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Acquisition announcement: THE GREY BASTARDS by Jonathan French

Jonathan French, author of gritty fantasy The Grey Bastards

Orbit UK has acquired rights to The Grey Bastards plus a sequel by US author Jonathan French.

It’s a wild and gritty epic fantasy debut that invites you to enter the world of orcs and half-orcs – as you’ve never seen them before . . .

You might have heard of The Grey Bastards because it won Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2016 – meaning that a panel of ten top fantasy bloggers picked it as the winner out of hundreds of entries. And this win was thoroughly deserved . . . This fantasy debut is brimming with raucous energy.

It’s the story of Jackal – who is proud to be a Grey Bastard, a member of a sworn brotherhood of half-orcs. Unloved and unwanted in civilized society, the Bastards eke out a hard life in the desolate no-man’s-land called the Lots, protecting frail and noble human civilization from invading bands of vicious full-blooded orcs . . .

Jonathan’s voice stood out to us as one of the freshest we’ve read in years. The story overflows with crisp dialogue, blood-soaked action, an entertaining sardonic voice and a wonderfully compelling cast of characters. It’s an irresistible action tale that will thrill readers of fantasy such as Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Stan Nicholl’s Orcs series and Markus Heitz’s Dwarves series.

And just look at the whole host of amazing reviews it’s already received!

‘Frankly excellent’ ~ Mark Lawrence, bestselling author of Prince of Thorns

The Grey Bastards dragged me in immediately. A bloody good tale of battles, intrigue, betrayal, duty and war pigs’ ~ Brian McClellan, author of Promise of Blood

‘A gritty adventure with a fantastic, foul-mouthed voice and filthy, lovable characters in a wonderfully original world of half-orcs on giant hogs.  Fans of Abercrombie’s The First Law or the soldierly banter of Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen will like this a lot’ ~ Django Wexler

‘Jonathan French has to be lauded for his plot ingenuity, bawdy charm and vicious characters. The Grey Bastards has instantaneously catapulted him into my must-read list’ ~Fantasy Book Critic

‘I’d like to raise a tankard to The Grey Bastards’ brilliance’ ~ Fantasy Faction

‘I f*cking loved this book. The Grey Bastards went down like a shot of good top-shelf tequila: warm and smooth, but with one hell of a spicy kick’ ~ Bibliosanctum

These guys were all pretty darn excited about the half-orcs, and dammit – you should be too. Look out for The Grey Bastards in June 2018.

And as the Bastards say, LIVE IN THE SADDLE, DIE ON THE HOG!


“Impressive height or exceptional length of a limb is not the be all and end all of a creature. What I say is: the taller you are, the more likely you are to get hit!”

—Boïndil “Ireheart”, Doubleblade of the Secondling Clan of the Swinging Axes.

 “Now and then you hear malicious remarks about dwarves. They are said to be of inferior build, to be cranky, to have a weird sense of humor; it is told that they only drink beer that is as black as night and are not able to appreciate music unless a hundred voices are bellowing in unison. But I say: only when you have been a guest in their majestic halls, as once I was, should you have the right to pronounce on these rumors and confirm them all to be true. Let us not laugh at them as if they were lovable children with long beards, but, on the contrary, let us praise the magnificent way they have preserved all of us from total destruction. More than once.”

Excerpts from the ten-volume work My Life and Uniquely Heroic Exploits—the Memoirs of the Incredible Rodario.

The Revenge of the Dwarves (UK / US / ANZ) is out now in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and is released next month in the US. Join the adventure – read the start of their tale right here.

Cover launch: The Revenge of the Dwarves

The Dwarves are back. And they will have their vengeance…

Presenting our cover for the third book in this epic series from international bestseller Markus Heitz – about the bravest, sturdiest and most formidable of warriors, the Dwarves. Their hero Tungdil is back – and if you think he’s been through the wars so far then I assure you there is much more adversity waiting on the horizon for this unfortunate fellow. It’s just lucky that he’s a dwarf through and through, because the courage of the dwarves has never been questioned…

The fantastic cover comes from the talented illustrator Bob Lea. His site here is well worth a look – but beware: you could be lost in there for days marvelling at its treasures!

I’m delighted with this image because it’s exactly how I picture the Dwarves:  fearlessly heroic, ever-armed for battle and raising the ferocious war cry. For me the cover says: “In the face of danger, a dwarf never surrenders!”  Well, that – and also: “MWWWAAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!” 

And I’m honoured to say that The Revenge of the Dwarves will be storming the Orbit defences worldwide this coming October. Read on for the blurb and a larger image below… Read the rest of this entry »

When is a dwarf not a dwarf? When he’s a garden gnome…

Read on for a great piece from the talented Sally-Ann Spencer on her experience of translating The Dwarves (UK/ US/ ANZ) and The War of the Dwarves (UK/ US / ANZ) from the original German:

Turning German ‘Zwerge’ into English-speaking dwarves isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For one thing, the English word ‘dwarf’ has two possible plurals: ‘dwarfs’ and ‘dwarves’. Which should be used for the translation? The dwarves of Girdlegard bear a certain resemblance to their counterparts in Middle Earth, so I went with the version popularized by Tolkien. But hang on a minute, Read the rest of this entry »

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