Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin, #1)” as Want to Read:
The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  2,643 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
The Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours of new Affinity Seeps, places where the untamed power wells up. By royal decree all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Abbey, the King’s youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Elsewhere others are tainted with Affinity and must fight to survive. Political intrigue and magic co ...more
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Solaris (first published June 29th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rowena Daniells
Apr 10, 2010 Rowena Daniells rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Having spent years writing this series, The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin, I hope someone reads them. This is book one.
Soap opera with swords and magic King Rolen's Kin has energy but it is marred by soapbox world building and 600 pages which are 200 too many; take any ingredient of soap opera - jealous brothers, innocent lovers, scheming relatives, steadfast women with a secret passion, doddering patriarchs - transpose it into a pseudo-medieval setting and you get this novel.

I really liked the writing style which kept me turning the pages despite the ludicrousness of some of the plot points and the silliness o
Jun 27, 2014 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would actually rate this book closer to a 2.5 but I rounded down. I found this book to be incredibly mediocre. Even though I read the entire novel (it took me a long time as I really had to push myself to finish it) I have no interest in reading any of the other books in the series. There were a lot of parts where the book dragged, and I also never became attached to any of the characters. There were a few interesting elements to the book, and the author has a pretty colorful imagination, but ...more
Jason Gray
Jan 30, 2014 Jason Gray rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First off I should say I'm usually pretty easy to please when it comes to reading and other entertainment. I can accept implausible or even impossible things as long as it's enjoyable.

I hated this book.

At first I enjoyed, thought it had potential to be really good. And as far as the writing goes it was written well (except for the author's insistence in using -t instead of -ed for a lot of past tense words, I assume that's an Australian thing).

What ruined my enjoyment of this story is that the p
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This review isn't going to be what the book deserves, because it's been well over two months since I finished the book and it's always hard to remember the things that you wanted to say at the time. Which is a shame, because I really enjoyed it and want to give it the review it deserves.

Rolencia is a relatively young kingdom, once an area of warring chieftains united several generations ago by warlord Rolence. The spars that make up the kingdom are still led by warlords though, and some of them
Matt Gilliard
I'll admit that I bought The King's Bastard based on nothing more than the title. Insane, right? The cover did absolutely nothing for me. The shadowy color scheme and vaguely ominous backdrop took away from what could have been an intriguing figure I assumed was the protagonist. The back copy wasn't much better, leaving me wondering whether it was wise for the author to choose a concept that seemingly falls so close to the shadow cast by one of the giants of the genre. But the title is so close ...more
Oct 08, 2010 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The cut and thrust of political manoeuvring is never as simple as the cut and thrust of real battle”

For the most part I don’t usually enjoy politics as a form of escapism. I’ve tried on multiple occasions to read The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan, for instance, but the further I get in the story the less and less I care about the characters. For me all the political scheming starts to wear a bit thin. When I read fantasy I tend to prefer action and shy away from anything ove
Dec 03, 2015 Charlton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book turned out better than I first thought it would be.The author did a great job on world-building,and I really liked the characters.
In some cases didn't like.
The story is centered around one noble family,parents who were basically forced into marriage and their four children.Three boys and a
girl.One boy is supposed to take the throne,his twin a formidable fighter.The younger brother banished to a monastery because he has
affinity, which in this book is a type of magic.And the daughter who
Jun 15, 2012 Mieneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2012
When Rowena Cory Daniells' first trilogy was initially published over a period of three months in 2010, I had only recently discovered the book blogging world and hadn't yet started A Fantastical Librarian. The books got a lot of buzz on the various blogs I followed and the books had definitely caught my eye. However, by the time I had my yearly Christmas book buying splurge came around, they'd been pushed aside by other new shinies and I never got around to them. So when the author contacted me ...more
Jun 24, 2010 Torzilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I haven't read many fantasy books since Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy. Usually, these sorts of books are a hit or miss for me. The author either goes into too much detail about scenery and uninteresting facts, and thus makes the book drag on, or the author's tone and characters are too bland. Either way, I love em', or I hate em'.

Right from the start, the covers for this series pulled me in. A lot of fantasies have covers that I don't like, primarily because they have the tendency to appear
Anastasia Pergakis
May 07, 2012 Anastasia Pergakis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
This is what fantasy is all about! I was immediately sucked into the world created by Ms. Daniells. I fell in love with the main character, Byren, almost immediately and was rooting for him through the whole book.

I was so sad when the book ended - a cliffhanger that left me literally screaming to know what happened next. I felt the author left off at a bad spot of the plot line - almost in the middle of the climax. I would have preferred, even with things left open, to have it stop at a more qu
Sep 14, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After having two blogger friends tell me that they absolutely loved this series, I already knew this was probably going to be a hit for me too. But as always when I expect something awesome, I go in to it with a little caution. What if I’m expecting too much and the book turns out to be good, but still a little disappointing? Caution or no caution, this book would have wrapped me around its finger either way. It’s everything I expected it to be and more. My friends were absolutely right, this is ...more
Bob Milne
Feb 28, 2011 Bob Milne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rowena Cory Daniells is an author I've had my eye on for a while now, ever since Besieged(the first book in her Outcast Chronicles) made my Waiting on Wednesday list back in May. So, when she reached out to me last month to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing both trilogies, I jumped at the chance.

The King's Bastard is the first volume in her King Rolen's Kin trilogy, and it packs enough unique touches (not to mention surprises) in the first dozen chapters to immediately make it one of those s
Aug 01, 2011 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Byren and Lence are the eldest sons of King Rolen, and the seven minutes that separated their birth have dictated that Lence would rule Rolencia-- and Byren wouldn't have it any other way. But when a renegade power user tells Byren that he is destined to be King, he fights her awful prophecy in every way he can. It doesn't take long for a distance to grow between Lence and Byren, and he doesn't know if the rift was already there or if the seeds of discord were planted by the old seer.

At the same
Blodeuedd Finland
Aug 09, 2010 Blodeuedd Finland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book is the reason why I love fantasy. It swept me away, it had me biting my nails and when I tried to do other things I couldn't stop thinking about it. It has been all I I have thinking about for the last few days.

Byren is the main character, a young prince who loves his family and country. But his brother doesn't care for his company any more, and is listening to bad advice. And when Byren is seen as a hero after killing a beast the anger grows in Lence. The other main characters are Pir
Jo Woolfardis
In the Kingdom of Rolencia, those who own a magic known as Affinity must either serve the Abbey, be banished or face certain death, but not all those with Affinity are known and some can hide it very well. The King's family are spread through Rolencia; the youngest son Fyn has Affinity and he is training to become an Affinity Monk, whereas the twin eldest sons are fighting to keep the land at peace and, frequent of late, each other. The only daughter holds a dark secret, but there is trouble bre ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Shima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book read too much like a soap-opera to me. The misunderstood good character, the manipulative bad character, the different one cast away by the family, the one who must hide a talent for the greater good, and so on. Also, and even though the story is entertaining enough, it has way too much political & court intrigue, which adds up to the “soap-opera” feeling.

I think the author could/should have done so much more with her “world”. Starting with affinity: you don't really get a clear pi
Sachin Dev
The Kings Debut is a debut by Australian Fantasy Author Rowena Cory Danielles - Coming on the heels of a long list of impressive fantasy debuts from down under. Names like Karen Miller etc.

This was an effortless read as the narrative is simple,lucid and flowing. Clearly the authors strengths lies in plotting. Complete with a delightful system of magic, inspired set of magical animals, Rowena weaves a tale of high fantasy Layered with political intrigue and featuring an engaging set of lively th
Nov 01, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
All those rave reviews I've read about this book were spot on. One of the best fantasy books I've read in a while.

Big plus is a featured character is gay and dealt with well and is not a stereotype but a masculine hero. So very pleasant to find.

Maybe not quite as good as the Mark Lawrence books but leagues ahead of the Micheal J. Sullivan, Karen Miller or Gail Z. Martin books I've read in the last couple of months.

While there's a couple of major plot points built of very shaky foundations, th
Heather Mclaughlin
I could not put this book down! It is as close to perfection as I have ever read. The idea of ice skating as a method for moving armies was fascinating and the beasts were uncommon (I had never heard of some of them and had to look them up) or completely original to the series. In a genre saturated with elves and trolls (which I am not knocking), it was really refreshing to be able to discover a new world. The action is well-paced and the story line does not stall. The characters are wonderfully ...more
Oct 22, 2016 Matthew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't even finish it. Half-way through the book and it's still nothing more than poor foreshadowing and "suspicion". Each time you switch to another character's POV, it ends with "what if they find out my secret?" or "what are they plotting?" With nothing ever resolved, or any point to this whatsoever.
Jul 10, 2010 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2010-reads
The more I read the more I loved it. I can't deny that it feels a bit like a fantasy soap opera but a good one.

Full review will follow ....
Jun 17, 2014 Sasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I spotted this book many times at our local English bookshop. I'd always wanted to buy it but always got my attention swayed to some other book. On my trip to the states I went on a book-buying frenzy (which always happens in an English-speaking country where the wonderful book goodies are way cheaper than back home) and bought this one as well - knowing, that if I'd like it, I could buy the second and third installment back here. It did not disappoint, and the fast-paced story got me reading th
Taylor Morris
May 23, 2017 Taylor Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Riko Stan
Frustrating. Love the world, love the characters, writing just seems to drag out. I find myself skimming sections and I rarely do that. It would be nice if a couple of positive things happen to the main characters too, it just keeps getting worse and worse.

I'm on book four right now and it doesn't seem to have gotten any better.
Dec 09, 2012 PhoenixFantasy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the first thing I should say about this book is that it kept me up stupidly late into the night, and on a work night at that. That in itself is always a sign of a really good read. I need to be in work for 7am, so if I’m still reading at 2, you know I’m onto a winner.
From some rummaging about on-line I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews of The King’s Bastard, and although personally I loved it, I can understand and sympathise with the naysayers to an extent. On the face of it, there’s no
May 23, 2017 JM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Can't wait to start #2. Very compelling story.
Oct 26, 2011 Lexie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
In what should have been an epic fantasy, twins Byren and Lence find their world and beliefs at a crossroads. Lence is King Rolan the Implacable's Heir while Byren is his younger twin, content to be in his brother's shadow and watch him be great. When a seer predicts his killing Lence he laughs it off and thinks nothing else on it. Unfortunately with the madness sweeping the lands, a neighboring country's desperate attempts to either form an alliance or lay seige and circumstances conspiring aga ...more
Nerine Dorman
Dec 29, 2012 Nerine Dorman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The King’s Bastard offers a lot of what I adore about epic fantasy: magical creatures, magic wielders and royal intrigue, as well as compelling characters, but it falls somewhat short of my expectations. Or maybe I’ve been spoiled by reading George RR Martin and others in this particular genre.

That being said, I’ll still go ahead and read the rest in this series because one thing Rowena Cory Daniells does is write characters I’ve fallen for … hard, in a gooey fantasy fan kind of way. And the on
Jun 25, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure what to say about this book. I mean it wasn't awful and the writing was decent and the plot kept me interested enough that I read through it pretty quickly. Sadly, I was just really, REALLY annoyed by the characters.

That said, I don't think the characters were bad, just completely unfathomable. I was just amazed how in pretty much every situation the characters would react to what was happening in the most bizarre way possible.

Someone could be in complete and utter shock one second and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Last Stormlord (Watergivers, #1)
  • The Sworn (Fallen Kings Cycle, #1)
  • Secrets of the Sands (Children of the Desert, #1)
  • The Last T'En (Last T'En Trilogy, #1)
  • The Stormcaller (Twilight Reign, #1)
  • Shadow's Son (Shadow Saga, #1)
  • The Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil, #1)
  • The Emperor's Knife (Tower and Knife Trilogy, #1)
  • The Drowning City (The Necromancer Chronicles, #1)
  • Royal Exile (Valisar, #1)
  • Nights of Villjamur (Legends of the Red Sun, #1)
  • A Darkness Forged in Fire (Iron Elves, #1)
  • The Ten Thousand (The Macht #1)
  • Scourge of the Betrayer (Bloodsounder's Arc, #1)
  • Winterbirth (The Godless World, #1)
  • Shadow Prowler (Chronicles of Siala #1)
  • The Sentinel Mage (The Cursed Kingdoms, #1)
  • The Conqueror's Shadow
I write the kind of books that keep you up all night.

I write the kind of books that got you reading fantasy way back when. I also write gritty crime-noir with a touch of paranormal under RC Daniells.

I've been trying to add The Price of Fame to my published books section. But it keeps ending up in my 'read' books section. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.

I am unashamedly a Genre Writer!

(Many thanks to
More about Rowena Cory Daniells...

Other Books in the Series

King Rolen's Kin (4 books)
  • The Uncrowned King (King Rolen's Kin, #2)
  • The Usurper (King Rolen's Kin, #3)
  • King Breaker (King Rolen's Kin #4)

Share This Book

“For you the cup isn't half full or half empty, you're always topping it up.” 6 likes
More quotes…