Turning the Pages: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Fun. Sometimes you just want to have fun reading a book and well – Royal Bastards was that for me. It was a book that I had no expectations going into, but at the end of it – well, I didn’t mind.

What is Royal Bastards?

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 . . .

Tilla. Well, lets start there. She’s like most of us – just want our parents attention as we’re going through life. She just wanted her fathers attention and since she was a bastard, she didn’t get that. I think though that’s part of what taught Tilla to be extra caring and loving to those around her.

Her sense of self and her attitude towards life is kinda what I loved about her. Strong and fierce – I can’t wait for her growth of the rest of the series. She’s got a long way to go, even though she’s had growth over this book.

Now, normally I hate epic fantasies. If you asked me to watch Lord of the Rings, I would rather have my toenails torn out. Yes, I dislike them that much. But Royal Bastards wasn’t like that.

It made me laugh. It made me cheer. It made me wish I was as witty as it was at times. It was definitely worth the read.

Sharp. Witty. Funny. A page turner.

Royal Bastards is out May 30th.

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