Last month I was kindly given these two ARC’s from publishers at Netgalley for honest review and unfortunately the nicest thing I can say about either of these novels is I love the covers and titles.
I hate quitting books but these two are my first two DNF’s (Did Not Finish) of 2017. I tried to slosh through them I really did and maybe one day I will attempt another try but why torture yourself when you simply do not enjoy the story. That being said these are my opinions only, so please read and enjoy these novels, they just weren’t for me.
First off Royal Bastards which is set to come out on June 6th 2017
Synopsis: 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 . . .
My Thoughts: Unfortunately a quarter of the way through I had to DNF this book. The writing style was too much middle grade for my taste and the story failed to hook me in any which way. I do say I did enjoy the synopsis and cover, but ultimately this book was simply not my cup of tea. In the future I plan on giving it another shot but for now it’s not for me.
Next Mask of Shadows, book one in an untitled duology.
Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home. When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge. But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
My Thoughts: I truly wanted to love this book, it has a gorgeous cover and a unique premise but I found it lack luster and tedious unfortunately. The idea of a gender fluid character drew me in initially but in the end I turned out not to enjoy the main character at all, and the descriptions got on my nerves more than anything. The idea that fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo hyped this story up to much for me which I believe made it fall flat in the end. It was not my cup of tea, the idea of a competition was a great idea but did not deliver for me personally. I do hope others enjoy it where I could not.
Thankyou so much to the publishers for allowing me to read these and I am sorry I did not enjoy them but I hope many others do!!