Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.
At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.
Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.
The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey.
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Tawney’s Review: Coming off of a Game of Thrones very long lull I thought this book would be the perfect thing to take my mind off of swords and dragons and winter coming.
This was a fantasy with swords, betrayal and mystery. It was a dark, edgy story with a band of misfit characters. Tilla is the bastard daughter of a Lord who ignores her now that he has a real proper family. When a visiting princess needs help it’s up to Tilla and her unlikely band of misfits. Almost like the Breakfast Club for fantasy.
The pace was fast and the book had lots of action that kept the reader occupied. My main problem with the book was the modern language. It felt out of place in a fantasy world that left me a little distracted. But not so much so that I couldn’t read further. After a few chapters I got use to the language and it didn’t seem as important.
I didn’t really connect with the characters but the ending was great. It was a different type of fantasy that really didn’t grasp my love but I did like it. Tons of action and fantasy to keep you occupied.
Should you read it? Yes, even though I found some faults it may just be the fantasy you are looking for with tons of action and mystery.
Thank you Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!