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Club reads > The Grey Bastards - spoiler thread.

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread where you don't have to worry about giving the end away etc.


message 2: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments Well that was a fun ride.


message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Jacqueline wrote: "Well that was a fun ride."

SPOILER! :D

Yeah, it really was. The camaraderie was great, and there were some fun twists.


message 4: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Yes, a fun ride indeed!

Judging by the majority of reviews for this book so far, there seems to be a lot of love for this story.

It's interesting - a couple of reviewers said that they DNF, as they felt disappointed that there was a lack of agency for any female character's.

Each to their own of course, but I feel it's a bit of a shame that they didn't finish and see Fetching come into her own at the end.

I'm really looking forward to the next book and I'm hopeful that Fetching's storyline will continue to develop :-)


message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Shae wrote: "Yes, a fun ride indeed!

Judging by the majority of reviews for this book so far, there seems to be a lot of love for this story.

It's interesting - a couple of reviewers said that they DNF, as th..."


Well, I guess if you are going to insist that every single book you read has the required amount of female agency & delivers it with the required rapidity ... then ... fair enough. But yeah.


message 6: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments I'm almost done. Little too much sex in a couple scenes for my taste, but the plot, characters and sorry development are phenomenal.


message 7: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments STORY development; stupid autocorrect.


message 8: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments C.H. wrote: "STORY development; stupid autocorrect."

Ha, ha - all good, we knew what you meant :-)

(This story is definitely 'unapologetic' and rightly so).


message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
C.H. wrote: "I'm almost done. Little too much sex in a couple scenes for my taste, but the plot, characters and sorry development are phenomenal."

I remember lots of innuendo and talk, but very little sex. Was this with Jax & Fetching?


message 10: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments Finished it up. I could have done without Jax and Fetch's desperate romp. But I absolutely loved the rest of it. Hearth and Ugfuck are probably my two favorite characters.


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
C.H. wrote: "Finished it up. I could have done without Jax and Fetch's desperate romp. But I absolutely loved the rest of it. Hearth and Ugfuck are probably my two favorite characters."

Good to hear! I gave it 5*.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark | 174 comments It’s an excellent read, a really good visionary way of using the Orc trope in a fun, interesting way.


message 13: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Twigg | 6 comments I absolutely loved this story! As for the ‘saucy’ language, I felt that it enhanced my reading experience, it really did! Made it fun, and a little more ‘real’. I mean, these are dangerous, tough, ‘thrum’ wielding Half Orcs who kill for a living; they’re gonna use the ‘odd’ naughty word aren’t they!!

The women are given a fantastic platform I thought; Fetching is my favourite, she’s exceptionally powerful (both physically and psychologically), and extremely good at what she does (better than the guys in fact), but I loved Beryl too, she has such a strong and genuine personality. Beryl is very intelligent, and she cares deeply for others; her first priority being the kids in her care (current, and those who have grown-up and left the Orphanage).

Jonathan French has a great way of describing scenes and characters, and I love that. I need to visualise these folks while I’m reading, especially when characters are a different species! His attention to detail is perfect for me. Jonathan thoroughly describes the characters ~ right down to the colour of their green/grey Half Orc skin, and the colour of their hair.

The Grey Bastards is a bit different to the more usual Fantasy story, and I loved it right from the first couple of paragraphs:

“The fuck Jack?” she said.

Laughing quietly, Jackal hopped into his breeches.

Its a great story, and I’m really looking forward to the next instalment of The Lot Lands; I gave The Grey Bastards FIVE well-deserved stars :o)


message 14: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
The women are given a fantastic platform I thought; Fetching is my favourite, she’s exceptionally powerful (both physically and psychologically), and extremely good at what she does (better than the guys in fact)

You'll find some strongly contrary views among the 1* reviews.

It's not something that bothers me one way or the other. If a book is about a group of men, or a group of women, or a mix of both ... fine.


message 15: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments Agreed. I enjoy them if they're well written. Regardless of sex.


message 16: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Twigg | 6 comments “You'll find some strongly contrary views among the 1* reviews.”

Will I? Why? I don’t see why that would be the case Mark 😶

Oh c’mon, this book has a great mix of male & female characters, both of which share similarly strong character traits.

One of the main characters (Fetching) is a woman! And, she is as strong as Hell, I mean, she battered a thrice blood (the lovely Oats) almost to death. Sure, in her own words she has had to work ‘harder’ all her life in order to parallel the guys, but I think that maybe she works too hard; she doesn’t need to, she is the strongest character in the story I reckon.

And anyway, look at her now, she’s the blinking Chief of the Hoof (The True Bastards) for goodness sake!

Then there is Beryl ~ a very psychologically strong, deeply caring, tough, hard working and intelligent female character! She totally still looks after Jackal and her son Oats! She gives them advice that alters their actions and their lives!! Beryl is such a cool, self assured woman; I really like her, a lot.

Then there is Delia, another very psychologically strong and intelligent woman. Frails and Half Orcs tend to underestimate Delia, maybe because she is a woman, and makes her living as a prostitute. However, Delia is a very astute, and clever woman, having worked-out the truth of Sancho, Ignacio and the Sludge Man’s ‘dirty deal’ well before Jackal did!
I really like Delia too.

And then there is Starling, whom I believe to be an extremely brave, selfless, intelligent and very intuitive female. Despite being saved by Jackal, and being given the opportunity to get to safety, instead she bravely tries to save the other Elf girls from the clutches of the disgusting Sludge Man. She knows that this will be the last thing that she does 😢

So, I’ve identified several ‘stand out’ women/female characters within the pages of this book; what are the Reviewer’s going on about?

Actually, I don’t really care what the Reviewers say. I loved this story, and I loved the female and male characters equally, so there.



“Its not something very that bothers me one way or the other. If a book is about a group of men, or a group of women, or a mix of both...fine.” ML

I’m surprised to hear you say this Mark, especially because in your stories you always write about strong female and male characters!
But I guess that your reading experiences are a different matter.

But, I’m pretty sure that the negative reviews are based upon the actual portrayal of the women in this story, rather than about there not being enough women.

Maybe, the reviewers who object to Jonathan’s portrayal of women in this story are mostly women themselves, and have not really recognised the strength of the female characters in The Grey Bastards, I don’t know. Maybe they should re-read the book with a more open mind.

As a woman myself, sure, I really do like to read about strong female characters, but it certainly is not a ‘deal breaker’. I won’t quit a book just because the female characters are either absent or portrayed in harsh ways. I either love a book, or I don’t.

But, at the end of the day, we are each entitled to our own opinion right!


message 17: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1 comments This book is filthy and gruesome. The language is foul and the jokes are dirty. But the story, the world building, and the plot twists...this is where you find the beauty of this book. Beneath all that dirt and grime was something truly amazing. This book was far from sexy or romantic, but I still found it beautiful I can't wait for the next installment.


message 18: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments Filthy, gruesome, foul and dirty = When's the next one come out?


message 19: by Al (new)

Al Burke (alburke47) | 123 comments That should be the blurb...


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "This book is filthy and gruesome. The language is foul and the jokes are dirty. But the story, the world building, and the plot twists...this is where you find the beauty of this book. Beneath all ..."

Language-wise this is the "foulest" fantasy book I've ever read. Which doesn't bother me, but for some (Americans in particular in my experience) swearing is a big deal. Even if they are cool with murder and mayhem ... go figure!

I saw one review of Prince of Thorns where the reader loved the book but lamented the bad language. There was, he said, a 'fuck' every other paragraph.

Actually, if you run the numbers there's a 'fuck' every 47 pages - which, if nothing else, shows how strongly the issue distorts perception.

I saw a "cuss count" on The Grey Bastards and the fuck tally was in the hundreds with a host of other "offensive" words also scoring high.

In a world where you get Amazon 1*s for "language" it's good to see TGB has carved a spot for itself regardless!


message 21: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments Yeah a society where guns, killing and mayhem is fine but you can’t swear or have sex.....I come from a society where the opposite is true. Each to his/her/their own I suppose.


message 22: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments 'Merica


message 23: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Haha, yes - Australia has really strict gun laws, but creative swearing is practically a national sport!

Curse words in Aus also tend to have multiple shades of meaning, depending on the context.

Visitors often get a bit confused when Aussies use curse words as as an expression of positive enthusiasm or part of a compliment :-)


message 24: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 09, 2018 03:53AM) (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments Very true Shae. Swear words are also used as terms of endearment lol


message 25: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments I guess that's why TGB amused us so much :-)


message 26: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments Yep lol


message 27: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 40 comments I really loved it. The language did not brother me, thank you HBO.
To me, put a Lord of the Rings book into a blender with HBO series Deadwood and it would come out with the Grey Bastards. I enjoyed the sex scene between the half Orcs, best orc sex I have ever read. The plot kept me guessing.


message 28: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Stephen wrote: "I really loved it. The language did not brother me, thank you HBO.
To me, put a Lord of the Rings book into a blender with HBO series Deadwood and it would come out with the Grey Bastards. I enjoye..."


Now I'm wondering how much orc sex you've read before!


message 29: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 40 comments None, but it was not the worst orc sex I have ever read. Oh, and do not google "orc sex. "


message 30: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Stephen wrote: "None, but it was not the worst orc sex I have ever read. Oh, and do not google "orc sex. ""

Technically, it was the worst orc sex you have ever read.


message 31: by Mark (new)

Mark (robertvsredickismyhero) | 1 comments Mark wrote: "Stephen wrote: "None, but it was not the worst orc sex I have ever read. Oh, and do not google "orc sex. ""

Technically, it was the worst orc sex you have ever read."


It was the best of orc sex, it was the worst of orc sex.


message 32: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Mark wrote: "Stephen wrote: "None, but it was not the worst orc sex I have ever read. Oh, and do not google "orc sex. ""

Technically, it was the worst orc sex you have ever read."

It was the best..."


Mark wrote: "Mark wrote: "Stephen wrote: "None, but it was not the worst orc sex I have ever read. Oh, and do not google "orc sex. ""

Technically, it was the worst orc sex you have ever read."

It was the best..."


But not a far far better thing than you have ever done before.


message 33: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 40 comments The sex reminded me of Star Trek Next Generation sex between Worf and K'Ehleyr
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_FXE...


message 34: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments This is the best thread going on Goodreads right now. I'm so glad we're talking orc sex and not hog sex.


message 35: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 40 comments I am waiting for Chuck Tingle to weight in !


message 36: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
C.H. wrote: "This is the best thread going on Goodreads right now. I'm so glad we're talking orc sex and not hog sex."

Even Jonathan French has limits! Or maybe that's for book 2...


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
And that concludes our first book of the month discussion!

My review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 38: by Mark (new)

Mark | 174 comments Mark wrote: "And that concludes our first book of the month discussion!

My review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show..."


So what is the next book?


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