The Free Bastards

Del Rey: Ballantine. (The Lot Lands, Bk. 3). Sept. 2021. 560p. ISBN 9780593156681. $28. FANTASY
In this final installment of French’s epic fantasy trilogy, the Lots have been at the mercy of the Hispartha for years; now its armies are planning a last push to take the lands of the half-orcs, and others who live there. Oats is thriceblood; more orc than man, and ready to kill or be killed for his kin and chief. Now that they have more than the half-orc rebellion, all of the residents of the Lot Lands will come together to repel the invasion. Yet even with the power of his chief, Oats finds that the losses may be too much to bear, and his faith is failing. When a slim thread of hope arises, Oats will follow it, even knowing that it is held by one of the Bastards’ cunning foes and leads to the center of Hispartha and its machinations. French brings back some of the trilogy’s beloved and despised characters in this epic Western fantasy centered on Oats, the characters Fetching and Jackal, and their fight to free the Lot Lands.
VERDICT A satisfactory conclusion to French’s trilogy, full of all the blood, battles, and profanities readers expect from the Bastards.
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