Title: Royal Bastards
By: Andrew Shvarts
Release Date: May 30th, 2017
Summary from Goodreads: 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 . . .
Review: I'm always drawn to this kind of book, Fantasy with a little romance. Royal Bastards was a good read, with a fair amount of world building and magical elements woven throughout the story. I found myself really drawn to Zell's character. I loved his whole concept and how we found out what he was really made of in the end. There was one thing that rubbed me the wrong way, but it was minor. Some parts of the book were out of character, like when Tilla said something about the "Guys" or some of the dialogue could be found in todays world instead of this old world setting. Its like the book broke character and thought it was Urban Fantasy for a moment. Even with this little pet peeve of mine, I still gave it four stars. It was enjoyable and I can't wait for the sequel.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.