Review by Sharon2056 -- Masters and Bastards

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Review by Sharon2056 -- Masters and Bastards

Post by Sharon2056 »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Masters and Bastards" by Christopher J. Penington.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The ability to possess supernatural abilities leaves one to decide whether they will use their gifts rightly to benefit all humanity, or wrongly for their own selfish needs. Masters and Bastards by Christopher J. Penington is a science fiction novel that highlights the life of Beowin Andreas Marset, a highly gifted psionipath who triumphed in war.

The book begins with Andreas having been summoned in the Iberian Imperium by Silla, also known as the crone. The crone, the emperor's concubine, was determined to probe on rape allegations against Andreas on the lieutenant's wife. Andreas was accused to have attempted to rape the wife of the lieutenant. Andreas was born an Arpathian and this made him be regarded as part of the bastard population in Iberia, in the Poltervalt planet. Arpathians were of a lower class and were denied the right to take top positions in the army, vote, or even be with Iberian women. The summoning of Andreas in the palace revealed that both Andreas and the crone were telepathic, and both could read the mind of the other.

A romantic encounter by Andreas and Tavi Ulia, a senator's daughter, resulted in Andreas being summoned once again in the palace. However, this time it wasn't to be punished, but to impregnate the daughter of the emperor! Due to Andreas' great and unmatched abilities, the emperor, Silla, and Isabella, the emperor's daughter, had selected Andreas to be the father of the next heir of Iberia. The mission to stud the daughter of the emperor was a secret in the Iberian palace, and once the task was over Andreas was meant to be killed. The quest to kill Andreas resulted in several adventures, as he was sent on several wars and high-risk missions in the Rubicon and Gideon planet. Initially, Andreas' mission to impregnate Isabella was a royal duty that came with no attachment, however; Andreas fell in love with Isabella, but Isabella's identity is one shocking revelation to Andreas.

Penington is an adept story-teller, the book is filled with twists and action that raises tension, while at the same time leaving one glued to the book. Andreas Marset's character is perfectly weaved from the beginning to the end, leaving one fully satisfied with the development and growth of the character. The book being a military sci-fi fantasy novel the wars are described exceptionally. The writer explores the planning stages of each war to its full completion in the field, which oftentimes happen to be strangely different from what was initially planned. This aspect brilliantly explores the uncertainties of war.

Despite the book fully exploring the war on the foreign planets of Rubicon and Gideon, and against the Vulgari, an alien nation invasion, it also explores love. Love on the battlefield between enemy nations, and love between individuals of different social status. The revelations encompassed in the book are mind-blowing, as mysteries are constantly unraveled, and more mysteries developing. The book highlights the aspect of fighting for a common cause among differing nations, the need for unity to fight a common enemy. The pace of the book is fast as one action follows another, and there's no point in the book in which one feels bored.

The book was well-edited, however; I did find a few instances of grammatical errors. Also, it's crucial to note that vulgar language has been used throughout the book. Apart from these, there are no other shortcomings in the book. I wholeheartedly rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. The few grammatical errors could not rob the book of its brilliance. This is an intriguing and captivating book. I highly recommend it to individuals who like sci-fi and fantasy novels, historical fiction, military fiction, and anyone who would like an interesting and enjoyable read.

Masters and Bastards
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