City of Bastards (Royal Bastards Series #2)

City of Bastards (Royal Bastards Series #2)

by Andrew Shvarts

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City of Bastards 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
paisleypikachu More than 1 year ago
I loved last year's ROYAL BASTARDS(my review of that one can be read here). Sequels, especially with new authors, are always a tricky thing. Will it be as good as good as the first book? Will the author grow, or will they falter? Last year I said that Andrew Shvarts is an author I wanted to keep and eye on. After reading CITY OF BASTARDS, I'm glad I did. Where I felt that the first book lacked depth, this sequel made up for it a hundredfold. The story and world have been filled out so well. The disconnect I felt with the first book was not longer there this time around. Tilla is still such a great lead. I loved where her character went in this book, the struggles she faced and her decisions and reactions made her feel so real. The supporting characters were still fantastic, I especially loved Ellarion in this one. The voice Shvarts' uses for these books is unique in YA fantasy, and might be the biggest reason they stand out for me. It's been a year since I read ROYAL BASTARDS but I had no trouble remembering the story and jumping into the sequel. The voice is consistent throughout, and makes the story and world feel so real. There's really nothing like it in the genre, and it makes these stories memorable. The only reason CITY OF BASTARDS didn't quite hit five stars for me was that it wasn't as action-packed as the first book. And while it totally makes sense for this book to have more world building and set-up, I really just love the action scenes that Andrew Shvarts writes. They were my favorite part of the first book, and were so abundant. They were my favorite part of this book as well, but there weren't quite as many. It really boils down to taste, and didn't hinder my reading experience. That all said, Shvarts is SO good at writing climaxes, a fact cemented with this book. He's so good at weaving chaos and storytelling into his climaxes, I was enthralled the whole time and once the big finale started I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it. I absolutely can't wait to see where this series goes from here. CITY OF BASTARDS was a really fun read, still as easy to read as the first book, but will more depth of world and story. I highly recommend this series!
CJListro More than 1 year ago
Royal Bastards (review here!) was one of my breakout favorites of last year, so I was thrilled to find the sequel just as...well, thrilling. Tilla and her friends are back, this time with a murder on their hands. Their investigation turns into a web of intrigue, forbidden magic, and deep-rooted conspiracy that kept me breathless until the end. Even more explosive than its predecessor, City of Bastards is a sure favorite for anyone who wants fantasy with bite. The bastards are back with a bang. Tilla is just as every bit headstrong as she ever was; you can never say she just lets things happen to her. This girl is driving the plot if it kills her. Lyriana is mourning several losses by drinking and debauching herself into a frenzy, and Zell is Zell. Not going to lie, I liked him less than I had in book 1. He's kind of a limp blanket next to Tilla's firebrand self. I thought Tilla's bantery bright chemistry with Ellarion was way more compelling. Also I just love Ellarion, Lyriana's flirtatious rake of a cousin. He takes up Jax's role as charming loudmouth with exuberance and flair. But the best is how they all play off each other, how they grow, how they f*ck up and get back up. And the villains! Andrew's baddies are a chilling mix of larger-than-life overlords and all-too-real spawns of toxic masculinity. Andrew's dark brand of comedy delivers laughs with a razor edge. It's what makes this book different from so many other fantasies. There's magic, yes, and adventure and a bit of romance, but it's couched in a boisterous, tongue-in-cheek style that reads more like Pirates of the Caribbean than Throne of Glass. Quips and profanity are bandied about. Serious themes (the nature of good and evil in war, for example) are explored, but with a slantwise sarcasm that keeps it from getting heavy handed. The twists! The turns! That ending! It starts out slowly, but also fast? I wanted to get a better sense of the university and world of Lightspire and felt very ungrounded. Once they find the body, however, things pick up and the city comes to life. It feels like Skyrim mashed up with Star Wars, with shimmersteel towers, cryptic clues, and all sorts of underground societies and intrigues twining together into one big web that snares them all. Andrew's writing is cinematic, his plotting fast-paced and brutal. People get f*cked up. They are betrayed. They lose limbs. The carnage is blockbuster-worthy. And even though parts are predictable, he still managed to surprise me at the end and leave me dying for the next book. Even more explosive than its predecessor, City of Bastards is a sure favorite for anyone who wants fantasy with bite. Someone make this ish a movie. Full review:
Lisa_Loves_Literature More than 1 year ago
One nice thing was that the author did a great job of weaving details from book one throughout the story as it started, so that I got caught up quickly with what happened in the first book, even thought it had been a year since I'd read it. I will concur with a fellow blogger, Nicole over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction who said that this one did not suffer from the usual sophomore slump that a lot of second books in a series have. There were a lot of twists and turns in this that I didn't necessarily see coming. There were betrayals galore! Some from people that made you very sad, and some from others. And in the end, some of those weren't quite as bad as I'd felt at first, and then the others were pretty major! Lots of mystery and intrigue in the court of the Lightspire king. Not to mention that the whole myth and reality of the magic the mages and people of this capital used was a big lie. This was a good fantasy story, continuing an original idea from book one, and I'm now going to be eager to read book three. I guess I've got a year to wait!