Title: Traitor to the Throne
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Pub Date: March 7, 2017
Format: Kindle eBook
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Romance
[Goodreads] ● [Amazon] ● [Book Depository]
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.
When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“But then, this was what the desert did to us. It made us dreamers with weapons.”
Wow. What a sequel. Before I get into this review, please be aware that there might be unintentional spoilers for the first book. If you’d like to see my review for Rebel of the Sands first, click here. Are we good to go? Okay. Let’s dive in.
First of all, there was quite a big time jump between book one and book two… massive even. The passing of time was interesting but I also feel like I missed out on a lot of good content! Namely, Jin. I feel like there was not enough of him in this book. What was he up to during that massive chunk of time? How were him and Amani getting along before the craziness of this sequel started? Is he still the same guy he was in book one? I have so many questions and so few answers. But I digress.
While Jin was MIA, Ahmed was there to take over for the rebels. Like Amani, I also found myself constantly questioning his leadership. Her doubts became my own but I still had some faith in him. Surely he is better than the Sultan? Good has to trump bad, right? It’s just confusing because both sides of every battle always fight with their own “good intentions”. Things can get complicated.
When it comes to potential rulers, I don’t think that Jin set out to be one. I think he just wants to love his girl and fight for her. He’s a strong guy, but he doesn’t want to fight this battle for all the rebels–just one rebel girl. At least that’s the vibe I get from him. Maybe he’ll prove us all wrong in the next book. Maybe we’ll never know because he’ll just disappear again.
A lot of new characters were introduced in this book so I’ll try to keep my opinions about them brief. The majority of the book was focused on the Sultan and I’m kind of glad about it. I love getting to know “villains”. I don’t agree with his methods as a ruler but I do like that he was humanized a bit. We see that he thinks he’s doing the right thing for his people by keeping the society a certain way. That doesn’t mean that things shouldn’t change though.
Who else was there? Sam. Sam was funny. He reminded me of Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles. I liked Leyla in the beginning (mostly because I was excited to read about a character that shared my name) but my opinion of her changed by the end of the book (for obvious reasons). Rahim was probably my favourite new character. You can read the book if you want to know why.
Anyways, I feel like I’m talking too much about the characters. I just don’t want to spoil the plot for you guys because it really was action-packed. Did I mention how awesome the demji powers are? They are so badass. Shapeshifting is probably the coolest thing in this book.
Overall, Traitor started off a bit slowly for me (and it honestly could have been like 100 pages shorter), but I enjoyed it a lot more than Rebel of the Sands. There was just so much action happening! I love it when a sequel can land more punches than its predecessor.
If you’re looking for desert vibes, guns, demons, rebels and royals–you’ll want to pick up this book.