Author: Andrew Shvarts
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Genres: YA Fantasy
Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from the publishers via netgalley to review.
Summary: Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.
At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.
Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.
The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .
i liked royal bastards more than i thought i would. i didn’t have many expectations before going into this, and i found the beginning a bit slow. royal bastards picks up pace rather quickly and it’s hard to not like it.
one thing i absolutely hated about this book was the romance. it was so annoying and didn’t add anything to the story. the romance impacts the twist towards the end of the book but it was somewhat unbelieveable (as a certain character acts very over the top about it). it would’ve made more sense if the romance was erased and the twist was something planned from the beginning rather than a last minute, emotional decision.
i really loved lyriana. i found her interesting and well developed. i’d love to know more about her story and what happens next for her. i enjoyed tilla, but not as much as i’d’ve liked for a protagonist. she wasn’t as developed as lyriana and i hope this is something that changes with the next book. (i’m assuming there’ll be a sequel). i found zell really interesting! his backstory needed more elaboration. he comes off as one of those “mysterious background” types, and i hate those. but he’s very cool and worthwhile. miles, on the other hand, was extremely boring. i couldn’t stand him one bit.
i found the plot somewhat lacking, but i still really enjoyed learning about the characters. i liked the journey and the exploration of the world. nothing gives a better opportunity for world building than going on a journey/quest of some sort. the place felt very much like medieval england (mostly because of the name “kent”).
i’m very glad to have been given the opportunity to review this book, especially since it exceeded my expectations. it was a fun, light read and i can’t wait to see where the next book takes us.