Readers, get ready to go on your next epic journey with Royal Bastards by Andrew Schvarts!
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
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 . . .
- Title: Royal Bastards
- Author: Andrew Schvarts
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Pub Date: May 30, 2017
- Pages: 352 Pages
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?