Author: Andrew Shvarts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Goodreads Synopsis: 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. more
When I started with this novel, I wasn’t sure if it was something that would be in my tops for this year. At first, I thought I wouldn’t be reading it anytime soon, but I was then given the opportunity to read it and I said to myself why not give it a go. I am so glad that I did because it was such a good book. Even though there were some flaws with it, I couldn’t stop reading it and right away I had my favorites.
Tilla, even though is the main character, was not the first one that caught my attention. As I kept reading I was introduced to Jax, then Zell, and finally Lyriana. Of course, there are many others, as well as Miles who for many reasons as you read the story yourself will find him a hard character to stay connected with. And don’t get me wrong as far as Tilla, it is not for her lack of personality or role in the story, it’s just that the other three quickly became the reason why I kept reading and hoping for the best ending.
There was so much going on in this novel and none of it was bland in the least, everything brought the story together and made for a very interesting read. I couldn’t help but feel for the characters, as they were portrayed by members of their families and society as the lowly ones of them all. Especially Zell, whom I can’t help but want to somehow make myself into a fictional character just so I can enter those pages and knock some sense into all the Zitochi that made him feel worthless for not being more ruthless and conniving like all of them.
As I kept reading, the magic that entered these pages was not always without some confusion, but it made for a very intense read and some of the scenes placed in front of me just made my head jerk at how gruesome it got so fast in such a short period of time. It set up the rest of this novel in a way that a battle was to be inevitable and the characters were even more heroic for going against all of their parents for the better of the people who deserved to live instead of being dragged into an egotist’s bloody war.
Not only did it carry many action packed scenes and backstabbing moments of the year, but it left my favorite character in shambles. I knew there was a possibility said person wouldn’t make it out alive after everything they had all gone through and were still going through, but when it did happen it left me shocked and hoping some sort of magic would transpire and what had occurred would be reversed. Sadly, that wasn’t the case, but oh man did it work it’s way into my heart and leave me shocked and very emotionally invested.
Even though there were some questions as to how the magic in these pages found a different way to still be after the first explanation given or how one of the character’s flipped so drastically even with the reasoning given behind it, OR how the love stories flowed so easily when I felt there should have been more time and detail into them having such a strong bond, I couldn’t wait to finish this book. I found myself looking up information as to whether a sequel was in the making or if it was only a standalone reading. Luckily, there is more to come and I can’t wait for that information to be made known because I will definitely be looking into getting the second book.
***I received this copy from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***