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The Bastard (Kent Family Chronicles #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,264 Ratings  ·  343 Reviews
One man’s quest for his destiny leads him to the New World and into the heart of the American Revolution

Meet Phillipe Charboneau: the illegitimate son and unrecognized heir of the Duke of Kentland. Upon the Duke’s death, Phillipe is denied his birthright and left to build a life of his own. Seeking all that the New World promises, he leaves London for America, shedding his
Paperback, 528 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Signet (first published 1974)
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I read this when it first came out in paperback in the 70's. Still have the same paperback, in fact. It was excellent then & continued my love of historical fiction that started with Harold Lamb's books. The book follows one young man for a few years from a small village in France, to a manor in England, London, & then to Boston & Philadelphia up until the opening salvo in the American Revolutionary War.

I've read several articles over the years that said Jakes had the historical fact
This book has a soundtrack. When I was 11, my Gram was reading these novels. I would sneak them off her shelves and read them in my room while listening to my favorite ABBA albums. I can't think of this novel without thinking of 'Knowing Me, Knowing You.' I must have read each volume of the Kent Family Chronicles at LEAST four times each with the first three (The Bastard, The Rebels, The Seekers) being my favorites. This was in my pre-historical romance phase and I though this book terribly roma ...more
Aug 14, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sandi, Misfit, Hannah
Just arrived from USA through BM.

This is the first book of the Kent Family Chronicles.

The plot describes the life of Philippe Charboneau, the bastard son of Duke of Kentland, who in search of his legitimate inheritance, fights with his half brother, Roger, in order to prevail his legal rights.

However, when Philippe and his mother Jane, went to claim his rights, Roger and his mother plot against them and forced them seek refuge quickly in London in order to avoid a false murder charge.

In London,
Nov 17, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
It's really hard for me to rate this accurately because (and I know this is bizarre) this was one of my absolute favorite books when I was in middle school. I was so big on the Bicentennial Series that it's hard for me to see it clearly.

So. The prose does not hold up. The characters are kind of hilarious in their sexism. But my affection for hearing this story again is pretty unmatched, so: FOUR STARS, DAMMIT.
Dec 07, 2015 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook-ereads

“There is absolutely nothing inherent in the structure of the universe which dictates that any free man should be expected to obey authority unless he wishes to—for his own benefit, and by his own consent.” (p. 16)

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why it has taken me—self-professed lover of epic historical novels—so long to get around to reading my first novel by the “godfather of historical novelists,” John Jakes. The Bastard (Kent Family Chronicles #1) was f
James Nelson
Feb 05, 2013 James Nelson rated it it was amazing
Recommended to James by: my father
Back in the seventies my dad and I sometimes read books together. For Christmas one year I bought him the first three books in a boxed set. Sometime later I bought the next two from a book club, so they were hard cover, then the rest as they became available, again in paperback. We both enjoyed them and sometimes discussed them, but I don't remember what exactly. The seventies are a while back.
What I do remember is reading the first and second books: "The Bastard" and "The Rebels." I liked all t
Sandy Vaughan
Aug 01, 2009 Sandy Vaughan rated it it was amazing
(The Kent Family Chronicles 8-Volume Set: The Bastard, The Rebels, The Seekers, The Furies, The Titans, The Warriors, The Lawless, The Americans (Kent Family Chronicles, Volumes 1 thru 8) (Hardcover)
by John Jakes (Author))

In the beginning there is a bastard who meet some well known historical people in England. He follows them back to the Americas. This is before the war for independence.

This was my first introduction to John Jakes. I fell in love with this writer's style and characters. I was
Holly Weiss
John Jakes has a way of engaging you immediately with his characters while immersing you in the historical period. He adds a bit of romance to spice things up. The Bastard is the first in a series of eight novels called The Kent Family Chronicles. The author provides a family tree tracing the Kent family through all eight books, indicating which characters inhabit which books.

In The Bastard, we see the mercantile class in France, royalty of England, and freedom-seeking patriots in America. The b
Apr 05, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Excellent story....and it left me wanting to read more in the series.
Mar 22, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it
After talking about Jack wanting to Read GWTW I tried to remember adult books I read when I was a child. Sadly, this is one of the first that comes to mind. I read the whole Kent Family Saga when I was 12 or so. I liked them at the time, but I hesitate to go back and reread. These were the first books I ever read where fictional characters interacted with people from history.
Feb 05, 2015 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dissappointment
Well, I figured this would be as much as it is - this falls under Historical, but it should be more of Historical Romance, which is not my fare - Sure, it is no Romance novel with "breasts heaving" kind of thing, but the "hero" is not a very heroic gentleman at all, nor is he a character that I like. No character is one that I like, and that is what made this hard to continue with.

The overview of this novel, and the entire series, sounds promising and interesting, but the words that fell onto th
Thom Swennes
Oct 21, 2012 Thom Swennes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American history lovers
Shelves: re-read
The Bastard, written in 1974, is the first book of John Jakes bicentennial series. From the first sentence of the first paragraph on the first page the story grabs you and takes you on an unforgettable trip from France through England and to a new land across the sea. Phillipe Charboneau, being raised by his mother Marie, leads a lonely life at the family inn in France. Circumstances soon find them traveling to England where they meet a family of printers and the snobbish elite of English societ ...more
Tim The Enchanter
There was a level of simplicity in the story that disappointed me. I enjoy an epic feeling in historical fiction. Ultimately, I cannot fault the simplicity of the story as the main character of the story is himself a simple man. I suppose I can't be too harsh as I stayed awake until 1 am to finish the book.

I often found the supporting characters more interesting than the main character. The entirety of the first book is a journey of the main character to determine who he wants to be and who he
Mike (the Paladin)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Autumn Earthsong
Jan 08, 2015 Autumn Earthsong rated it it was amazing
Remembered today that I read this book in the 70's. An epic historical novel. I loved it.
Dec 31, 2012 Alan rated it liked it
This is Book One of the Kent Family Chronicles, a series I read 40-some years ago. This book takes you to major Revolutionary events leading up to and closing with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Phillip Kent is present at many of them and meets all the major figures of the time both in the Colonies and in London before he emigrates to America. This title is followed by seven more in the series. I was impressed and enjoyed the series back then, but now I find that I want smaller scope and ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Erica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: america
If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. What a great read. I had a lot of fun with this book. The book is about Phillipe Charboneau, who later changes his name to Phillip Kent. He travels from France to England, and then to America in search of himself and a place he can call home. All of the historical characters really made it exciting. They included Paul Revere, Sam Adams, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin was a riot. I’m glad the story doesn’t end here and I’m looking forward t ...more
Rejoice, Rachel!

Done with The Bastard! It took me a while, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Earnest and at times a little too concerned with being historically accurate/specific, this book was thoroughly enjoyable and full of characters that you can't help but liking - even if they are a little ridiculous. Be warned: side effects of this book include spontaneous obsession with Benjamin Franklin and slight tummy ache induced by machismo.
May 20, 2016 Mitzi rated it it was amazing
I finally picked up a book by John Jakes, and I am so glad I did. I am even more glad that it is a series - I can't wait to read the next one! This book starts in France, travels to England, and ends up in colonial America at the start of the Revolutionary war. It's filled with interesting characters and lots of history - any fan of historical fiction will be sure to love this one.
Sharon Desruisseaux
This was one of the first major historical novels that I have ever read and have been hooked on them ever since! This novel took a time in history and made it vivid and clear for the reader. Full of adventure and wonderful characters. I honestly do not know how many times I have read this novel and still found it amazing! Highly recommended-the whole series!
Dawn Hawkins
Feb 16, 2014 Dawn Hawkins rated it it was amazing
John Jakes brings American History to life in this series of books that takes readers from the Revolutionary War to the post Civil War Era. You quickly become attached to the Kent family as they grow into the American landscape, making a name for themselves. The Bastard is the beginning of the series and one that will leave you wanting to know more about the family.

Jakes knows what he is talking about when it comes to American history, so be prepared to see even the smallest of details come to
Laura Tallent
Jul 01, 2012 Laura Tallent rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-bastard
An awesome first book of a great series written by a great writer! Historical fiction starting before the American revolution
Terry Fedosky
May 31, 2015 Terry Fedosky rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in The Kent Family Chronicles. It is the life of Phillipe Charboneau, the bastard son of the Duke of Kentfield, and his search for his heritage. It begins in his homeland of France, where he was raised by a poor, single inn-keeper. It moves to England, where he and his mother attempt to claim his promised position with his father's family. It then travels to the pre-war colonies, where the people are beginning to assemble a rebellion against the King. It ends with the open ...more
April Martinez
Feb 04, 2015 April Martinez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bastard (The Kent Family Chronicles Book 1) by John Jakes

Great historical novel with lots of twists and turns. Nice to see some strong women represented in the time of the founding fathers. I love great story telling and that's how this book reads! Anxiously moving on to the second book of the series. Was recommended these books after watching The Sons of Liberty and the story still holds fascination for all Americans. It's an easy book to read and found myself googling pictures and further
Leila Lineberger
Oct 25, 2015 Leila Lineberger rated it really liked it
I read through, (well listened to, as I do Audible) anyway, read through to The Furies. These books truly are the most depressing stories. I love series that go on forever and The Bastard was great but as I finished each one I was more and more depressed. It was probably quite true how each story went, I just need for a story to be a story and a more "happy ending". After The Furies I just couldn't go on, I don't believe I've ever quit on a series before. Well, I did quit on Harry Bosch too as h ...more
May 22, 2016 Samyann rated it it was amazing
These comments address The Kent Family Chronicles, the entire series of eight books, in audiobook format. All books are narrated by Marc Vietor. The entire series is approximately 125 hours of listening. Shortest book is 15.5 hours, longest over 26 hours. Vietor does a good job with narration, although the uniqueness of male voices is problematic. Most significant, you’ll have little difficulty determining who-says-what-to-who. Tempo and pacing fine, albeit the narration is a bit slow for my tas ...more
Emily Murphy
Nov 09, 2014 Emily Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
All of these ratings are on a scale of 1-10:

Quality of Writing: 8
I have to commend John Jakes for his straightforward yet poetic discourse. There were some raunchy scenes I wanted to just glaze over, but I found myself reading them anyway because of the wonderful poetic language. However, the prose is wonderfully crafted as well. Sometimes, the poetic effect is too vague, covering the meaning of the text, thus a perfect score was not earned.

Pace: 7
It's linear, and a page-turner. It really doesn'
Shay Williams
Apr 18, 2013 Shay Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, historical
I first was introduced to the Kent Family Chronicles when I was back in high school and fell absolutely in love. I hated history classes but I managed to pick up quite a bit of it by reading historical fiction. History became so personal when seeing it through the eyes of those that had lived it. Anyways enough of my history let's move forward thirty years...when I saw that THE BASTARD was being released again I jumped at the chance to see if it was as good as my memory made it out to be.

I am ve
Feb 18, 2010 Deanna rated it really liked it

My Full Review can be found at: Polishing Mud Balls

Rating: 4.75/5 stars

I first read The Bastard when I was around 16 years old. I remember that I loved John Jakes’ writing. I remember that I devoured all books by John Jakes. Several months ago, I was going through a box of stuff that I have not looked at in years, many years. I discovered the John Jakes books that I bought. To my dismay, I also discovered that those books were ruined – musty and mildew. Ugh. This discovery, however, sparked my r
Brent Soderstrum
Jan 13, 2010 Brent Soderstrum rated it really liked it
The first of an 8 volume set of historical fiction by John Jakes. The Kent Family Chronicles done around the bi-centenial covers the Kent family from the 1770s to the 1970s. The Bastard starts out with Phillipe living with his mother Marie in France. His mother tells him that he is the bastard son of an English noblemen. Marie and Phillipe travel to England to insure Phillipe will inherit part of his father's estate. When they arrive they find out his father is dead and his half brother Roger wa ...more
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What a way to start 12 59 Feb 27, 2015 01:32PM  
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John Jakes, the author of more than a dozen novels, is regarded as one of today’s most distinguished writers of historical fiction. His work includes the highly acclaimed Kent Family Chronicles series and the North and South Trilogy. Jakes’s commitment to historical accuracy and evocative storytelling earned him the title of “the godfather of historical novelists” from the Los Angeles Times and le ...more
More about John Jakes...

Other Books in the Series

Kent Family Chronicles (8 books)
  • The Rebels (Kent Family Chronicles, #2)
  • The Seekers (Kent Family Chronicles, #3)
  • The Furies (Kent Family Chronicles, #4)
  • The Titans (Kent Family Chronicles, #5)
  • The Warriors (Kent Family Chronicles, #6)
  • The Lawless (Kent Family Chronicles, #7)
  • The Americans (Kent Family Chronicles, #8)

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“God! he swore silently. That man was ever born to be torn and troubled by women!” 1 likes
“He and Marie wandered through a square” 0 likes
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