Title: Royal Bastards
Author: Andrew Shvarts
Genre: Young Adult; Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Book Group/ Disney-Hyperion
Date published: May 30, 2017
Rating: 4/5 Stars
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 … (Goodreads).
**I received this book from NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.**
I was so surprised by how much I absolutely adored this book and its characters! I mean, I knew I was going to like it… how could I not like a story about a group of people brought together by a terrible circumstance that are then forced to trust each other for their survival while they travel wide and far on a journey to save the realm. And there’s magic. Yup, I knew this book would be a winner.
I thought the magic system, while not overly developed or complex, was explained in enough detail that I understood what was occurring and how the magic worked. Of course, this information was revealed bit by bit throughout the book in a way that made me stay up reading late at night.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been on such a A Song of Ice and Fire/ Game of Thrones kick lately that I loved the idea of “the bastards” in this story. It was eerily similar to how Jon Snow was treated while in Winterfell- you are part of the family but not really, not when it really matters. Or should I say, not when it matters to you.
“The West will never forget… The West will never bow.”
“Bow to the King or die by the Ring.”
“Why the frozen hell had I liked scary stories so much? Why couldn’t I have just wanted to read about princesses and ball gowns?”
“There were just the people in the castles barking orders, and people on the ground getting killed.”