Tuesday, August 4, 2015

recent read; King of the Bastards

King of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven Shrewsbury.

Partial cover blurb;

King of the Bastards is wild adventure across seas, beaches, and mountains full of horrifying monstrosities, dark magic, and demonic entities.

Rogan has been many things in his life as an adventurer — a barbarian, a thief, a buccaneer, a rogue, a lover, a reaver, and most recently, a king. Now, this prehistoric bane of wizards and tyrants finds himself without a kingdom, lost in a terrifying new world, and fighting for his life against pirates, zombies, and the demonic entity known as Meeble.

This is good ol' fashioned sword-&-sorcery with blood, guts and adventure.

Rogan, the 'retired' restless king of Albion is on an exploration & fishing voyage when he is beset by enemies and shipwrecked. The local natives trade his services as a warrior for their help returning him to his homeland. Recruited to dispatch a sorcerer and the sorcerer's dark god, Rogan fights far from home even as troubling news and visions show the former king that his son has been disposed from the throne back home in Albion.

Sure, Rogan is cut from the Conan cloth, but he is his own barbarian. He is more uncouth than Conan. He is a lot more ribald, and one wonders if Robert E. Howard had written in a later year, if he might not have had more sexual elements to his Conan stories like this.

This novel is short, just right for a sword-&-sorcery tale here. I got sucked in and read it in three days, which is not something I have done with a single novel in a long time.

There is plenty of room for more tales of Rogan. Although King of the Bastards is self-contained, there are plenty of threads to pick up in a direct sequel, for a start. I'd enjoy reading that story if Keene & Shrewsbury want to write it!

If you're a sword-&-sorcery fan and want to read something new, King of the Bastards will hit the spot nicely.


  1. I was looking at this. I definitely want to read it.

  2. My copy showed up a couple of days ago, but it will be at least a week before I can work it in. Looking forward to reading it.