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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 16 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, 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.
Teen & YA ~ Fantasy ~ Epic
This book had a lot of promise, and I feel like it mostly delivered on it. I had a hard time connecting with some of the characters, but not the one who died. I bawled. Blast it all! I really enjoyed the flow of the story and the way things unfolded, and the interactions with the characters. The twist near the end was not exactly surprising, but I feel that if it had NOT happened, it would have ruined the story. It NEEDED to happen, you know?
The flow was quite good, the pace generally edge-of-your-seat. Quite done, in my humble opinion.
The narrator was good as well, helping to intensify scenes where needed, but a tad lacking in the emotion department for such events. Still, quite good, and I enjoyed her voice.
If you enjoy high fantasy (I think that's it, I'm not great with genres!), then you will probably enjoy this.