Royal Bastards (Royal Bastards, #1)
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 . . .

Royal Bastards (Royal Bastards, #1) Details

TitleRoyal Bastards (Royal Bastards, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 30th, 2017
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
ISBN-139781484767658
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Young Adult Fantasy

Royal Bastards (Royal Bastards, #1) Review

  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    For next halloween, I’m going to wear a trash bag and when people are like 'oh haha you're going as trash', I’ll be like, 'close... I’m going as Royal Bastards', and then I'll show them this book.I just wanna say, from the bottom of my black heart, that I wish I could shoot this book to venus so it would die a fiery acidic death.Listen, contrary to the stereotype of patience and forgiveness given to me by my sun sign, I have never gotten over anything or anyone in my life. I'm like a bitter old For next halloween, I’m going to wear a trash bag and when people are like 'oh haha you're going as trash', I’ll be like, 'close... I’m going as Royal Bastards', and then I'll show them this book.I just wanna say, from the bottom of my black heart, that I wish I could shoot this book to venus so it would die a fiery acidic death.Listen, contrary to the stereotype of patience and forgiveness given to me by my sun sign, I have never gotten over anything or anyone in my life. I'm like a bitter old man except i'm an 18 years old girl.I'm trying to be a better person here but honestly I don’t want to. Like, I can literally feel the chill leaving my body as I am injecting a steady stream of negativity into this review. I'm so PISSED OFF I might as well just start smashing house furniture against the wall...I mean. if you think really hard about it, there's really nothing physically stopping me right now except social constructs and my own goddamn cowardice!!honestly?? I swear to god all this salt is so bad for my skin!! I’m going to start charging books for wasting my time $5 a minute....can you imagine if the emotional and finantial labor that went into reading this book was put towards literally anything else?? (mainly, skincare)¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Alright, lads. You may say 'but you seemed to enjoy this so much up until the second half!!’ and I may just say 'well...mistakes were made but it's okay! because that was yesterday and therefore not real.' look, this actually had some potential: a bunch of bastards find out the horrible scheme their parents were plotting against their country and decide to overthrow their efforts, creating their own ragtag family in the face of adversity.sounds very nice, right? just like the migraine I got when this book somehow managed to fuck up the entire concept, sliding right under the bar of expectations I sat really low for it ಥ_ಥI'm not really that much of an underserving of love swamp goblin, I was being nice when I didn’t just DNF it but chose to overlook a lot of things that would otherwise make me prefer I go down a slide of knives and land in a pool of rubbing alcohol than have to read about them...example:● l*ve at half first sight● up next on MTV’s “Your Favorite Tropes”: special snowflakes with special powers that appear conveniently out of thin air● l*ve tri*ngle● literally the whole plot is just a love triangle● you know that kid in the playground who gives you their toys but then sees you playing with another kid so they stalk angrily toward you, wrench their toys out of your grasp and throw a huge tantrum??● guys....literally what happened I wish I was kidding● 'the love of my life was murdered and this is why i'm acting like a brooding misunderstood loner who’s an asshole to everyone but don't worry...I secretly have a heart of gold!! love me!!' trope● underdeveloped side characters who have fully embraced the role of the weird aloof cousin who never comes to family events and whomst you only know is still breathing because they occasionally like your facebook pictures● slow pacing but not the good kind. more like, pal...it's been exactly 300 pages and everyone has achieved a solid nothing??● the kind of metaphorical sex scene where the audience is uncomfortable and has learned nothing....like honestly?? what the fuck is up with all the books I've read lately turning me off hetero sex forever?? I’m probably going to die alone and miserable but at least I’ll find peace knowing that I will never have sex in a public bath like these fucking idiots. please do better for yourselves. don't be nasty. health is a lifestyle.Yeah. I know. I should have called it a DNF earlier since I was basically just a hate machine but it's like when you're too cheap to throw away the milk even though there are bits floating in it... plus I think it's because in my head I live under this illusion that because I’m not having fun, some other external forces will work out on their own as the universe balancing itself out. However, it doesn't work like that and I always remain surprised when it continues to suck so I just end up wallowing in my misery and bitterness.Besides, hey!! mama didn't raise no quitter!! uuuuuuhhh actually mama did. see, I actually dnf this around the 95% mark and let my friend spoil me... which turned out to be great!! I just needed to set myself on fire!!(suffice to say, the ending était.....how do you say it.....shit!! never have I been gladder to end my suffering once and for all!!)okay what else before I make the conscious decision to forget this book ever happened??the characters:bro, I don't give half a fragmented fuck about these characters...in fact, go ahead... destroy the cursed gemstone that binds them to this fictional plane of existence and allows them to manifest a physical body!! I DONT CARE● Zell.do authors like…..realize that a nice face and a clichéd backstory isn't a substitute for a personality?? asking for a friend● special snowflakes Tilla and uuhhh...that princess● Miles. I want to dropkick him into the sun. what was the point of him??? he's literally that guy who sits down and inserts his unasked for opinion when you're having a conversation together with someone else● Jax oh wow his name even rhymes with ass what a match made in heaven!! the only thing I remember about him is that he makes gross sexual innuendos and it was considered endearing and charming and that was it. I was literally just sitting there like, please stand still while I punch y'all in the face● a couple of disney villains● other characters I don't even fucking remember Anyways, that's all the salt for now. If you want my unprofessional opinion, I'd say: self care is staying the fuck away from this book.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an adventure and I can't remember the last time I've had this much fun coming along for the ride. The style of writing was interesting; i started out wondering if this was actually a Middle Grade book, and as the story progressed pulled a huge "NOPE- definitely YA". The only comparison I can think of is how the Harry Potter books progressed; they start out very light and youthful in feel but gradually grow darker and heavier? That was totally this book. The author did an excellent This book was an adventure and I can't remember the last time I've had this much fun coming along for the ride. The style of writing was interesting; i started out wondering if this was actually a Middle Grade book, and as the story progressed pulled a huge "NOPE- definitely YA". The only comparison I can think of is how the Harry Potter books progressed; they start out very light and youthful in feel but gradually grow darker and heavier? That was totally this book. The author did an excellent job of connecting me to the characters and keeping my attention with equal parts action and background/fantasy world development. My only complaint was I wish the book had been slightly longer! I felt with an extra 50-75 pages it would have given the same quality of character development as some of the other hugely hyped YA fantasy books popular today. Overall, this was a classic Disney story and was 100% entertaining with somewhat mythical creatures and loads of magic. Definitely put this on your radar.*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley.
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  • emi
    January 1, 1970
    Update: It has come to my attention that I accidentally made the same joke as another user in this review. Especially when this user is one that I admire and who's reviews I look forward to. I know they probably don't trust me anymore, but please know that it was never my intent to copy them and it was purely coincidental. While I did like their review before hand that contained that joke, it was before they posted the entire thing and I didn't even see it until after I wrote my review. Nonethel Update: It has come to my attention that I accidentally made the same joke as another user in this review. Especially when this user is one that I admire and who's reviews I look forward to. I know they probably don't trust me anymore, but please know that it was never my intent to copy them and it was purely coincidental. While I did like their review before hand that contained that joke, it was before they posted the entire thing and I didn't even see it until after I wrote my review. Nonetheless, I have deleted that joke from this review and I just want them to know that I am incredibly, incredibly sorry. HELL NO/5 stars Nothing is a bigger joke than that of this book. Warning: there are unmark spoilers in this review because I just need to express my disintent openly This book could have been really good? A gang of teens stumble onto a scheme thrown by their parents and have to flee for their lives? Like doesn't that sound amazing. Except it's like those scenes in the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons when there's a beautiful sunset and they are running into it but turns out it's just a really great painting and they slam into a wall. It's almost like someone noticed a trend of gang-of-misfits in YA fantasy and wanted to jump on that band wagon to get fame and success and money. However, he had no idea how to read so he decided to BS his entire way through the book and pooped this out. This is the most stereotypical fantasy I have ever read in my life and I think I rather throw myself into a volcano before having to read it again.Urgh and the writing. THE WRITING. Not only is it middle grade style writing mixed in with swear words and sex talk (which doesn't work at all). You could take any of these characters and keep their dialogue and put them in a contemporary and you'd believe it. THESE CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD AND THEY SPEAK LIKE THEY ARE LIVING IN 2017. Also, is this suppose to be a fantasy book? With magic? The only magical thing this book seemed to do was make ten days of my life magically disappear. The magic system in this book? If there even was one? The only way to have magic is if you wear these rings. Except when you don't wear the rings you can still have magic. And only people born in this city can have magic. Except if you aren't born in this city, you can still have magic. I have so many complaints about this book, it's just gonna be easier for all of us if I list them off.• Girl lives a great life in castle and still complains• Teenagers do stupid shit and it causes trouble. shocking.• The kids ARE SO STUPID• They are running for their LIVES AND PEOPLE ARE TRACKING THEM AND THEY DECIDE TO START A FIRE• A FIRE• THAT IS BRIGHT AND PROBABLY HAS SMOKE• They should have been caught and killed the first night• But they weren't, of course, as then we wouldn't have gotten even stupider things• LIKE THEY WERE HIDING/RUNNING FOR OVER A HUNDRED PAGES BEFORE SOMEONE HAD THE BRIGHT IDEA TO DISGUISE THEMSELVES• Rule #1 when you are trying to hide: DON'T LOOK LIKE YOURSELF• Also "let's go see our friends who are loyal to our country. wait what do you mean they are trying to kill us? i totally didn't see that coming"• TILLA ALWAYS JUMPED TO CONCLUSIONS. • LIKE THEY WERE LIKE "MAYBE IT'S BEST IF YOU STAYED HERE WITH THE PRINCESS"• AND SHE WAS LIKE "IT'S BECAUSE I'M A GIRL AREN'T I???"• AND NOT BECAUSE THE PRINCESS PROBABLY TRUSTS HER THE MOST• And for people who are on the run, they do a whole lot of not running• more like sitting around and doing nothing• well Tilla learned how to fight• and she got really good at fighting in the span of a month• like GOOD ENOUGH TO OUT FIGHT PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINING TO FIGHT THEIR ENTIRE LIVES• sorry I don't think Zell is that great of a teacher•there was also thsi part when tilla randomly caught a rock in midair and she was all like "look at how badass I am"• like sit down girl you are the opposite of badass for catching a rock• more stupid stuff happens• like "why is this mine shaft abandoned? let's go inside"• I know they were running from people BUT DON'T GO INTO THE ABANDONED MINE SHAFT YOU IDIOTS USE COMMON SENSE• They also start talking about scientific stuff like kinetic energy THIS IS A FANTASY WORLD YOU DON'T KNWO WHAT KINETIC ENERGY IS• And shocker, they get in trouble down in that mine shaft• The princess almost dies• So the best thing they can do is get a medicine that has ~~~super rare~~~ ingredients• so of course they can just go to the nearest town and by the medicine• and miles decides to come up with an elaborate back story to explain why they need this medicine• and I'm jsut like "miles no ONE CARES"• And guess what• the shop clerk doesn't care• just like i tried to tell him• but he didn't listen to me• but THEY DON'T HAVE MONEY TO BUY MEDICINE shocking• SO MILES JUST STARTS QUOTING POETRY• AND THE STORE CLERK IS LIKE "WOW YOU A POETRY FAN"• HAVE THIS MEDICINE MADE FROM ~~~super rare~~~ INGREDIENTS FOR FREE• Liek wtf can I just go to the bookstore and start quoting Frost or Eliot and get books for free• since this is a currency now• AND THEN THEY GO TO A BAR TO GET A DRINK INSTEAD OF GOING OFF TO SAVE THE DYING PRINCESS AND ZELL'S BROTHER SHOWS UP• what :) a :) coincidence :)• but don't worry. they escape without really putting up a fight :)• because everything is so damn convientent for these bastards• but then they know that the bad people are still on their tail so they START TALKING ABOUT HOW THEY NEED TO TRAVEL FASTER• liek I'm sorry. If I was on the run for my lief I'D BE TRAVELING AS DAMN FAST AS I CAN• but these idiots were talking their goddamn sweet time apparently• flash forward some• they end up at this person's house who's relevant somehow????• and their safe• suprise! they aren't safe• awkward sex scene in a pool• makes me wanna be celibate my entire life :)• and MILES SOMEHOW SEES• a little background info: miles is in love with tilla for absolutely no reason• so instead of moving on with his life like a normal person should• he decided to throw himself off a cliff• but then he decides not to throw himself off a cliff • HE JUST DECIDES TO START A WAR• this whiny ass toddler STARTS A WAR BECAUSE HE IS FRIENDZONES• and the end is just like Tilla throwing a bomb and things explode and people die• Apparently over a thousand people but I seriously doubt that• and like her dad is there and he hates her but instead of killing her when there's a chance HE JUST WALKS AWAY WITH MILES PROMISING REVENGE• and then she wakes up two days later• and it's the last chapter• and Zell is just like "let's go for a walk"• so she goes on a walk• no fooood or water or bathroom break or anything• A WALK • if i was out for two days I think I'd forget how to even stand tbh let alone WALK• and the princess gets kicked out of this cult she's in AND SHE'S LIKE "LOOK I'M A BASTARD TOO"• stfu princess you aren't special• then they walk some more• there's more stuff that annoys me but I think this list is long enoughNow you probably just read all that and are wondering who the eff all those characters are, so let's talk about them. Shall we? The Six of Crow Wannabees Characters Tilla. I imagine if someone made a machiene that could personify any object and they threw in a piece of white bread, we'd get Tilla. She thinks she's so ~special~ but all she is is boring and unrelatable. Lyriana.I'm actually just guessing on how to spell her name because I don't wanna take the book out of the garbage can, where it belongs to spellcheck. And also that's just how much I care about her. I'm just glad she was there so her magical powers could help everyone out and the most conivent of times. :):):):):)Zell. Someone please tell the author that 2007 called and wants their male love interest back. He's so broody. And mysterious. And so talented at everything. I just can't. Also his ***tragic*** backstory is that he couldn't keep his dick in his pants, or respect his brother, but then did respect his brother, and then his daddy disowned him. Wow. That suddenly makes me feel so sorry for him. I now totally understand his jerkiness. Wow. Miles. For three years of my life, from ages 15 to 18, I had worked in a daycare environment. I was even a four-year-old daycare teacher. I've seen toddlers cry hysterically because they weren't allowed to drive a firetruck. And yet, I have never seen a bigger tantrum thrown than by Miles. Like I'm sorry the girl you've been pining for your entire life doesn't reciprocate your feelings. But that's not a good enough REASON TO START AN ENTIRE WAR. Jax. Hahah I almost forgot he was a character. He had the humor of a 12-year-old. I don't remember anything else he did except (view spoiler)[die (hide spoiler)]. Conclusion? So let's be real here. I am so effing glad I am done with this book adn I never have to see it again.I tried to love it, I really did, but it didn't want me to love it. If you love it, I'm happy for you. I wish I was with you on that. I don't throw one stars out this easily, trust me, but urgh this book can have all the one star ratings it wants. Whatever. Later guys. Emi out.
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  • Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
    January 1, 1970
    To whoever wrote this book's "synopsis":syn·op·sis/səˈnäpsəs/noun→ a brief summary or general survey of something.Do take note.
  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of my most anticipated reads for this year. And did it live up to it? CAN I GET A HECKIN' YEAH. It's sassy, bloody, and full of love/hate friendships which obviously instigate the bestest level of sass. I'm just really thoroughly entertained and impressed! And more than a little peeved that there seems to be no sequel? MORE PLS.L I K E S• The SASS LEVELS. You've basically snabbled my attention when you introduce me to two siblings sitting on a wall and making fun of nobility. And tha This is one of my most anticipated reads for this year. And did it live up to it? CAN I GET A HECKIN' YEAH. It's sassy, bloody, and full of love/hate friendships which obviously instigate the bestest level of sass. I'm just really thoroughly entertained and impressed! And more than a little peeved that there seems to be no sequel? MORE PLS.L I K E S• The SASS LEVELS. You've basically snabbled my attention when you introduce me to two siblings sitting on a wall and making fun of nobility. And that's just a prelude to how witty and engaging the dialogue and banter are. Look, I live for bantery books. I would share my cake with this book and that's saying something because I don't share.• The cast is quite large, but everyone is interesting and complex. Usually if you whispered "Oi, Cait, this book will end up with a group of five teens on the run" I would quitley throw mayonnaise at you and scrabble away, because large casts are hard to handle interestingly. Here? NOT SO. I absolutely adored everyone! They all had personalities and backstories, complexities and fears and venerabilities. And we're not introduced to them all in a heap, so that was helpful.• Aaaall the love for the characters! Tilla is the narrator and she is, quite frankly, badass. But at the same time she's a general awkward teen who'll be training with a knife, actually succeed in a badass move, and then pause to congratulate herself. I LOVE HER. Then we have Jax, who's Tilla's half-brother and also a bastard, so they share the same lowborn mum, but Tilla's dad is a lord and Jax's was a nobody. Ergo he is nobody. But ergo his and Tilla's bro/sis relationship is THE BOMB. The make fun of each other and are there for each other. Miles the nerdy bookworm who everyone basically underestimates. And Zell is from the warrior clans and total Closed Off And Emotionless™ but secretly a big squish. And lastly Lyriana is the POC wizard princess who is all "LET'S GROW PRETTY PLANS AND NUTURE THE WORLD" but can also slay you epically. • Help me. I love them all.• Oh there's magic! I like magic.• There's threats of wars and parents trying to knock their kids heads off. Because wrong-place-wrong-time stuff goes down and the bastards must escape.• There is BLOOD and DEATH. I think I got stabbed in the feels. I say "think" bECAUSE I'M STILL IN SHOCK. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME.• And the writing style is delightfully fresh and engaging! Fair warning: It's modern! So like we have an epic fantasy setting, but their speech is very modern and Tilla literally says "woah that was badass" and stuff like that. But it was consistently modern, so it didn't feel jarring. This was just the style. AND I FRIKKIN' LOVED IT.D I S L I K E S• It was a smidge predictable. But, dude, I read like 200+ books a year so odds are I'm just an over-read little granny smith apple and this might not be a problem for a lot of people.• There is also a smidge of a love triangle. But it's not so much...because Tilla is crushing on Zell and he is being part of the Stonehedge and not letting her see he has emotions. BUT THEY AHVE A THING. YOU CAN SEE IT. Meanwhile Miles is in the background being a weed with a crush on Tilla. So it's like an unrequited triangle? Least to say I didn't find it annoying until the end where (view spoiler)[Miles entire motivation for betrayal was because Tilla friendzoned him. Erhgurhgqugh. (hide spoiler)]• And as much as I enjoyed the storyline, I'm just a little over THE TRAIL WE BLAZE storylines. Aka = walking. They have to escape and take the princess back to her people, and like...it did keep everything fast moving and interesting. But yet, also #overit. SO THIS IS ANOTHER THING THAT'S JUST ME and honestly might not bother a lot of people!ALL IN ALL: it was fun and exciting and stuffed with all the things I love to read about! I mean, Tilla literally shows up for a feast, despite hating all the dumb nobles, just because she's not missing out on a good feed. IS SHE NOT SUPER RELATABLE?? I don't generally connect to protagonists, but Tilla = badass conglomeration of awesome. And Jax is my darling sass bucket child. And I loved all the explosions, the stabbing, and the slightly heartbreaking backstories. <3 I definitely recommend this one! Especially if you want to read fantasy, but get scared off by the usual stiff style. This is bantery and easy to devour. And I said it was good so seriously why are you still here and not eating it yourself.** QUOTES **Note: Quotes are taken from eARC and not from the final copy so not to be taken/used without checking against final copy."Damn." Jax shook his head. "Not that I had much love for those guys, but it's a hell of a way to go. Makes you almost feel bad for them.""I don't," Zell said."Yeah, well, you basically don't have emotions between 'gotta kill' and 'yay, I killed,' so that's not really a surprise."He glanced at me, and I realised his words were a test, a little prick to see how sharply I'd react. I put on my most stoic face, which probably looked like I had to sneeze.Lyriana stirred in her tree, grumbling in a distinctly non-Princess-like manner. "I'd like another hour of sleep, please...""And I'd like to not get killed by Zell's psycho brother when he catches up to us." Jax clapped his hands loudly, startling Lyriana awake. "We ride. Now!"Why would I ever walk across the courtyard like a sucker when there was an awesome hidden tunnel I could sneak through?
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  • Lia Bonnibel (pidgey)
    January 1, 1970
    Here’s the thing.If I have to read another book with a stellar premise, that instead turns out to be your typical and average story, I’ll quit the reading scene faster than you can say “cliché”.No, okay, that was a bit exaggerated, but I'm sure you see my point and I hope you’re ready for the umpteenth rant-view, because that's what you're getting for this hook. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo.What makes Royal Bastards a 2-star book? I guess it’s only fair of me to start by the obviously hated parts. Here’s the thing.If I have to read another book with a stellar premise, that instead turns out to be your typical and average story, I’ll quit the reading scene faster than you can say “cliché”.No, okay, that was a bit exaggerated, but I'm sure you see my point and I hope you’re ready for the umpteenth rant-view, because that's what you're getting for this hook. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo.What makes Royal Bastards a 2-star book? I guess it’s only fair of me to start by the obviously hated parts.First of all, that blurb up there is quite misleading. If you dive into this book expecting it to be the new Six of Crows, brace yourself for disappointment and get ready to ask for your money back. The Royal Bastards are nothing like the Dregs. They're not cool, they're not linked to one another by the purest of frienships. They’re just a bunch of puppies with no skill and no will, who were tossed into a plot bigger than their brains for the sake of calling this a revolutionary book.The novel itself is pretty awesome-baiting. It actually starts with a bang, it assures you the presence of an amazing female lead character and it lures you in with the promise of unbelievable adventures. Hint: it lies. Royal Bastards is basically the One Direction Mania of books: highly anticipated, overly-hyped and built around a band of mediocre teenagers.I remember reading the first two pages and thinking “Yes! I see this going somewhere and I like it!”Tilla and Jax are presented in a way that makes you like them right from the start. You can’t help but sympathize with the poor bastard daughter of cold-hearted Lord Kent, and her sassy red-head step brother. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last long. As soon as the third member of this unfortunate group shows up, the story abruptly takes a U-turn in the wrong direction and becomes the bore that will be the entire book.For pages and pages, nothing really happens. I get that it’s kind of a preparatory thing, where all the characters get to meet and know each other before the real shit starts to happen, but The Yawn Fest is strong in this one.You can’t even say that it’s fast-paced. The story proceeds fast because there are so many holes in the plot that you can’t help but feel that something is irremediably missing. I still need to understand why many things happened, to be honest. To me, a huge number of facts and actions still remain unmotivated and totally resolvable with a serious talk.Go figure… Now that that’s out of the way, let me walk you to WTF Point #2: the writing.Holy Syntaxis, Batman. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Still can't, to be honest. It was so anticlimatic and out of place, that it made me want to throw the book out the window. Unfortunately, I read this as an ebook and that would have meant scoring a home run with my Kindle and we -me and my empty wallet- don’t want that. You seriously can’t write a book that’s supposed to take place in a medieval-like setting, and have your characters say things like “Holy shit!” – “You should get laid” - and (my personal favorite) “Man, we’re screwed!”.I honestly expected the characters to produce a Starbucks cup and a selfie stick from their leather bags, and immortalize the moment, all while posing with duckfaces or peace sign fingers. It all felt a tad bit too unrealistic, even for a fantasy book. I mean…the authenticy, people. The authenticy. The first-person narration is not my preference, but I could have worked past it if it helped developing the plot. It didn’t, so, yeah, look at me complaining a bit about that, too. Also, can we talk about hygiene for a moment, here? If you want to make it at least a bit less unbelievable and/or slightly more bearable, you can’t let 5 teenagers go around the woods for two weeks, without them taking a single bath. All the raging hormones, all that running and sweating. Christ, imagine the smell…Then we have the characters and here’s where the real fun begins. *rubs hands*First of all we have Tillandra, Tilla for friends. She’s the main character and narrating voice of the whole novel, who’s only purpose is to pretend to be a good girl when she’s actually nothing but a raging little thing, who needs to set her priorities straight, and who’s got a serious case of Outcast Heroine™ going on.It maddens me to the point of no return, because at first glance, I thought she’d be the kind of heroine I have a soft spot for: badass but girly, tough but also sweet. Jax, her brother, is neither meat nor fish, and his humor feels forced more than genuine (but I guess that depends on the author’s lack of skill), but he’s probably the only one I didn’t felt like murdering every two seconds. Miles has some potential hidden somewhere in between his know-it-all attitude and gentleness, but, yeah, he was clearly there only to (unreasonably) piss off Tilla (seriously, girl, have some Xanax for your nerves), and to serve as The Rival. Zell is a washed-up, immature and indefinite copy of every single broody male hero you’ll find in whatever random YA novel you’ll have the chance to read. I don’t understand him. One moment he’s sensitive, the other he’s all closed-up and ready to shove his sword up someone’s nose. Listen, I adore cocky characters, but there’s a thin line between cocky and plain rude, and Zell makes sure to step all over the line and make it his own bish. Talk about borderline broodiness. This guy has some serious daddy issues to work through. The only one I truly liked was Lyriana (yay for adorkable vegetarian, feminist and pro-peace POCs), but she was treated like a secondary character when she’s actually the coolest one and the one who’s honestly got more to give. I wish the author gave her more space instead of throwing her in a corner half asleep or injured, most of the time.The main romance is *drumroll* a love triangle.A pathetic excuse of a love triangle, actually.Let me find my surprised face. We have Miles, who’s obsessed with Tilla.We have Tilla, who’s obsessed with getting into Zell’s pants.And then we have Zell, who is obsessed with being…Zell. I think that should become an adjective: "Is everything okay?” “Yeah, I’m just feeling a bit Zell, today.”Jokes aside…This thing between Zell and Tilla. I don’t feel it. At all. I mean, Tilla's attraction for the impossibly good-looking Zitochi bastard was obvious right from when she landed her eyes on him the very first time, and even my dog could see how whipped she was, but Zell didn't really bother with her for a good half of the book and seemed mostly interested in improving his sulk, so this whole lovey dovey thing felt a bit improvised on his part.(view spoiler)[When Tilla got mad at Miles after learning their parents had arranged a wedding between them I was so ready to jump in the book and kick her in the shin. Why even get mad at Miles? It’s not his fault. Also, I get it that the idea of an arranged matrimony is hella awful, but you could have done worse. Girl, you have no idea how much of a piece of cake that is. Sansa Stark could tell you something about that. (hide spoiler)]Now. Why didn’t I give this book the lowest ratings, since I seem to have disliked it so much?The truth is that, there were a few things I didn’t mind within the rubbish. First and foremost the action scenes. I’m always in for some well-crafted, fast-paced action scenes, and Royal Bastards, at least in that department, doesn’t disappoint.Then we have the bad guys, who aren’t exactly bad guys in the traditional sense of the word, but that are equally as deadly and stabby. I like that.And last but not least, that flipping skarrling scene. That was pant-shitting and totally awesome. This book deserves a star only because of that scene alone!In short, I don’t exactly regret reading it, because things like “Damn.” Jax shook his head. “Not that I had much love for those guys, but it’s a hell of a way to go. Makes you almost feel bad for them.”“I don’t,” Zell said. “Yeah, well, you basically don’t have emotions between ‘gotta kill’ and ‘yay, I killed,’ so that’s not really a surprise.” got me at least to snicker a little, but I would have liked a warning, before I started.I wouldn’t have jumped into this expecting big things. I think I’ll ironically read the second book, because Royal Bastards is one of those books I sure as hell love to hate.Until then, I can’t say it was a pleasure.Ps. I'll never let the hype decide for me what books I should and should not read ever again!
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  • Maram
    January 1, 1970
    “I suppose honor can mean whatever we twist it to mean.”Before I begin, I just want to add that I don't easily give 1 star ratings to books. It's just that... very few things in my life annoys me to death and this book is no exception as it just got blacklisted, oops :)For those who have been following my updates on this book know that this story hooked me from the start. I even told my friends that it was getting me out of a reading slump that wedged itself onto me from the first week of June. “I suppose honor can mean whatever we twist it to mean.”Before I begin, I just want to add that I don't easily give 1 star ratings to books. It's just that... very few things in my life annoys me to death and this book is no exception as it just got blacklisted, oops :)For those who have been following my updates on this book know that this story hooked me from the start. I even told my friends that it was getting me out of a reading slump that wedged itself onto me from the first week of June. The synopsis alone could get you out of it... I just know it. We have bastards from different royal houses, a princess, and a bunch of asshole-ish parents that want to take down the mages, but are also against each other? So, these bastards: Tella, Jax, Zell and Miles and the princess (who wanted to know what it's like to be in a bastard's shoes) were unfortunate to witness something that they shouldn't have, can you guess what happens next? Yes, they got Framed. Interesting huh? I think so too. The first 70% of the book was basically characters getting to know each other, there were cliché moments here and there, some action, the writing was decent and most of all, it seemed like there were some leading areas that could have kept me on the look out for any twists and turns, which are all things that deserve a pat on the back. But boiiii did I get a twist at around 73% mark ... as I ended up being the victim of witnessing some child throwing tantrums like it's his purpose in this life. And, I kid you not when I say that I felt like the book that I initially read... disappeared out of thin air because what the fork was that?? “How in the frozen hell had Miles managed to come up with a novel-length backstory but hadn’t remembered that buying things costs money?”um because he dum dum, duh.The clichéd scenes from the beginning multiplied, it became all-talk, no-show as the characters were riding horses more than half of the time, characters may have been finding ish about each other but it was just like asking a complete stranger to play 20 questions with you. OH WAIT, that's exactly what happened... they played a round of truth and shots? and haha, it was.. just.. freakin... great :))) That's all the character development you get :)) and from there, it all went straight to Hell. The child, as I mentioned previously, saw something he should’ve seen coming from miles away but did he accept and let it go? NOOO, instead, he went looking for his mommy with his "destroy the world, i don’t care attitude.. i just want blah blah". “You’ll remember who you are. You’ll see. We’ll fix this. We’ll fix it all.”On the other hand, we have a couple that I was actually rooting for (to get together) because I could tell that there was some chemistry between them but of course that also ended up disappointing me ... their very first lovey dovey interaction aka The Pool Scene was flat and cringey as hell and completely unnecessary??? Lastly, the inevitable plot twist that's not even a plot twist and WAR and all that ish had me all:I felt betrayed and confused by how this book turned out and I apologize for being salty about it :) this is all purely subjective so for those who have already read and enjoyed it, kudos!“I’d spent my whole life torn between two worlds because of my birth, craving the comforts of one while living the reality of the other. Lyriana was torn, too, but she was torn by choice, throwing away one world because she felt a duty to the other.”---***WARNING: inside joke below, don't flip out***.....BReeding with this crew:yonkers jiasan cuteamy ditcher team raf ghostie
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  • Joshua Gabriel (조수아)
    January 1, 1970
    My written interview with the author can be found here.I buddy read this book with the charming bookish king, Solomon, and the empowered fangirls, Cait and Ambs.LO AND BEHOLD, THE VERY FIRST BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY.Exactly 18 hours ago, my heart broke. Please send help because I haven't gotten over that painful yet beautiful plot twist. I really did not expect to be emotionally invested in this book. I'll do my best to convey my thoughts without sulking, bursting into tears or giving any spoilers. My written interview with the author can be found here.I buddy read this book with the charming bookish king, Solomon, and the empowered fangirls, Cait and Ambs.LO AND BEHOLD, THE VERY FIRST BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY.Exactly 18 hours ago, my heart broke. Please send help because I haven't gotten over that painful yet beautiful plot twist. I really did not expect to be emotionally invested in this book. I'll do my best to convey my thoughts without sulking, bursting into tears or giving any spoilers. :pRoyal Bastards follows five teenagers who are caught in the middle of a civil war. Tilla, Jax, Miles, and Zell are bastards, while Lyriana is the daughter of the ruling King. Falsely accused for the murder of the King's brother, the group goes on a breathtaking journey full of action, adventure, and even romance. This book is marketed as a mashup of Game of Thrones and Six of Crows. I haven't read both series, but you might want to check out Royal Bastards in light of that blurb alone.I loved this book because I found it to be simultaneously plot-driven and character-driven. It featured an intriguing and relatable cast of protagonists who were shoved into such thrilling situations. I lost count of the times they nearly lost their lives! The perfect pacing of the plot more than compensated for the inadequate world building.Among the protagonists, Tilla and Jax were my absolute favorites. They were half siblings who belonged to different walks of life, but they were as close as heck. I was particularly fond of this aspect of the story since I myself am close to my siblings. In fact, I liked it even more than the romantic relationship between two certain characters. ;) Literary romance is quite overrated for me at this point, so I would rather be entertained by brotherly or platonic love. Lyriana was my other favorite. She seemed to be a typical dim-witted princess at the beginning of the book, and I was very pleased when she proved me wrong. I specifically admired her insightful thoughts on chastity, which is a rare character trait in YA. I should've remembered that readers should never judge characters by their socio-economic status. xDThe antagonists (I refuse to disclose their names) were fascinating in their own twisted way. Their reasons for anarchy were actually legitimate. Honestly, I sympathized with their desire to free their province from the clutches of the Kingdom. However, the things they did to achieve their goal were unquestionably unethical.Many fantasy novels nowadays have been criticized for their lack of diversity. If you're one of those haters of such "politically incorrect" literature, you'll probably find Royal Bastards as a breath of fresh air. Zell and Princess Lyriana are people of color, and one of the male side characters is said to "prefer the company of men". xDI cannot finish my review without shining a light on the book's unforgettable plot twists. One of them made me cry, as you already know. I've read many emotional books that made me teary-eyed, but Royal Bastards was the first one that actually made the tears flow. My throat was so heavy last night when I tried to bottle up my emotions in front of my brother, who understandably laughed at me. Looking back, I had a hunch that something bad would happen. Still, I didn't assume that it would be that evocative. GAH! I AM SO TEMPTED TO SPOIL EVERYONE JUST SO I CAN SHARE THE PAIN!In the end, it must be clear that I genuinely enjoyed Royal Bastards. I'm not sure when I'll finally get over it. Probably not for a week or two. The beauty of this book nearly gave me a reading slump, so please tread carefully. To the author, Andrew Shvarts, thank you for creating such an outstanding debut novel. :DP.S. I managed to schedule a written interview with Andrew, so stay tuned! :)
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly??? Believe them when they say this starts off really good but then is absolute shit. I mean it wasn't absolute shit (I may have exaggerated) but honestly the romance and insta love ruined it. So like, this book was basically going to class to find a substitute teacher who gives you a pop quiz you didn't study for and you fuck up on it big time. Everything goes so so well until that one thing that ruins pretty much the entire everything. In this case, it’s the shitty romance or insta lov Honestly??? Believe them when they say this starts off really good but then is absolute shit. I mean it wasn't absolute shit (I may have exaggerated) but honestly the romance and insta love ruined it. So like, this book was basically going to class to find a substitute teacher who gives you a pop quiz you didn't study for and you fuck up on it big time. Everything goes so so well until that one thing that ruins pretty much the entire everything. In this case, it’s the shitty romance or insta loveee. Really though it wasn’t a bad book. The majority of it was really entertaining and hilarious, but that last 20ish% was cringeworthy. This book is pretty much what the blurb says and the blurb says a lot. Like @whoever wrote the synopsis, are you trying to write an essay about this book or something??? But anyways, there’s these outcasted kids called bastards who are treated like they have the plague, but their lives are suddenly changed when a princess of some land decides to sit with them and go on some adventurous night, where they see a murder happen against royalty and they’re pretty much caught up in a war which only they can prevent. I actually liked Tilla’s character. She’s a strong, independent gal who’s all up for girl power !!! Yes!! I pretty much liked all the character’s except for Zell. Now pREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE WRATH OF A HARDCORE ZUKO FANGIRL OK? (Spoilers ahead though???)This guy is a fucking wannabe Zuko. I’m like, screaming. ●He’s a ruthless killer and him and his clan is feared by everyone.●Has an abusive, psycho piece of shit sibling who needs help and is favored more by the parents and is seen perfect by everyone●Challenged to a duel and showed mercy●Lost his fUCKING HONOR●Joins the enemy (but they're actually the good guys)●Becomes good and amazing and awww fuck off. AKSSKDFHJDKFRSDFD fuck off Zell, you piece of shit. And I didn't like him lmao soz.The romance is just a pile of fucking cringe. Zell and Tilla need to spend some more time together before blurting out “I LOVE YOU” and fucking in the pool while their lives are in danger. Same for Jax and the princess except they don't fuck. Also, I need to sue the author for writing sequels because WTF WASN’T THIS GOING TO BE A STANDALONE??? Jk, I’m not really suing, just pissed because I don't remember a sequel coming out??? Anyways I'm probably not going to continue this series so idek why I'm stressing it??? Lol.Also, I'm really not satisfied with that ending. -.----I thought this was going to be a standalone??? Anyways this sounds super awesome and if it's not super awesome I'm going to dig a grave for myself!!
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  • amy
    January 1, 1970
    i have 84 regrets and this book is at least 23 of themactual rating: 1.5 Stars (not quite level the love interest but it was dangerously close)it's been two days since i finished this so i already suppressed most of the awfulness that was this book, but i'm gonna try and put my thoughts into coherent sentences for you and convey my :) feelings :) in a :) civilised :) way so i can move on and pretend me reading this book is something that only happened in an unpleasant feverish dream • buddy read i have 84 regrets and this book is at least 23 of themactual rating: 1.5 Stars (not quite level the love interest but it was dangerously close)it's been two days since i finished this so i already suppressed most of the awfulness that was this book, but i'm gonna try and put my thoughts into coherent sentences for you and convey my :) feelings :) in a :) civilised :) way so i can move on and pretend me reading this book is something that only happened in an unpleasant feverish dream • buddy read with my fridges: sharky, jiu, chai latte, street rat, cutemaram, emma Plot:i want you to know that it's my favorite trope of all time when a band of misfits somehow get together and have a mission (*side-eyes Six of Crows*), but a great premise isn't enough when the execution sucks.the book started out pretty well actually, i remember thinking that this could be an easy, fun, unique read, except that in hindsight everything was clichéd to death and there was nothing original about the plot......at all. this is NOT the quality content i signed up for (and i want my money back)then the 70% mark happened, and everything pretty much went to shit. the plot twist is by far the worst twist i've ever seen (at this point i'M like PLEASE SOMEONE STAB ME end this suffering) and the last few chapters were pure torture to get through, because what even the fuckfull offense but this was literally so fucking predictable and poorly executed, i don't even know how to put my Disgust into words anymore Characters: • Tillai mean......... she's................... ordinary??? just your normal ya protagonist ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ • Milesmy feelings towards miles are the embodiment of gordon ramsay screaming @ adultsi'm just saying if he was thrown into a pit of burning lava i would not bat an eye• Zelli did care about him for .3 seconds but he eventually started to bore me too :)• JaxwELL, (view spoiler)[jax deserved better and we all know it. i feel like shvarts just killed him off so the book would become more edgy and game of thrones-y, but nah mate. that was unnecessary as shit and i'm salty (hide spoiler)]• Princess what's-her-face?i'm too lazy to even go look uP HER NAME and i feel like that alone describes my feelings towards her perfectly The Romance: yIKESit was legit my most hated thing ever, you know that thing that writers do when a person falls in love with another person and they're like oh!! what is that spark??? that feeling???? is that...... lOVE???? oh NO!!1!shut the fuck up, leave me alone, i don't care about your bullshit cliché ya romance, yuck. ALL IN ALL: • there was too much drama (and NOT THE ENTERTAINING SORT)• was this written for 12-year-olds??? i'm confused• i'd rather study mathematics than read this again• this book was try-harding ad nauseam• game of thrones steals royal bastards' lunch money, probably• hashtag bLACKLIST ROYAL BASTARDS i never want to see this book ever again i'm blocking everyone that decides to read thisi rest my case.
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  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    This book promised me a lot of thing; treachery, betrayal, action, no-disappointment, and a hell of a squad. But guess what happened? :)Honestly, So this train wreck started off alright. We got some siblingship going on. Nice. We got some average writing. Fine. We got some rebellion. Cool. And then Zell appears and I’m like MY BABY.So far so good,ThenReality RollsOverMeWithATruckBasically it just turned into a hell of a lot of. . .- telling not showing- the characters are as flat as my math scor This book promised me a lot of thing; treachery, betrayal, action, no-disappointment, and a hell of a squad. But guess what happened? :)Honestly, So this train wreck started off alright. We got some siblingship going on. Nice. We got some average writing. Fine. We got some rebellion. Cool. And then Zell appears and I’m like MY BABY.So far so good,ThenReality RollsOverMeWithATruckBasically it just turned into a hell of a lot of. . .- telling not showing- the characters are as flat as my math scores- the PLOT is so UNDERDEVELOPED- the kids have such convenient talents- revealed in SUCH convenient times - Ft. the world’s biggest temper tantrum- Daddy issues- What !! a !! coincidence !!- Life hack: poetry saves lives and can be used in place of $$- Ft. premature declarations of love- tRaGiC BaCk sToRY- Life Hack #2: don’t have sex in a public pool, it leads to wars So to conclude. Lots of potential. Lots of ambition. All we got was a little kid throwing a tantrum and lots of I LOVE YOUS being thrown around. 1 star!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~` Buddy read with my gfs, the stranger & alcaloïdes & peppa pig & maraamati & emily & emma
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    "Yeah, well, you basically don't have emotions between 'gotta kill' and 'yay, I killed,' so that's not really a surprise." ALL OF MY LOVE, YOU GUYS. I would give this book 10/5 stars if I could, I swear. I honestly went into the book without a clue of what I should expect, and while I was optimistic, my hopes weren't that high. This book literally shattered every single expectation I held. The writing style is easy and fun, without being childish. The characters share a witty banter that never g "Yeah, well, you basically don't have emotions between 'gotta kill' and 'yay, I killed,' so that's not really a surprise." ALL OF MY LOVE, YOU GUYS. I would give this book 10/5 stars if I could, I swear. I honestly went into the book without a clue of what I should expect, and while I was optimistic, my hopes weren't that high. This book literally shattered every single expectation I held. The writing style is easy and fun, without being childish. The characters share a witty banter that never gets old, and helps to lighten the heavier moments whenever necessary. Each character is complex and three-dimensional, with surprises, likes and dislikes, emotions and feelings - nobody in this book felt like a "prop", which is an unfortunately common occurrence with books involving this many front-and-center characters, from my experience.CHARACTERS ➳➳Tilla? Total feminist badass. She wants to drink with the guys, but she wants to be recognized as her father's heir. She craves his respect, yet is infuriated by his refusal to legitimize her. She wants to wear fun dresses and live it up in a castle, but she asks to be taught how to fight, and craves the aches and pains that come after every training session with Zell. She keeps her mind open to the possibilities and doesn't let herself become jaded, though she's also careful to keep her wits about her. I seriously lived for this MC, as well as her half-brother, Jax. Jax is witty and hilarious, and so precious and sweet, and their sibling bonding moments completely melted me. I love a good family dynamic, and these two have the best sibling relationship I have seen in a book in years.While Lyriana is a general pain in the ass for a great deal of the book, she's never unbearable, and I appreciate the fact that she redeemed herself by the end. Zell is your fairly predictable stoic murder-y guy with a gooey, soft heart of gold underneath, but that didn't stop me from rooting for him the entire way. Miles alternates between being an annoying little shit and being fairly badass, though he was definitely my least favorite character, especially for the way he acted from the beginning like he was owed something by Tilla. Speaking of which, this book legitimately stormed into the whole dudes-whining-about-friend-zoning debacle and just blew that shit to pieces and I cheered through every minute of it.WORLD ➳➳Now, as far as the setting goes: if you like Game of Thrones, I would especially recommend this book to you, because I got hardcore ASOIAF vibes from the politics and world-building of this book - on a much smaller, YA-friendly scale, granted. I don't mean that as a bad thing at all; I love a book with a good royalty/nobility/political setup, and this one didn't fail to deliver. I also need to tell you that, despite the fact that this book is definitely one of those "characters running from danger" books from practically start to finish, it never feels repetitive or tiring. Every time it risks becoming stale, there's another twist, action scene, or hilarious conversation to perk things right back up.FINAL VERDICT ➳➳I don't think I can say much more without throwing out some spoilers, but I'll end this review on this note: this book is definitely in my top 5 of 2017 list so far, and I am absolutely ecstatic that there are going to be more books in the series. This is, by far, the best ARC that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing since I started blogging, and my next book order is going to involve a completed copy, because I could easily see myself rereading this book in the future, and Andrew Shvarts deserves all the royalties for creating such a delightful little world. I can't wait for the next installment.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure, fantasy, a little magic, a little romance, a lot of laughter and friendship, and a damn good time.Huge thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the ARC! All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.You can find this review on my blog here!
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    If you want a book with lies, deception, blood, gore... throw in plenty of humour this is the one for you!Just going to throw this out there, this was my first ever audiobook, and the narrator was AMAZING!Also thanks Fathima for telling me about it. :)What an absolute rollercoaster of a ride this book was, I mean seriously. The story starts off really light and you see all of the characters in quite a light hearted situation at the "bastard table". From there the story continues and I won't divu If you want a book with lies, deception, blood, gore... throw in plenty of humour this is the one for you!Just going to throw this out there, this was my first ever audiobook, and the narrator was AMAZING!Also thanks Fathima for telling me about it. :)What an absolute rollercoaster of a ride this book was, I mean seriously. The story starts off really light and you see all of the characters in quite a light hearted situation at the "bastard table". From there the story continues and I won't divulge too much. There were some really dark moments in this but the humour was without doubt 1000000000% amazing! Not only that but you got a sense of the story and the world building, I can't explain how descriptive this was, it was honestly just so gripping.The story is told in Tillas' point of view and we follow her journey with Jax, Miles , Lyriana and Zell. To say there's so many characters each bring something different to the story. We see Tilla desperate to please her father and is wanting her father acceptance, throughout we see how she grows as a character and how she breaks standards and starts to come into her own more and more, choosing to do what is right. Jax is Tillas' stepbrother, he's brave and knows how much he is loved, Miles reaaaaaaaaally came out of his shell lets just say that. Lets just say how this how lovely is Lyriana? Finally we have Zell I may have a little bit of a soft spot for him, his back story is heart breaking!What I liked?- As previously mentioned this book is ridiculously descriptive, as I was listening to this I could visualise everything.- The humour is ON POINT- So, there's a sense of realism as to how characters act in certain situations, for example how Tilla feels in relation to being the Bastard and how differently she's treated compared to the others.- How we got to know all of the characters!- Night Glass- Lysandra is the definition of power!- When Till hit Marcos with a pan and was expecting the WOMP WOMP noise, I was howling!- ALL OF THE BACK STORIES!What didn't I like?- Too much walking!This is definitely a book I'd recommend! PLZ BE MORE.
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    This was fun at times but mostly seemed like a ton of other YA fantasy books. The main character had a really modern tone, which actually made me laugh out loud in parts. I don't really know what to say about this that isn't a spoiler, though... the story mostly sets up the main characters and then flips everything at 20% so they're all on the run for most of the book. There's magic, castles, assassinations, plots, politics, and a kingdom with a complex history... so basically, a typical fantasy This was fun at times but mostly seemed like a ton of other YA fantasy books. The main character had a really modern tone, which actually made me laugh out loud in parts. I don't really know what to say about this that isn't a spoiler, though... the story mostly sets up the main characters and then flips everything at 20% so they're all on the run for most of the book. There's magic, castles, assassinations, plots, politics, and a kingdom with a complex history... so basically, a typical fantasy world that works. The story definitely felt more like a middle grade novel than YA at times. But the writing is fine. The characters are fun. The worldbuilding is decent. So I don't really have anything against it, but also wasn't terribly into it.Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • Geek Furioso
    January 1, 1970
    LIIIIIIIIBREEEEEEEEHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHALO TERMINE LO TERMINE LO TERMINE LO TERMINESOY LIBRE MALDITOSLIBREVOY A DESTRUIR ESTE MALDITO LIBRO
  • Fables&Wren
    January 1, 1970
    WrensReads Review:I went into this book thinking that with all the hype, I was probably going to be let down. Not a lot of my book friends were reading it, but being attracted to the title/the idea of it, the narrator and the fact that I like the idea of all these bastards of lords and ladies making trouble, I decided to give it a try. Maybe, just maybe, I would like it.Maybe, just maybe, I absolutely loved it.Let me introduce to you, the bastards:Tilla: our main girl. Has a strong personality, WrensReads Review:I went into this book thinking that with all the hype, I was probably going to be let down. Not a lot of my book friends were reading it, but being attracted to the title/the idea of it, the narrator and the fact that I like the idea of all these bastards of lords and ladies making trouble, I decided to give it a try. Maybe, just maybe, I would like it.Maybe, just maybe, I absolutely loved it.Let me introduce to you, the bastards:Tilla: our main girl. Has a strong personality, knows what she wants, and is good in a crisis. And she is the bastard of a Lord. Jax: Tilla’s bastard brother through the same mother. Not really sure about his leniage, but he is pretty content with being a stable hand and hanging out with his sister.Miles: The only-born-yet-still-bastard to a powerful Lady. He is kind of nerdy and doesn’t realize that he is actually really awkward.Zell: A true-born turned bastard who is from a completely and utterly different culture and the narrator does a great accent for him and I loved it and can I please keep?Lyriana: ..waaaaait a minute, Lyriana is the princess of all the lands and is really naive about real life things because, well, she was born in a castle and didn’t really have that many things to want.So why is she on this list? Because she sees a terrible crime that leads her to be on the run with the low-lives of the south: The Bastards. Now they are all wanted dead or alive.Now, I will admit, that some of this is predictable; but, I think some of it is suppose to because there is this twist at the end that kind of makes your eyes pop out of your head and your jaw drop and your vocal cords go “WHAT NO WHAT NO NO NO NO NO”. The characters are actually lovable and relatable. They each have their own personalities and react differently to things and you can tell that each character is their own. Everything is told from Tilla’s point of view, so it is a little bias, but you can tell a lot of thought went into these characters.I was pleasantly surprised by this book and I am literally DYING for the next.*preorders*WrensReads | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram---*sobs uncontrollably* RTC
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    dnf @ 30%. (I’ve decided not to rate this but I feel like if I had bothered to keep going it would probably fall somewhere between 1.5 and 2 stars.)oops……oh no……looks like I’m not gonna finish this………so sad…………….…jk jk I am not even remotely close to giving a shit about any of this, I am out.actual representation of my thoughts while reading this book: \_(ツ)_/The plot and worldbuilding felt like very standard, cookie cutter (read as: basic, cliched, and boring as hell) ya fantasy, and it read li dnf @ 30%. (I’ve decided not to rate this but I feel like if I had bothered to keep going it would probably fall somewhere between 1.5 and 2 stars.)oops……oh no……looks like I’m not gonna finish this………so sad…………….…jk jk I am not even remotely close to giving a shit about any of this, I am out.actual representation of my thoughts while reading this book: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯The plot and worldbuilding felt like very standard, cookie cutter (read as: basic, cliched, and boring as hell) ya fantasy, and it read like bad fanfiction. this is a medieval fantasy story, and while I get that the author was trying to do something different here by writing with a more modern voice, I couldn’t stand it. 3/5 of the main characters were obnoxious af, and 100% of them felt like caricatures of trashy reality tv characters.anyway, shoutout to em and may for giving me a 1000/10 play-by-play of everything that went down after I lost interest, it was more entertaining than anything I read in this book ❤️---------------------------ok my fav royal bastard will forever be jon snow but hopefully these characters are cool tooBR with my new fridges: jia, em, pragya, maram, amy, and may
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Royal Bastards aka a royal waste of time...For those looking to read a kick-ass fantasy, adventure book, I implore you to look elsewhere! Because this book was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it was an utter letdown. Issues with this:1. Rehash of typical YA fantasy elements with little to no added fun 2. Insta-love that the main character will not/does not acknowledge as instalove, but is most definitely on the instalove spectrum 3. Odd narration elements, like sometimes the na Royal Bastards aka a royal waste of time...For those looking to read a kick-ass fantasy, adventure book, I implore you to look elsewhere! Because this book was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it was an utter letdown. Issues with this:1. Rehash of typical YA fantasy elements with little to no added fun 2. Insta-love that the main character will not/does not acknowledge as instalove, but is most definitely on the instalove spectrum 3. Odd narration elements, like sometimes the narrator's comments sometimes made me feel like I was reading a contemporary novel instead of fantasy. But maybe that's just me? 4. The plot drags a lot in the middle. Then toward the end, it seems like every single typical YA twist gets thrown in. Characters: Tilla, our unjustly, overly confident heroine I wasn't scared. Maybe I should have been, but I wasn't. Sure these were trained killers and they outnumbered us twelve to four. But I had Zell's training. I had Galen and Lyriana at my back. And I really, really wanted to hurt someone. Like are you fucking serious? Honestly, it might be a bit more believable if she had any prior training. But no, I am supposed to believe a girl who just been taught how to fight, for about a month, is able to overcome highly-trained soldiers? Nope, not buying it. Zell, a mild Matthias rip-off, who is there to be the muscle of the group and an obvious love-interest for Tilla Miles, standard nerd-friend in love, or maybe more correctly obsessed, with the heroine. Jax, Tilla's more worldly, snarky, wise-cracking half-brother. Honestly, he was probably my favorite character. Probably because he was the one who always voiced what we were all thinking. Lyriana, special snowflake princess I mean yes she was nice, but I just never connected with her. And therefore, I did not care at all if she survived. *More detailed review to Come*
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Good LORD did I love this. I'm totally a fan of Chosen Girl Fantasy and all, but this was a really nice break, more in the "friend group" vein of Finnikin, which I adore. The at-times anachronistic language totally worked to crack me up, and I really loved the gender balance of roles here - in the heroes, villains, and bastards. Adventure, romance, high stakes, a great premise, and a delightful and varied cast all combine to ensure this is gonna be one of my favorite Fantasy YAs of the year.
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  • Jiana
    January 1, 1970
    Huge buddy read with: Wife & Oragy & Marmesan & Half Amy & Person & EmmaWell... I'm the only one in this BR who didn't hate and roast the hell out of this book. Having said that, obviously, I don't think the book was bad. Yes, it wasn't great, but it was enjoyable to some extent! It feel like I was reading a whole bunch of different YA books merged into one, but I wasn't completely bothered by it.The book started off great. A group of royal bastards on the run? Deception? Bet Huge buddy read with: Wife & Oragy & Marmesan & Half Amy & Person & EmmaWell... I'm the only one in this BR who didn't hate and roast the hell out of this book. Having said that, obviously, I don't think the book was bad. Yes, it wasn't great, but it was enjoyable to some extent! It feel like I was reading a whole bunch of different YA books merged into one, but I wasn't completely bothered by it.The book started off great. A group of royal bastards on the run? Deception? Betrayal? Action? What's not cool about that? And that's how the book started off. It had so much potential. I instantly liked Zell, Jax, Tilla and Lyriana. Then... the plot started going downhill and I don't really know what went wrong exactly. The plot, while being enjoyable to some extent, was boring around a few parts and the characters grew boring. I ended up disliking Tilla and Lyriana and not caring about Jax and Zell, despite falling in love with Zell the minute he showed up in the book. I don't know what happened! Why the sudden change???? Oh well. The book is full of cliches. Did I care though? No. Did I care that the book is predictable? Also no. When you read too many YA books, books are bound to be predictable at some point. I admit I was pissed at some parts of the books, mainly two parts, but they're spoilers so I won't go into that. The writing was fairly good and gripping for a debut novel. My favorite thing about the book was the world building. I liked the politics, the history, the cultures in it and I think it was very well worked on! So, as per my rating system, this book is an average book, hence the 3 stars. I heard this book is a trilogy now? Makes sense because the ending is an open one. I might read the next books because I feel like they'll get better!
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    Meh. I didn't hate it, didn't love. I had high expectations but I think, in the end, I just wasn't invested enough (once I started reading).***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***Royal Bastards by Andrew ShvartsBook One of the Royal Bastards trilogyPublisher: Disney-HyperionPublication Date: May 30, 2017Rating: 3 starsSource: ARC sent by the publisherSummary (from Goodreads):Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but Meh. I didn't hate it, didn't love. I had high expectations but I think, in the end, I just wasn't invested enough (once I started reading).***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***Royal Bastards by Andrew ShvartsBook One of the Royal Bastards trilogyPublisher: Disney-HyperionPublication Date: May 30, 2017Rating: 3 starsSource: ARC sent by the publisherSummary (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 . . .What I Liked:I hate writing three-star reviews! In this book's case, I didn't hate it or love it - I just didn't care enough. This wasn't anything special or original and I wasn't invested enough to take a stand, whether positive or negative. The book has some strengths and weaknesses, but overall it wasn't something that stood out or wowed me. A short synopsis: Tilla is a bastard, her father's oldest child. She and her half-brother Jax have lived the lives of bastard children for years - forgotten, raised apart from their "family", and treated differently. Everything changes when Princess Lyriana and her uncle, the Royal Archmagus, comes to visit the West Province (over which Tilla's father exerts power). Tilla, Jax, Lyriana, a bastard named Miles, and a Zitochi bastard named Zell are forced to flee when they witness Tilla's father and Miles's mother killing the Royal Archmagus and plotting to kill the Princess too. With a price on their heads and a war to stop, the bastards run for their lives. Being a bastard might have been what saved all of their lives, and they'll need to use this to their advantage against their own families.The good things - for one, I finished the book, and it wasn't a difficult task to do. It's a fairly engaging read, though there are plenty of times when the paragraphs dragged on. I effectively skimmed and flipped pages until I reached dialogue. Anyway, the book wasn't too boring, which is a big plus. For the most part, I liked the cast of characters. This book is written in Tilla's first-person POV, but there are five protagonists: Tilla, Lyriana, Miles, Jax, and Zell. Tilla and Jax are half-siblings (they have the same mother). Tilla's father is a lord of House Kent. Jax's father is a royal soldier. Miles's mother is a lady of House Hampstedt. Zell is the second son of the Zitochi Chief of Clans. Lyriana is the Princess of Lightspire who rules them all (except the Zitochi, sort of). These five are very different, and for the most part, likable. I loved and was intrigued by Zell, and I thought Jax was hilarious. But the other three (especially Miles), meh. I didn't really care for them. Tilla was okay, Lyriana was bland, Miles was irritating. I liked Zell a lot because he is a cold warrior who is very intelligent and ruthless too. He is capable and clever, but also selfless. My type of guy!The friendship and camaraderie of the group is a great aspect that needed a little work but for the most part, was good. I felt that camaraderie between Tilla, Lyriana, Jax, and Zell. Miles stuck out like a sore thumb.The book is slow initially, but things pick up as the group of teens journey on to Lightspire, where they hope to find safety. First they will try to find a Lord Galen Reza, who should shelter them. The majority of the novel is this journey, and it isn't too bad, though it's not terribly action-packed either (not until the end).The romance is okay - there are two sets of romances. Tilla and Zell have a thing going on, and things get heated between them. I approve. Jax and Lyriana have a very subtle thing going on, though nothing physical happens between them (though they fall for each other). Tilla and Zell's romance moves very slowly and then very quickly ("I love you" was thrown okay... which seemed quick to me). I liked Tilla and Zell together. The ending was good, no cliffhanger, nothing painful. I hate cliffhangers, so I'm fine with that.What I Did Not Like:Ehhhhhhhh. That's the feeling that I'm left with, after finishing this book. It isn't a bad book! But it's not great either. Not really stuck out to me to make it "amazing" or "sensational". Some of the things that stuck out to me as annoying - the writing style/Tilla's voice. Wow, talk about juvenile. The way the dialogue is written... some of the phrases seemed so out of place - and outdated in a modern sense. Which is ridiculous, because this is a FANTASY novel that shouldn't have any "modern" phrases in it, outdated or not. For example: hooking up? Old fogeys? Rooting for you? Take it to the next level? Gosh there were more - I cringed every time I read those phrases. They seemed so out of place and entirely unnecessary. The only person that talked like I would expect from a high fantasy novel was Zell. Tilla's voice was so conversational in a mundane way. I understand that this is her narrative, but the way she brings the story across is weirdly conversational and it just didn't work for me. Ugh, Miles. I read some reviews that mentioned a love triangle and as soon as I "met" Miles, in the first few chapters, I knew exactly where this love triangle was going. It's not a true love triangle because Tilla doesn't care for or want Miles at all - she doesn't even really see him as a friend - but Miles is totally obsessed with Tilla. Miles is a pesky fly that I wanted to smash, right from the beginning, and not because he came across as weirdly obsessed with Tilla. He's just... irritating? There was always something about him that made me want to punch him. So there is and yet isn't a love triangle. I can tell you that the love triangle is taking care of effectively, in the end (not that we had anything to worry about, with how close Zell and Tilla had gotten). Hopefully no new "legs" of the triangle pop up, like Lyriana's cousin. Settle down, YA authors, not everyone has to be in love with the heroine (that's stupid and unrealistic). More ugh about Miles is his behavior. He is almost possessive of Tilla (you'll see why), and he does this thing out of spite because she friend-zoned him (*cringe*). Can we not perpetrate the idea of men's fragile egos and how terribly they handle rejection (some of them)? I get that it was used as a plot point in the book, but it's ridiculous. My face must have looked like this when I read that scene: -_-Overall this book wasn't boring but there were plenty of rambling paragraphs that I skipped altogether and apparently didn't need to read them. So much info-dumping and storytelling - no thank you! When a paragraph started to feel like a run-on sentence, I was out. Look, guys. I'm an educated young woman in her twenties and I've read boring classics in the very recent past, so it's not my intelligence at fault here. Try not to info-dump so much, authors. It's taxing on readers.I'll stop there. General feeling? Meh. Would I Recommend It:I don't really recommend this book because it's so meh and uninspiring. It didn't really impress me - ME, a fantasy addict. I expected to be wowed and swept off my feet, with the amount of promo and attention this book was getting. Since this series is a trilogy, and this author is a debut author who clearly likes to throw in as many cliche YA tropes as possible, I may wait until the series ends to possibly binge-read books two and three. Or skip them altogether. My expectations are low.Rating:3 stars. 2.5 stars? I'm not feeling negatively towards the book but I'm not feeling positively towards it either. I can't even say I feel disappointed, though I probably should, given how excited I was about the book and how much I really don't care about it after reading it. Meh. I tried!
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    I was hesitant on this book because of some of the negative reviews but that does not usually stop me from reading a book and I am sure glad it doesn't because this book was actually really interesting! It had some very humorous parts and a good deal of adventure. Overall, if you are hesitant on reading this because of some of the reviews, I recommend giving it a shot. I laughed a lot during this book and was found it very entertaining.
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/04/...This book was a ridiculously entertaining read, putting me in mind of Marvel’s Runaways set in a fantasy world that is rife with Game of Thrones vibes. Characters tragic and comic, heroic and despicable all live within these pages, including beautiful princesses, warring kings, powerful mages, and of course, royal bastards.As the daughter of Lord Kent of the Western Province and a Castle Waverly servant, sixteen-year-old T 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/04/...This book was a ridiculously entertaining read, putting me in mind of Marvel’s Runaways set in a fantasy world that is rife with Game of Thrones vibes. Characters tragic and comic, heroic and despicable all live within these pages, including beautiful princesses, warring kings, powerful mages, and of course, royal bastards.As the daughter of Lord Kent of the Western Province and a Castle Waverly servant, sixteen-year-old Tillandra has always lived in a world of in-betweens. While common born and not his legitimate heir, Tilla was nonetheless loved by her father, who filled her childhood days with rides over the fields or to the forest, teaching and showing her amazing things. But ever since Lord Kent got married in a political alliance, that all changed. Once his new wife gave him trueborn children, his time spent with Tilla gradually dwindled to the point where he now barely gives her any attention at all. Tilla instead spends her day with her half-brother Jax, hanging out at the stables and drinking with the servants, though in her heart she still secretly dreams of the day her father will notice her again and perhaps even legitimize her as a trueborn Kent.When the book opens, everything at the castle is abuzz with activity as preparations are made for the feast in honor of the visiting princess of Noveris from the ruling Volaris Dynasty. Although Tilla is invited to attend, her place in the great hall is with the castle’s other outcasts which includes Miles, an illegitimate son of House Hampstedt, as well as Zell, a Zitochi from the north who has been disowned by his warchief father. When Princess Lyriana makes her appearance though, she is nothing like any of them imagined. First, she shocks everyone by choosing to sit with Tilla and the others at the “Bastards’ Table”, and before long, she has convinced them to sneak her out of the castle after the feast to show her Castle Waverly’s beaches. However, what might have started out as an innocent late night excursion quickly turns into a nightmare as Tilla, Jax, Miles, Zell and Lyriana stumble upon a scene they were never meant to witness. Now their own parents have put a price on their heads, and the group is forced to go on the run to protect the princess and deliver back to her people. If they succeed, they’ll be able to clear their names, expose a vast conspiracy, and stop a war. But if they fail, it could spell the end of more than just their lives.Royal Bastards was an interesting book—uncomplicated to be sure, and also unabashedly trope-filled. The writing style also has a simplistic tone and uses modern language, which initially made me think this might be a Middle Grade novel, until the swearing, violence, and sexual innuendoes quickly disabused me of that notion. For all that though, I found the author’s straightforward approach refreshing. What you see is what you get, with little attempt to be subversive or break the mold. I got the sense that Shvarts was just trying to tell a fun story about characters that he genuinely cared about, and in turn I was captivated by this book’s carefree aura, willing to be swept into whatever adventure awaits.I’m happy to report the results were pleasantly and surprisingly positive. Sure, the characters are all textbook YA—the plucky heroine who yearns for parental approval, the broody warrior who’s always surly because “no one understands me!”, or the nerdy bookwork whom everyone dismisses until his knowledge saves all their lives, etc., etc., etc.—but happily, their individual charms more than make up for that. Despite the clichés, every single one of the Bastards had wormed their way into my heart, and by the end of the book I found myself invested in the outcome of their fates. Every triumph filled me with celebratory cheer while every loss and betrayal made me fume and rage inside. I very much cared about what happened to these characters, which made this one an easy read. Together with the fast pace of the plot, I just flew through this book.I probably enjoyed Royal Bastards more than I should have. But books like this prove you don’t have to reinvent the genre to be successful; sometimes familiar ideas work just fine when you combine them with a story that’s fun to its very core (though you should still brace yourself for some eventual tensions and heartbreak) and characters who have great chemistry and infectious personalities. There are several major twists, a couple of which I coming a mile away, but that didn’t stop me from having a blast. If all this sounds good to you, I highly recommend giving this book a try. Personally, I can’t wait for the next installment in this planned trilogy.
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  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    If you’d like to know how much of a disgrace I am, I was meant to read this book 4-5 months ago as a buddy read and I just started and finished it now. Well shit guys this book was great. I had very low expectations going into it and yet I was absolutely blown away by how much I enjoyed it. I feel like this was such a strong opening to what’s going to be a great trilogy. I am shook to the max
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  • lucie
    January 1, 1970
    I pretended to be your friend so I could betray you," he said. "And I didn't do it for my people or my family's honor. I did it because I wanted my father to be proud of me again. I did it for the man who threw an ax at my skull. So what does that make me?""A bastard," I said. "Same as me." Titan's breath, that was good! Not the best but good. My actual rating is between three and four stars, but I'll round it up because some dialogues made me laugh. Thoughts:- I had no idea what this book is I pretended to be your friend so I could betray you," he said. "And I didn't do it for my people or my family's honor. I did it because I wanted my father to be proud of me again. I did it for the man who threw an ax at my skull. So what does that make me?""A bastard," I said. "Same as me." Titan's breath, that was good! Not the best but good. My actual rating is between three and four stars, but I'll round it up because some dialogues made me laugh. Thoughts:- I had no idea what this book is about. I saw it on my GR feed and liked the title. I BOUGHT THE BOOK JUST BECAUSE OF THE TITLE, PEOPLE! - And it was brutal! Bloody! Savage! And ruthless! Just how I like it.- And it was about bastards! BASTARDS! - I liked how simple the story was. After a long time finally a book without complicated strategies, multi-worlds and unrealistic solutions.- The writing is modern. I got into the world almost immediately. There is a lot of descriptions but just enough of them to not to be confused. - I would appreciate slower start, though. - I like the squad here. They were normal teenagers! They sneaked out of their rooms to go to the beach, they drank wine and they played drinking games. Thank you for that!- I wasn't a fan of Tilla's love-thoughts. Everytime Zell said something or looked at her, she was wondering if it has a hidden meaning.- The idea of a princess and stable hand to fall in love is so cuuuuuute. *heart eyes*- Zell's brother Razz made me sick! - I am glad that Zell had a chance and could fight against his father. I just wish he could fight against his brother too. - There was something off about (view spoiler)[Miles (hide spoiler)] and I was right! I knew he cannot be trusted!It was quick and entertaining read. There were parents on their mission to kill their children, magic, interesting mix of people in a squad and very modern style of writing. Note: If you know any other book about bastards, feel free to recommend it to me!
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  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Tilla is a bastard. Her father is Lord Kent of the Western Province and her mother a low born woman. As soon as Lord Kent had his own legitimate children he tossed Tilla aside to raise them into the nobility instead. She longs to be at her father's side as a legitimized heir, but at sixteen she spends most of her time with her half brother Jax (they share the same mother), a stablehand, exploring the old tunnel system under t I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Tilla is a bastard. Her father is Lord Kent of the Western Province and her mother a low born woman. As soon as Lord Kent had his own legitimate children he tossed Tilla aside to raise them into the nobility instead. She longs to be at her father's side as a legitimized heir, but at sixteen she spends most of her time with her half brother Jax (they share the same mother), a stablehand, exploring the old tunnel system under the castle and drinking with the servants. Instead of being with her family at feasts, she ends up sitting with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, a nerd who's had a crush on her for ages. When Princess Lyriana visits with her uncle, the Royal Archmagus, she shocks everyone by deciding to sit at the bastards table. Later, Tilla, Jax, Miles, and Zell, a Zitochi bastard from the north, find themselves leading the sheltered Princess on nighttime escapade and before they know it they witness a brutal crime that they were never meant to see. The group is forced to run for their lives since their parents have put bounties on their heads to stop the king from discovering their crimes. Tilla, Jax, Miles, Zell, and Lyriana are the only ones who can prevent the oncoming civil war that could destroy their kingdom. They just need to get to the king in time - and survive the journey to the palace.Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and to my utter delight this book lived up to the hype. This quest story is a ton of fun and it's easy to get attached to our core cast of diverse characters. It isn't entirely original, but it still managed to include just about everything I could have wanted from badass yet lovable characters, sassy dialogue, magic, danger around every corner, and a writing style that keeps things fresh and modern regardless of the epic fantasy setting, plus just a dash of romance. As much as I loved getting to know everyone, I really liked that Lyriana is much less useless than the others initially suspect. Everyone really has their moment to shine, and break common genre stereotypes. Overall, I highly enjoyed this and I can't wait to see what else Andrew Shvarts has up his sleeve. I bet you'll love this addicting, fast, funny, and action-packed YA epic fantasy debut if you love George R.R. Martin, V.E. Schwab, and Scott Lynch.
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  • leni
    January 1, 1970
    this book is like a pile of crap on your doorstep – somewhat disturbing, but u still can’t stop yourself from looking at it.sure, royal bastards is your average fantasy book with kings and knights and castles and magic so it's honestly nothing special, but giving it a one-star rating is a low blow to the vagina.it deserves better bc some of the characters were actually really nice.
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  • Anja V
    January 1, 1970
    please leave me alone while I sob silently in the corner because of yet another anticipated book that let me down_This book didn't really appeal to me on the blurb alone. It's the typical premise of: Someone living with the king experiences or witnesses some sort of betrayal and has to flee with an odd group of people. We've read that a thousand times, sometimes executed well and sometimes not so much. So that alone won't sell your novel to me. But then people started posting funny and intriguin please leave me alone while I sob silently in the corner because of yet another anticipated book that let me down_This book didn't really appeal to me on the blurb alone. It's the typical premise of: Someone living with the king experiences or witnesses some sort of betrayal and has to flee with an odd group of people. We've read that a thousand times, sometimes executed well and sometimes not so much. So that alone won't sell your novel to me. But then people started posting funny and intriguing quotes, and suddenly I couldn't wait to have this book. Now my expectation was that this book would take the same old trope, but make it fun again with some awkward hilarious teen action. One thing that can get me excited is sassy teen banter. The biggest problem I have with this books is also the reason I wanted to read this book in the first place. The funny quotes I've seen on GR? Yeah, they were all the really funny parts this book delivered. So basically the status updates made me hungry for more and that book let me starving. Of course it's not the books fault that all the best parts of this book were shared on GR before I read it, but if all your best parts can be summarised in a few status updates, then well uh-oh...It seems to me the author wasn't really sure where to go with this book. Should it be funny, maybe even parody-ish? Or better bloody and action loaded? Of course both in one is possible. There are some books that manage to balance hilarious banter with tense, page-gripping action (The Six of Crows duology and Half a King for example), but it has to be well balanced. Royal Bastards didn't manage that in my opinion. It wasn't exciting and tense enough to be taken seriously and not funny enough to be a comedy. But that wasn't the only thing that bothered me about this book. • The story really isn't original at all. It's the same old story with no real new element to it. Yes, it's a group of bastards running away, but isn't it always a group of misfits of some sort? • Around halfway through this book I could already tell most of what would happen. Who would be ending up with who was screamingly obvious from the first few chapters and the plot twists at the end didn't surprise me. MAJOR (view spoiler)[ I think it was obvious that one of the group would die. My detective brain figured out that it would be either Jex or Zell, as it had to be someone whose death would be the hardest for Tilla. I decided for Jex, because it was also blatanly obvious that Jex and Lyriana were supposed to have some sort of relationship (more to that later) and so it would be a good motivation for both Tilla and Lyriana. (hide spoiler)] • The romantic relationships are not well executed. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the main character's love interest would be the mysterious, dangerous but hot af outcast of the enemy clan, so I wasn't surprised when our MC started to be trained by him. But honestly, there was no fucking chemistry between them. I didn't see any development in their relationship. They had what feels like two we-both-can't-sleep type of conversations and a few training sessions and suddenly LOOOOVE. Rather than showing us their attraction, the author only tells us about it. Also minor (view spoiler)[ Jex and Lyriana as a couple make no sense?? Maybe they have something in common the author didn't show us, because I don't understand how they are a good couple? They are obvious opposites and despite what YA contemporary might try to tell you, that shit doesn't really work most of the time. (hide spoiler)] • The magic system is weird as fuck and leaves so many questions open. Yes, we get some vauge Titan backstory, but there are still so many other things I wanna understand. I know that only people from Lightspire can be magic, but how exactly do you get your magic? Are you born with it? Where are the limitations to ones magic? (view spoiler)[ If some can use it without their rings, what are they even for? What are these 'true-blood' or 'true-born' (I don't remember) mages? (hide spoiler)] One of the plot twists literally changes the whole idea of the magic system and it is never explained. • I don't buy the ending plot twist. It doesn't make sense to me and seems like an easy way to force some sort of confrontation between our bastard group and the enemy. (view spoiler)[ Miles betrayal seems so stupid to me. At the end we see Miles as an unstable, weird asshole, who sells out his friends because Tilla doesn't share his feelings. My problem with this is that Miles never really showed any indication of being unstable? Quite the opposite in my opinion, over the course of the escape he seemed to become more comfortable with himself. Yes, the fact that Tilla made suggestions that she might share his feelings and then hooked up with Zell must have hurt him, but because of that he loses every touch with reality, thinking that Tilla loves him and is just confused or some shit. And I just don't buy it? It's just not good enough a reason to betray them and Miles character wasn't explored enough to make me believe his craziness. And even so the weird thing is that it didn't surprise me? OF COURSE Miles would betray them, because that is the only trope that still missed in this old story. A 'friend' betrays the group and it only could be Miles because the rest was either going to die (Jex), love interest (Zell) or too important for the cause (Lyriana). (hide spoiler)]There were a few things that I did enjoy about this book though. • Jex and Tilla's relationship was cute as heck. Siblings relationships are always nice to read about and I genuinely believed that they cared for each other. I wish the author would've cut out the shitty romance relationships and focused more on the relationship between these two. • Zell's backstory. As we all know, every good-at-heart-but-terrifying-on-the-outside-character has some tragic backstory that explains why he is so fucked up and distant. Often my follow up thought after these backstory is revealed is something like this: 'That doesn't make sense, it's obviously not his fault and not a good enough reason that he is broken like this now?' But Zell's backstory actually worked for me. • Tilla's internal conflict about which side to be on. At some point Tilla and Jex have a conversation, wheter or not they are even doing the right thing. It showcases that in war, there often isn't really a good and a bad side, or maybe there is but who is what depends on which side you are on. I liked that thought a lot. It could have been explored a little more deeply, but for now I'm happy that it even occured in this book.Maybe I would have enjoyed this book more a few years ago. By now, I've read plenty of books with similar premises to this one, many of which were a lot better than Royal Bastards.
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  • Rebekah
    January 1, 1970
    I am so glad I got the chance to read and review this book early! It has been an incredible adventure! I loved it! This is another great book with everything to offer anyone who enjoys a good book. Diverse characters, political intrigue, romance, blood, fights, kingdoms on the brink of war and 5 teens who have to set aside everything they know in order to come together to save their kingdoms as well as keep themselves alive. This book mostly focuses on Tilla. Tilla is the oldest of a regional Lo I am so glad I got the chance to read and review this book early! It has been an incredible adventure! I loved it! This is another great book with everything to offer anyone who enjoys a good book. Diverse characters, political intrigue, romance, blood, fights, kingdoms on the brink of war and 5 teens who have to set aside everything they know in order to come together to save their kingdoms as well as keep themselves alive. This book mostly focuses on Tilla. Tilla is the oldest of a regional Lord, she is a bastard and before he had any “proper legitimate” children, he had and loved Tilla. She had fond memories of when her father and she would do things together but that all stopped when he had his other legitimate kids. She lives in his house and she doesn’t understand why he still sort-of has her around if he doesn’t plan on legitimizing her, even though he hasn’t said he will or won’t she still hopes that he does. So she doesn’t go to her lessons, she avoids anything that has to deal with being around the legitimates.When Tella, her half-brother who is also a bastard, as well as two other misfit bastards all witness a killing of a mage who is visiting, lines must be drawn, alliances made, choices that will change the course of their lives, and decisions of where one’s loyalty lies. All this as well as trying to stay alive in the process.I really enjoyed the edgy characters, there wasn’t a character I didn’t like! I enjoyed this little band of misfits that somehow have to do the right thing and somehow save their kingdoms from coming to war.I loved the plot, twists, turns, adventures, lies, deceits, fails, triumphs that are all packed into this story!The world building was perfect, not too much info that I got bored but plenty of descriptions to get a good enough picture in your mind.I really liked the romance in this one, it didn’t overwhelm the story but it was there and it surprised me in a few areas/aspects. I liked that.Overall I REALLY liked this book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something with great characters that make the story so worth it on any level. I thought the world building and history make it fun and vibrate. The idea was unique in regards to having characters from such a “low” standpoint be the “heros” of the story.Sexual Content: MildLangugae: mildViolence: moderateDrugs/Alcohol: mild
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    BUDDY READING with the usual; my wifebroski (also he hasnt added this book to his TBR so this isn't his review)the eBook kingThis was the worst buddy read we've done yet, BUT WOW. I enjoyed this. This was what I needed to start my recovery of Lord of Shadows. Full review to come!
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