Royal Bastards: An Amazing YA Fantasy with a Scandalous Title

Book Review, Young Adult Books
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts. YA fantasy about illegitinate royal children and their attempts to escape a bounty on their heads.
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Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Age Range: 15 and up | Series: Royal Bastards | Hardcover: 352 pages | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (May 30, 2017)


On Scandal and Keeping Secrets From My Husband

I was really excited about Royal Bastards when I received the pitch from Disney-Hyperion, but truth be told, I was hesitant about the title. The reason? I try very hard not to curse, and I’m relatively successful, depending on the day. My husband is more successful than I am (by far).

However, after reading the synopsis, there was no way I could turn this book down.

When Royal Bastards showed up in my mailbox, I was worried about what my husband would think. He’s (much) better at the whole clean-language thing than I am. So I left the book in the envelope and hid it, thinking that I’d have to read it in secret so my husband and kids wouldn’t see it. Ha!

Eventually, the book worked it’s way to the top of my TBR pile, so I pulled it out of its hiding place and took it out of the envelope. True to my original devious plan, I started reading the book in my bedroom where I could close the door and stay out of sight of prying children’s and husband’s eyes.

The thing about being married is that you share a bedroom. So of course, as I was knee-deep in the book, completely engrossed and unaware of my surroundings, my husband walks in.

I was so into the book that I didn’t even have the good graces to gasp guiltily and try to hide the cover. No, I didn’t even register he was in the room until he burst out laughing.

“Now, that’s my kind of book!” He said.

Which is when I remembered the title and my embarrassment over it being a curse word.

I popped up and tried to defend myself. “It’s meant in the literal sense of the word! It’s doesn’t mean ‘big fat jerks’. It’s about a bunch of illegitimate and disowned royal kids—”

But my husband was laughing too hard to listen. Obviously, he didn’t care. He just found it hilarious that he caught me reading “scandalous” material while hiding in my room.

All my worrying and sneaking around was for nothing. I should have known better. My husband is an easy-going kind of guy that loves nothing more than a good laugh. And seeing his uptight wife read a book titled Royal Bastards was pretty funny.


My Thoughts on Royal Bastards

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts. YA fantasy about illegitinate royal children and their attempts to escape a bounty on their heads.

Okay, so  now that you know about my embarrassing attempt at keeping a book a secret from my husband and kids, let me tell you what I thought about it.

I looooved this book. I almost gave it five stars, but there were a couple of places that I didn’t find believable. So, it was the almost-but-not-quite perfect read.

It reminded me of The Kiss of Deception and The Winner’s Curse in some ways, but it was too different to draw any lasting comparisons.

Royal Bastards is about a group of illegitimately sired royal teenagers who accidentally witness a terrible crime and have to run for their lives. The characters are beautifully diverse in ethnicity, faith, and culture. They’re a complex, interesting group of teens who face frightening situations and make tough decisions. I loved the way Tilla, the main character, follows her heart and does what she believes in right.

At times, the writing felt too contemporary to be believable for a fantasy novel, but that’s an easy thing to overlook.

It didn’t take me long to get into the book. It’s a fast-paced story with tons of action. The action scenes are written well, and kept me clutching the book and turning pages as fast as I could.

This is one of the best YA books I’ve read this year. I lost myself in the story and I can’t wait until the next book comes out.

Content: Language, violence, and non-descriptive sex.

Source: The publisher sent me an ARC of this book.



Get the Book

Royal Bastards by Andrew ShvartsAmazon | Book Depository | Goodreads


Other Books Mentioned in This Post

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. YA fantasy for teens. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. YA fantasy book for teens.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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