Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Published on May 30, 2017 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: ARC for review from publisher
Plot Summary for Royal Bastards by Andres Shvarts
Being a bastard blows. 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 of Royal Bastards by Andrew ShvartsRoyal Bastards was an engaging, fast-paced light fantasy.
The world-building was good if familiar - a bunch of kingdoms existing not-so-peacefully with one another. There was political rivalry and also some paranormal elements.
There was a lot of action - an assassination during a banquet for a visiting princess sets this band of royal misfits on the run, princess in tow.
I definitely could have used more character development.
There was (sort-of) romance, but to me it felt like it came out of nowhere. Every so often a character would say that they LOVED another character and I'd be like -- huhhh?
Overall, an entertaining book but one that (for me) could have used more depth. If you enjoy light fantasy with a lot of action, be sure to check it out!