Review: King of the Bastards by Brian Keene & Steven L. Shrewsbury

Rating: ★★★★☆


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. And even if he defeats his foes, Rogan must still find a way to return home, regain his throne, save his loved ones, and remind everyone why he’s the


Thanks to the publisher and authors for a copy of King of the Bastards in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this e-copy did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novella.

I was contacted by Apex and asked to be apart of their Back Catalog Blog Tour during the month of September. I happily accepted, already being a fan of the pub, and decided to go with Brian Keene & Steven Shrewsbury’s King of the Bastards and Throne of the Bastards (review coming Sept. 27th) as they are a mix of fantasy and horror; two of my FAVORITE genres and ones that aren’t normally mashed together.

Keene is an author I am really only familiar with due to social media. I have seen his name pop up all over IG and Twitter thanks to the circle of horror aficionados I hang around (virtually speaking). Much like Jonathan Janz, he is one that I have been meaning to read for a while now and Apex gave me that opportunity. Having finally done so, I can see the hype that surrounds him.

King of the Bastards is sort of like a guilty pleasure read. Because of its length and subject matter, it more than likely isn’t going to break any new ground that hasn’t been churned up over and over again. Having said that, there is something consistently bringing me back to reads like this and I don’t know if was growing up with violent video games, watching shows like Vikings and Game of Thrones, or just having a dark soul that enjoys massive amounts of bloodshed and giant winged creatures.

I am a fantasy fan through and through, and it was nice having a little side-piece read like this to break up the 500-800 page epic stand-alones and series starters that are being put out month to month. At roughly 160 pages, KotB can be read in a couple of hours, depending on reading speed. It isn’t a difficult read at all, unless you are squeamish, and the authors do a phenomenal job of pulling you directly into the action. Just know that there is a consistent unloading of violence (graphic, very graphic) and sexy-sexy content throughout, which if you are a fan of Michael R Fletcher, should make you feel right at home.

I recommend KotB for any fan of the grimdark genre. And like I said, it is a quick and enjoyable read that’ll get you through the monotony of a random Tuesday and have you bashing skulls by Wednesday.

All September long, Apex Book Company is offering 25% OFF everything in their store. Use code SEPTEMBER and get you some goodies!

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