C.G. Drews's Reviews > Royal Bastards

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
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really liked it
bookshelves: epic-fantasy, read-2017, young-adult

This is one of my most anticipated reads for this year. And did it live up to it? CAN I GET A HECKIN' YEAH. It's sassy, bloody, and full of love/hate friendships which obviously instigate the bestest level of sass. I'm just really thoroughly entertained and impressed! And more than a little peeved that there seems to be no sequel? MORE PLS.

The SASS LEVELS. You've basically snabbled my attention when you introduce me to two siblings sitting on a wall and making fun of nobility. And that's just a prelude to how witty and engaging the dialogue and banter are. Look, I live for bantery books. I would share my cake with this book and that's saying something because I don't share.
• The cast is quite large, but everyone is interesting and complex. Usually if you whispered "Oi, Cait, this book will end up with a group of five teens on the run" I would quitley throw mayonnaise at you and scrabble away, because large casts are hard to handle interestingly. Here? NOT SO. I absolutely adored everyone! They all had personalities and backstories, complexities and fears and venerabilities. And we're not introduced to them all in a heap, so that was helpful.
• Aaaall the love for the characters! Tilla is the narrator and she is, quite frankly, badass. But at the same time she's a general awkward teen who'll be training with a knife, actually succeed in a badass move, and then pause to congratulate herself. I LOVE HER. Then we have Jax,
who's Tilla's half-brother and also a bastard, so they share the same lowborn mum, but Tilla's dad is a lord and Jax's was a nobody. Ergo he is nobody. But ergo his and Tilla's bro/sis relationship is THE BOMB. The make fun of each other and are there for each other. Miles the nerdy bookworm who everyone basically underestimates. And Zell is from the warrior clans and total Closed Off And Emotionless™ but secretly a big squish. And lastly Lyriana is the POC wizard princess who is all "LET'S GROW PRETTY PLANS AND NUTURE THE WORLD" but can also slay you epically.
• Help me. I love them all.
Oh there's magic! I like magic.
• There's threats of wars and parents trying to knock their kids heads off. Because wrong-place-wrong-time stuff goes down and the bastards must escape.
There is BLOOD and DEATH. I think I got stabbed in the feels. I say "think" bECAUSE I'M STILL IN SHOCK. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME.
• And the writing style is delightfully fresh and engaging! Fair warning: It's modern! So like we have an epic fantasy setting, but their speech is very modern and Tilla literally says "woah that was badass" and stuff like that. But it was consistently modern, so it didn't feel jarring. This was just the style. AND I FRIKKIN' LOVED IT.

It was a smidge predictable. But, dude, I read like 200+ books a year so odds are I'm just an over-read little granny smith apple and this might not be a problem for a lot of people.
• There is also a smidge of a love triangle. But it's not so much...because Tilla is crushing on Zell and he is being part of the Stonehedge and not letting her see he has emotions. BUT THEY AHVE A THING. YOU CAN SEE IT. Meanwhile Miles is in the background being a weed with a crush on Tilla. So it's like an unrequited triangle? Least to say I didn't find it annoying until the end where (view spoiler)
And as much as I enjoyed the storyline, I'm just a little over THE TRAIL WE BLAZE storylines. Aka = walking. They have to escape and take the princess back to her people, and like...it did keep everything fast moving and interesting. But yet, also #overit. SO THIS IS ANOTHER THING THAT'S JUST ME and honestly might not bother a lot of people!

ALL IN ALL: it was fun and exciting and stuffed with all the things I love to read about! I mean, Tilla literally shows up for a feast, despite hating all the dumb nobles, just because she's not missing out on a good feed. IS SHE NOT SUPER RELATABLE?? I don't generally connect to protagonists, but Tilla = badass conglomeration of awesome. And Jax is my darling sass bucket child. And I loved all the explosions, the stabbing, and the slightly heartbreaking backstories. <3 I definitely recommend this one! Especially if you want to read fantasy, but get scared off by the usual stiff style. This is bantery and easy to devour. And I said it was good so seriously why are you still here and not eating it yourself.

** QUOTES **
Note: Quotes are taken from eARC and not from the final copy so not to be taken/used without checking against final copy.

"Damn." Jax shook his head. "Not that I had much love for those guys, but it's a hell of a way to go. Makes you almost feel bad for them."
"I don't," Zell said.
"Yeah, well, you basically don't have emotions between 'gotta kill' and 'yay, I killed,' so that's not really a surprise."

He glanced at me, and I realised his words were a test, a little prick to see how sharply I'd react. I put on my most stoic face, which probably looked like I had to sneeze.

Lyriana stirred in her tree, grumbling in a distinctly non-Princess-like manner. "I'd like another hour of sleep, please..."
"And I'd like to not get killed by Zell's psycho brother when he catches up to us." Jax clapped his hands loudly, startling Lyriana awake. "We ride. Now!"

Why would I ever walk across the courtyard like a sucker when there was an awesome hidden tunnel I could sneak through?
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Reading Progress

June 23, 2015 – Shelved
June 23, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
May 28, 2017 – Started Reading
May 28, 2017 –
24.0% "This is shaping up to be monstrously spectacular."
May 29, 2017 –
74.0% ""Damn." Jax shook his head. "Not that I had much love for those guys, but it's a hell of a way to go. Makes you almost feel bad for them."
"I don't," Zell said.
"Yeah, well, you basically don't have emotions between 'gotta kill' and 'yay, I killed,' so that's not really a surprise."

May 30, 2017 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
May 30, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
May 30, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 30, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Jenny Baker (new)

Jenny Baker Great review! I'm so glad to hear that it's a 4-star read! My library reserve was just shipped, so I should be starting this any day now. I'm looking forward to it!

C.G. Drews @Jenny: Yayyy I hope you enjoy it too! SO MUCH FUN. :D

Maya White I'm going to be royally pissed if this does not have a sequel. This book was great! However, if there is no sequel, welp to be honest, that was a TERRIBLE ending. Sorry, that's just my opinion. Also great review!

C.G. Drews @Maya: Fingers crossed for a sequel, right?!

Akansha Cait I just saw the popular asked question and Andrew Shvarts said that its part 1 of a trilogy!! so Yay!You can thank me.I'm half way through this book and when you said ther'll be no sequel i was like huh?you're kidding right?
P.S. i Checked shvarts like two times to get it right clearly I have a problem

C.G. Drews @Akansha: OH GOOD. Goodreads said it was a standalone when I read it. :P

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