Title: Royal Bastards
By: Andrew Shvarts
Published: May 2017
Target: Young Adult
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.
How I got it: Free on Bookbub! Again, maybe time to limit the Bookbub browsing.
When I got it: August 2017
Why I want to read it: I think it’s the idea of the outsiders being the heroes and the main characters in this novel are definitely outsiders. I have always cheered for the underdog and this story is about a time when birthright mattered. There’s something about marriage making things legitimate that is so foreign in our modern world that exploring the whys of it has always been fascinating to me. A child’s life was so different back then through no fault of their own. I’m also interested to read the legitimate vs. illegitimate dynamics.