BWW Review: ROYAL BASTARDS by Andrew Shvarts
"You're proud of me...because I defied you?"
"Yes. There's no greater courage than defying your own."
This book is so bad-ass. I said that when I was only 80 pages in and everything was going wrong and I was describing the book to a co-worker. I still say that now after finishing!
One of the reasons I was first intrigued by Andrew Shvarts' debut novel ROYAL BASTARDS was because it was comped to SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo. Okay, yes, sign me up!! When I finally sat down to start reading and read the summary again, I just couldn't see the comparison. That's because I was expecting it to comp in a heist sense. After reading this? Despite not seeming so in the summary, the books are DEFINITELY in the same wheelhouse. Both feature a group of teens on the run trying to save someone--and they all have bounties on their heads. Both have--tasks, for lack of a better world--that can upend the world if not carried out. And, of course, just the gritty feel to it all. So if you like SIX OF CROWS? Yeah, I think you're going to like ROYAL BASTARDS, too.
There's danger. Heartache. Betrayal. First love. Friendship. Questions of loyalty. So many good things that keep you reading!
The book kicks into high gear pretty fast. Tilla, a family friend, Miles, and a newcomer to the group, a dangerous Zitochi warrior named Zell are all sitting at the table designated for bastard children in the royal hall. When the visiting Princess Lyriana arrives, she opts not to sit with her uncle the Royal Archmagus or Tilla's father--the realm's king. Instead, she sits with the bastards despite the improperness of it. While there, she talks about a superstition that if you dip your feet into two different oceans, you'll have good luck. She laments the fact that her uncle won't let her stop to do this while she's visiting, and the group decide to sneak out in the evening to go to the ocean (after picking up Tilla's half-brother Jax, who is a stableboy).