3 out of 4 stars
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Masters and Bastards by Christopher J. Penington is a fiction, with its setting during the time when life on earth was extinct. As a result of the cultivation of human DNA, life begins on the planet of Poltervault. The inhabitants of Poltervault were Iberians and Aparthians. The Aparthians were a conquered nation, now living with the Iberians. They were the lower caste of the society and did not have access to the privileges the Iberians enjoyed. Andreas was in the Iberian army and had Aparthian roots. He was summoned to the palace to get Isabella, the bastard daughter of the Emperor, pregnant. Unknown to him, he was at the center of political schemings and struggle for power. Afterward, he was sent off to another planet, Rubicon. On this journey, he discovers a part of himself he was oblivious of. Meanwhile, the human race faced a common enemy- aliens. Will they be able to look past their rivalry and fight the Vulgaris together?
A fiction featuring war, politics, friendship, love, and betrayal. It is written in the third person point of view. The language employed is a bit difficult because I had to look up words. The plot was well-developed and easy to follow. Having read the Hand Bringer, another book by Penington, I could say he has this unique style of saving the secrets for the last chapter. It keeps you wondering till the very end. One thing is for sure, the plot is definitely unpredictable.
I liked the characterization in the book. Andreas was young, handsome, and could be called a genius. He employed intelligent strategies that led to their victory. He was truly an excellent leader. I admired the friendship Andreas shared with his colleagues. There were some characters I did not quite understand at first, but later got to know the reasons behind their actions. Isabella was one of them. The telepathy and other supernatural powers, like changing one's face to that of someone else, were awesome.
The aspect I liked least about the book was the extensive descriptions of some places like the Iberian palace, I found it really boring. I also did not like the gory scenes of war, they were graphic. There was also a scene when two horses were suddenly shot and killed. I didn't expect that and it was inhumane. Readers who may be sensitive to these, should take note. I would have loved to see the reactions of the characters, especially Andreas, to the shocking revelations at the end.
There were sex scenes and profanities were used. There were more than ten errors, so the book can not be said to be professionally edited. I, therefore, give Masters and Bastards 3 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book to lovers of the sci-fi genre, military books and those who do not mind the gory scenes.
Masters and Bastards
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