Rogan is the former king of Albion and became king after he decapitated the former king. Being a barbarian, that’s how Rogan got what he wanted, by killing in barbaric ways.
After his reign, when Rogan was an old man, he set out on a fishing ship with his crew when they are suddenly attacked by sea monsters and a group of warriors led by one of Rogan’s bastard sons. After the battle, the remaining crew members led by Rogan learn they must fight a force darker than any they have encountered before. Rogan discovers his family is in danger and must fight for his life and the chance to save them.
This book came to me at a time when I was looking for something dark and medieval, and it fit the bill on both accounts beautifully. I had never heard of Stephen Shrewsbury before and I was eager to read my first Brian Keene book, as I’ve heard nothing but good things about his work. I will gladly read other works by both of these authors in the future.
The first thing that struck me about King of the Bastards was how likeable Rogan was. In one part of the story, he eats the heart of a man he defeated in battle, but despite his barbarian ways, he’s actually a likable guy. I think it takes a lot of talent to turn a barbarian into a guy that you can’t help but like. Now, that’s not to say that Rogan is perfect, because he’s not. He’s misogynistic, mean-spirited and bold, but you’ll learn to love him.
We learn the tale of Rogan as it is told to a group of children and it works very well. It’s dark, scary in places, and it’s obvious that the authors paid great attention to detail. This is a fast-paced, dark adventure that is a lot of fun to read. Although there are some genuinely scary and disgusting parts, King of the Bastards is suitable for both fantasy and horror fans.
Dawn Angry Puppy
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