Hello fellow booklovers!
Before I start this review I’d like to thank Netgalley and DisneyPublishing for accepting my request for this book. I’m so glad that I was able to read it!
Royal Bastards follows Tila Kent, bastard daughter of Lord Kent of the Western Province. At sixteen, Tila spends her days exploring forgotten tunnels and spends her nights drinking with the servants with her stablehand half-brother Jax. Tila secretly longs to be accepted by her father, wear fine gowns, and eat feasts with the the rest of her family. Instead, Tila is forced to sit with the other bastards, including Miles of House Hampstedt, who has been on love with her since they were children. At a feast honoring the crowned princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards Table. Before she knows it, Tila is leading the sheltered princess on a late night escapade, along with Jax, Miles and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the North. Where they witness a plan to start another Great War. Forced to run for their lives, this little group of bastards try to survive long enough to warn the King of these treacherous plans.
Bastards, war, and a plot to kill the King… Is this a YA version of A Game of Thrones? To be honest, hell yes! It had a A Game of Thrones feel to it, which I loved because I’m a huge GoT fan. The way the world is built, the history in this world, and the fact that there are no “good” and “bad” sides, really reminded me of Westeros. Which I honestly loved!!
I liked this book way more than I ever thought I would. The story was fun, bloody, suspenseful, heartbreaking, heartwarming, you name it it has it.
The main thing that I adored about this book are the characters. This story really focused on these bastards friendship and how they all develop throuhout the book. They all bonded together over this scary moment in their lives and really became a family to each other. Something they never truly had. This book is very much character driven. You end up liking or loving these characters and start to feel their pain and their worries. Which for me is amazing. A book may have a good plot but if I hate the characters then there is no point in me reading the book.
Not to say this book didn’t have a great plot has well. On the contrary, I absolutely loved the premise of the story. A couple of lonely bastards forced to join forces to same themselves.
Did you catch that? I said “to save themselves” not “to save the world” or “to save their oppressed kingdom”. That’s because there is no good or bad side. In this world, its all about survival. So these characters don’t care about this side or that side, all they want is to survive and be together as a family. They’re not planning on joining or starting a war, they don’t want any of that because they know that both sides are equally as evil as each other. The premise of a grey world is something that I love and wish that more books have because its real.
This world reminded me so much of Westeros. By that I mean that both worlds are grey. There aren’t two sides to a story, what they’ve learned in their history books aren’t what actually happened, and people who you once thought you can trust, cannot be trusted. Both of these worlds are realistic because of this. It shows the brutality humans do against each other.
Nevertheless, there are some things I didn’t quiet like about this book, but they’re moderate. The first thing would be the writing, it was simple and easy to read. Which is never a bad thing, except I thought that this book was a middle grade because of it. It wasn’t until I got to the talk about sex, wine, and gore when I realized its Young Adult. It didn’t bother me that much because I love Middle Grade and I love simple writing, but I know some people don’t. So for the sake of warning those type of people I wanted to mention it.
Another thing would be the “plot twist” in the end. I saw it coming. I believe that’s what really brought the book down for me. I love it when a plot twist is something that I never thought would happen. So to see it coming from a mile away, was kind of a turn off for me.
BUT, there was an event closer to the end that completely threw me off. That was something I never thought would happen, so that redeemed the ending for me. To be honest, I was devastated and cursing the authors name. It was horrible and down right cruel but I loved it.
After I read this book I went on Goodreads, made a small and rushed review, and rated this book a solid 4 stars. Then time started to pass and for some reason I was still thinking about these characters and this book. I read this book around March and as I publish this its May. For all that time, the book would somehow creep back into my mind. So for this reason I raised my rating. For me to still think about a book after a long period of time is rare.