King of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven Shrewsbury
Apex Book Company (July 2015)
182 pages, e-book $6.99, paperback $15.95
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
Brian Keene, a name synonymous with horror, and Steven Shrewsbury, best known for his work in the sword-and-sorcery genre, have combined their considerable talents and given us King of the Bastards. Told as a story to a small group of children, it was to be about their grandfather, the king…
“Was grandfather king of the entire old world?”
“No, he ruled but a small part of it. But he was known, feared, and lusted after throughout the entire old world. Kings, women, brigands, and bards—all knew his name. It is KING OF THE BASTARDS.”
Check your thinking cap at the entrance and get ready for big time adventure. In the tradition of Conan the Barbarian, King of the Bastards is a bold, brash saga of a king and his nephew on a quest to return home and save their people from oppression at the hands of a group of savages. Along the way they have to deal with sea monsters, zombies, pirates, giants, one-breasted Amazonian women, maybe even aliens, and some elements of Lovecraftian horror.
Rogan, King of the Bastards, is a bit misogynistic, but he’s a bastard and I guess that’s to be expected. Overall, this was a lot of fun and I can’t leave without complementing artist, Daniel Kamarudin, for the brilliant cover art on this book.
Recommended for sure.