Royal Bastards and Epic Reading Journeys

Readers, get ready to go on your next epic journey with Royal Bastards by Andrew Schvarts!

Wine Pairing

I paired Royal Bastards with this Royal Red Wine. This wine is very versatile and appeals to a wide variety of wine connoisseurs just like this book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It has all the elements of a classic fantasy novel with a humor and writing style that will be appealing to a modern audience.

*All wine recommendations are for strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*

About the Book

25752041Being 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 . . .


The Details

  • Title: Royal Bastards
  • Author: Andrew Schvarts
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Pub Date: May 30, 2017
  • Pages: 352 Pages

My Review


I was immediately drawn into this story by the characters and the author’s sense of humor, which definitely shines through the text. The dynamic between Schvarts’s “band of bastards” is captivating and fun, and their dialogue is entertaining and authentic throughout.

This felt very much like a classic fantasy novel with the characters having to go out on an epic journey when things in their world start to go terribly awry. There are definitely elements that are reminiscent of Tolkien, yet at the same time, the author’s wit and unique writing style make this the perfect read for a modern audience.

The world-building is phenomenal. The best part about a fantasy novel where you get to travel through the world alongside the characters is that you get to see so much of it. It’s fascinating to visualize the fantastical geographical elements that Schvarts incorporates in the story as well as the more real and recognizable ones. You get a world that is a beautiful balance of magical and believable.

I also really enjoyed the magic system. It has very clear limitations, which is something I very much appreciate. I enjoy fantasy novels that have magical elements, but where the characters still have to struggle to overcome the roadblocks standing in their way instead of having conflicts easily resolved by magic. And Schvarts does a brilliant job of balancing this.

This is also one of those books where the more you think about it, the more you appreciate it. I started this review with a four-star rating, but it’s transformed into a five-star as I’ve really been thinking through how well-done the various elements of this story really are. Almost like magic.

This is a new series that is wildly entertaining, sure to be a hit with fans of both YA and adult fantasy novels, and simply isn’t to be missed.

Best YA Novels with Epic Journeys

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Graceling by Kristin Cashore


Defy by Sara B. Larson


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson


The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon


What are some of your favorite books where the characters embark on some kind of epic journey? Are you excited to read Royal Bastards when it hits bookshelves near you?

33 Comments Add yours

  1. Angela JC says:

    Great review! I’ve been wanting to read this book so I’m glad to hear you liked it. And you’ve got some really good books on that list (I absolutely loved the Harry Potter series, and Six of Crows too!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I do love all the books on that list, and if you like those ones, I definitely think you’d like this one. It is such a fun new fantasy series!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Royal Bastards seems really cool just with the blurb! But with the added (awesome) review it seems like a must-read! What a great selection of epic journeys in books!! Mentioned Empire of Storms and practically all the books we plan to read!! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! Cool is a great word to use to describe Royal Bastards. 🙂 If you like the others on this list, then I really think you’d like this one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope Edwards says:

    I’ve been dying to read this book but haven’t yet added it to my pIle of to-read books. It going towards the top of my pile now! Amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! I hope you like it! It’s such a fun read! And thank you. 🙂


  4. o.o oh huh.
    I always thought the main character was male in this story. My mind = blown. Oops. 😄
    I apparently need to read my summaries, because this one does seem intriguing. Wonderful review, Krysti! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I made the same incorrect assumption before reading this book, Mandy, so don’t feel bad. 🙂 I think we associate that word with men, which isn’t always the case. It’s such a perfect title for this book though! And thank you!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, good. I think that’s the main reason as well. But now that I did read your review and a better description, I totally see it so much better now!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful review Kristi! This was already near the top of my tbr, but I think I’m going to have to buy it now.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kim! I hope you like it as much as I did. I just thought it was so much fun, and the more I thought about it after I finished it, the more I liked it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. And I’m sorry my blasted autocorrect misspelled your name!😒

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries. My name is misspelled so often, I honestly don’t even notice it anymore. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhhh I’m so excited for this book! I love a good fantasy adventure. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m excited that you are excited. LOL. 🙂 It is a great fantasy adventure. That’s the perfect way to describe it! Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Helena Reads says:

    Ah! I have been meaning to read this one. I haven’t, however, seen any buzz about it, which is funny because when it wasn’t yet released everyone wanted. But now that it’s out, I don’t see it often as I thought I would have. Funny how things turn out. Lovely review xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, hey!!! Thanks so much for commenting, my friend! It actually comes out May 30th, but I am surprised I’m not seeing more buzz about it right now, because it’s a REALLY good book! I think a lot of people read their galleys early, so they aren’t posting about it as much now? IDK. Anyway, thanks so much!!!<3<3<3


  9. TeacherofYA says:

    I’ve been curious about this one!! Good to know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you like fantasy, so I think you’d like this one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TeacherofYA says:

        I just won a copy of this ARC! What are the odds? Meredith did a giveaway and I won! I’m so jazzed to get it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Woohoo! That’s awesome! Congrats on your win. I can’t wait to see what you think of it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. TeacherofYA says:

        Me too! Looks like you enjoyed it, so I’m excited!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s a really fun fantasy book! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!


  10. ChandaReads says:

    I only recently heard about this book, but it seems to be catching a lot of buzz. I added it to my TBR after I read your review! I’m excited for it! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you so much! I hope you have fun with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. ravenblake99 says:

    This book is in my tbr! I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I can’t wait to check it out myself! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good! I’ll definitely watch for your review!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad you loved this! Royal Bastards has been on my TBR ever since I first saw the title. And now your review has me even more excited- what could be better than a book with a great magic system and world building? Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so much fun! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. ignitedmoth says:

    Ooh, great review!! This sounds really good! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, my friend! It is a really fun fantasy novel. Let me know if you end up reading it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Arika (onceuponabookishnerd) says:

    I saw this book a few months ago and put it on my TBR right away! Your review made me even more excited to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hope you get to it soon. It’s such a fun read!

      Liked by 1 person

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