Monday, May 29, 2017

ARC Review: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

SummaryBeing 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 . . .

Expected Release Date: May 30th, 2017

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion 

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Royal Bastards was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2017, you can read about my other highly anticipated releases here. I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced digital copy of Royal Bastards, an epic Young Adult fantasy novel, through NetGalley and I absolutely loved it. The story, characters, and writing are addictive and I cannot wait for the last two books in this trilogy. If you are a fan of fantasy novels, epic road trips, or great character dynamics, Royal Bastards is a must-read.

Although Royal Bastards is a fantasy novel, it is perfect for new fantasy readers or individuals who do not particularly like the genre. The fantasy elements incorporated into the story are easy to process and minimal. I struggle with getting into fantasy novels because of the vast differences between the real world and the fantasy world; however, I easily fell into the world of Royal Bastards. While the world is expansive, the transition between worlds is done smoothly and gradually, allowing time for adjustment. Somehow, Andrew Shvarts effortlessly builds this epic and expansive fantasy world while also allowing his readers to easily process the world. Whether you love fantasy or dislike the genre, I highly recommend Royal Bastards. It effortlessly hooked me and kept me engaged from the very first page to long after I turned the last page. 

Andrew Shvarts is a phenomenal author. I can never use the right words to describe an author's writing, but believe me when I say that his story-telling and writing is fantastic. Although fantasy novels continuously have similar plot points and similar character/character development, he manages to create a new and refreshing Young Adult fantasy novel that I wanted to become a  a part of (theoretically that is). He crafted brilliant characters and a captivating plot that had me hooked. Whether or not he has a heart is debatable, I commend his choices even though they pain me to. 

My only issue with Royal Bastards was that I guessed the major plot twist. It was rather predictable. Although the plot point did work well in the story, I wish he would have incorporated it into the story in another way. This particular plot twist has occurred in many other novels and I was disappointed to see it in Royal Bastards. Besides that issue, Royal Bastards was a phenomenal read and I cannot wait to continue on with the trilogy. 

Royal Bastards is a must-read Young Adult fantasy novel for fantasy lovers and haters alike. Andrew Shvarts' writing, addicting plot, and his brilliant characters and fantasy world will hook anyone and never let them go. Book two in this trilogy will most certainly be on my most highly anticipated releases list for whatever year it is published. Any other book Andrew decides to write will also be put on my immediate to-be-read list. This is his Young Adult debut and I am extremely impressed. I cannot wait to see what his writing future has in store for him. Royal Bastards was a refreshing fantasy novel that I cannot stop thinking about, I can only imagine what lies ahead for these characters and Andrew's career. I highly recommend picking up your own copy of Royal Bastards on May 30th of 2017.

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