Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Book Review: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

#1 in the Royal Bastards series
Pages: 352
Released: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Disney
Received: ARC from publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting a court story with a bunch of anachronistic and hard to like royal bastards. I was fully expecting to DNF after a few chapters of drunken lazying about with big chips on our shoulders. I even thought this was historical fiction with a ton of liberties.

Apparently I didn't pay much attention to the blurb? This is pure fantasy. There's about one chapter of the above before very quickly diving into murder, magic, mayhem and perilous flight. The entire book is spent on the road trying to get to a royal city while being pursued by murderous bad guys and running across creepy, deadly wildlife. Basically, it was non-stop action and the pages flew by.

The bratty bastards were also not what I was expecting. They were actually likable. Sure, they're very tropey (tough girl with a soft heart, geeky smart guy, good looking quiet warrior, guy-next-door, and kind princess who is more than she seems), but they were likable tropes. I enjoyed reading about all of them and I cared what happened to them. Plus, there's romance and it hit at all the right spots.  There were a few surprisingly emotional moments that added a level of depth.

The world building is pretty standard fare for medieval-ish fantasy. There aren't orcs and elves, but there are taverns, magic-users, and battles. There's a conquering history that has laid the groundwork for the current rebellion and while it's fairly thin on substance, it gets the job done. The magic is interesting enough and the Narnia-ish turn-people-to-stone magic is suitably horrifying. I liked the inclusion of the gross fantasy creature and I don't think you can go wrong with giant magic explosions (of which there were several). 

I'm wavering between a 3.5 and a 4 and I suspect that in a few months I'll have forgotten most of what happened, but I'm bumping it to a 4 because it was just plain fun. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.



  1. I haven't seen much about this one, but your review has me wanting to pick it up! Doesn't sound like it's mindblowingly amazing, but hey, I'm always up for a rollicking fantasy read :D

  2. you nailed it, not mind blowing but definitely a rollicking fantasy! I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Okay so this gets better after the first few chapters? Lol, I DNF'ed this one after reading the beginning. I may need to give it another chance now.


It's all about friendly conversation here at Small Review :) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.

Because I am absolutely terrible about following through with blog awards, I can't in good conscience accept any more. Thank you very much for thinking of me though!

Spam WILL be deleted. Attacks on myself or other comments WILL be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...