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The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniels is a fantasy novel, the first in a trilogy, set in the imaginary realm of Rolencia. The subgenre is palace politics. The book follows the lives of three of the children of the king of Rolencia, Bryan, Fyn, and Piro, as their world is slowly torn apart when their long lost cousin returns and slowly works his way between Bryen and his twin, Lence, who is heir to the throne.
The author does a good job creating likeable (and unlikeable) characters and building tension and adversity for them. Plenty of intrigue in both the palace and the abbey, where those with magical affinity are sent to learn to control their power and (hopefully) avoid becoming corrupted by it. The world is fairly simple, but with enough elements allow complex politics: two kingdoms, each with several remote provinces, a nearby island nation, and two powerful religious orders.
I would have given this book three starts, but there are places where the writing is a bit forced, and towards the end, the story gets very choppy. The author is fond of multithreading within a chapter, and the jumps between viewpoint characters are sometimes jarring. Toward the end, I found the constant acceptance by King Roland of his nephew’s claims over those of his own children and wife less and less believable. I picked up the entire trilogy, but I’m not sure when I’ll read the second book.