for Book 3!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-20

Great story and great reader.

The story is great, i think better than the first. The narrator was great too!! Really would recommend.

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  • Sweetheart1
  • 10-24-19

bring on the next book

it took a bit of getting used to a different narrator for this second book but holy shit what a ride ! A little bit over the top with Fetch always doubting herself blah blah blah but she is still one hell of a half orc ! can't wait to see what they do to the Frails in the next book :)