Debbies World of Books
Debbie's World of Books

Review: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

November 4th, 2017 by dsuzuki

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book

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…

My Thoughts

I saw this one on my library New Books shelf and it sounded intriguing so I picked it up. I can’t say I loved it or hated it but it was enjoyable to read. It took several sittings to finish because it didn’t grab me enough that I couldn’t put it down.

The world Andrew Shvarts build was great and the idea behind the bastard children, why they’re treated the way they are and how their fates can change so quickly was interesting. Where the let down was for me was that I didn’t LOVE any of the characters. Tilla was just meh. She wasn’t overly irritating but some parts stretched believability like the fact that she was able to learn to fight well enough to hold her own against professional soldiers and catch knives in mid air in such a short period of time. Zell was a ho-hum hero to me and again, nothing obviously irritating about him but nothing that made me fall in love with him. The princess Lyriana and another bastard, Miles, did get on my nerves and I never truly came to care about either of them. The only one I did feel some connection to was Tilla’s half-brother, Jax.

There was a lot of potential in this book as the story could have been epic if only it had a stronger set of characters.

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult

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