Jun 20, 2017

Royal Bastards by @Shvartacus {Review + Giveaway}

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
(Royal Bastards, #1)
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 352 pages
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 . . .

I don't know how I'm supposed to write this review while I'm still picking up the pieces of my shattered heart. This book was amazing. For my lack of reading lately; I finished this in less than a day. My friends had been raving about it for months; I'm very hesitant to read books that are heavily praised. I find most books that are getting so much buzz are overrated. I'm usually left disappointed so I tend to steer away from those but . . . in this case, I'm so glad I didn't. It was one that I think lived up to the hype.

The characters were fantastic and I instantly connected with all the bastards (except one). I love the relationships between Tilla and her half brother, Jax. They share a mother so technically he's not a royal bastard but honestly, it's a minor detail; he's basically an honorary bastard. It was these two characters and their close relationship that instantly drew me and kept me hooked.

I also really loved the gradual growth of the relationship between Tilla and Zell; he teaches her how to fight and I think she teaches him some humanity and kindness in return. She helps him learn to trust, to love and to open up to someone. His cold exterior is a front to his soft center; he was another character I was instantly drawn to. Mysterious. Dangerous. Shut off from the world. I think it's the mysterious factor that people are drawn to, honestly.

The relationship I was rooting for the most was Jax and Princess Lyriana. These two, let me tell you. He was your typical guy; cracking inappropriate jokes only to make her as uncomfortable as possible. He succeeded but you slowly saw their relationship change and with that so was how he talked to her. I'd say there was a major part of the story where their relationship truly changed but I can't tell you because it's a major spoiler. You'll have to read it to find out!

I feel like it was filled with plenty of action so anyone and everyone could enjoy. There was enough romance in it to satisfy those that thrive on it but not too much to scare those away who'd rather not have it. I would highly recommend this book to people of all ages and any sex; I think just about anyone could pick this up and thoroughly enjoy it.

Thank you so much to Disney for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am giving away ONE (1) finished copy of ROYAL BASTARDS. If you are an international reader, Book Depository MUST ship to your country (for FREE) to enter. If you are a reader within the USA, your book will be coming via Amazon Prime. The contest will run from 12:00 AM EST on June 20, 2017 through 11:59 PM EST on June 30, 2017.

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