Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 2nd 2017
Format: Paperback (512 pages)
Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert – and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.
Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl’s instinct for survival. For the Sultan’s palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper’s nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive… But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani’s past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.
My Rating: ★★★★★
“A new dawn, a new desert”
I finished reading Rebel of the Sands only a few days before I was lucky enough to pick up an early copy of Traitor to the Throne at an event with Alwyn (and I also got it signed!). I jumped straight into this book without a second of hesitation and I loved every second. I found myself flipping through the pages at quite a rapid rate because I couldn’t get enough of it.
Traitor to the Throne picks up nearly a year after we left the first book. The rebels are in the midst of fighting for their Rebel Prince and we are straight away plunged into action. After Amani is kidnapped we are thrown into a world of politics and danger at the hands of the Sultan himself. Can the rebels free Amani and what will the consequences be?
This book is full of action from beginning to end. Not once did I find myself skimming over the words, I was desperate to absorb each and every letter of this book. As the Rebellion moves forward the intensity of this book increases. There were moments where I almost couldn’t bear to read on for fear of what might happen to some of my favourite characters. There were so many twists, turns and surprises in this book, right down to the very last few pages.
This book evoked a lot of emotion in me, I was SO angry at the way in which Amani was being treated by the Sultan, especially the way in which she was stripped of her powers. Then I was all fuzzy and warm-hearted at Amani/Jin and the fierce friendship between Amani and Shazad. The next second I could barely breathe as I was so wrapped up in this book that Amani’s fears and anxiety became my own. I also felt an overwhelming surge of passion for how strong Amani and Shazad are. Alwyn Hamilton certainly knows how to send me on a roller coaster of emotion!
I LOVED (seriously loved) learning so much background in this book. It’s possible that this won’t be for everyone but I really enjoyed learning about the old tales of the Djinn and learning so much about their powers. The magical elements in this book are SO fantastic. It’s fun discovering the different powers of the Demdji and I really love the idea that the Demdji cannot lie. The exploration of how a Demdji truth can also have devastating consequences in a prophecy-like manner was also really interesting.
The world that Alwyn Hamilton has created for this series is so rich. Her writing is vivid and descriptive which easily allows me to visualise the story. The world is so well thought out and built that you could almost forget this is fiction (which is a weird thing to say about a fantasy book).
Next up are the characters. There were a LOT of new characters in this book and sometimes that was a little hard to follow but as someone who reads more than her fair share of fantasy books I didn’t find it too difficult. We are joined by the old gang of Amani, Jin, Shazad, Ahmed, Imin, Delilah, Hala and others as well as some appearances from the long lost Tamid and Shira. Add into the throw a whole ton of new characters including Rahim, Leyla, the Sultan, Ayet, Sam and Safiyah, there’s bound to be a character that everyone loves.
There are SO many great characters in this series but my favourite two have to be Amani and Shazad. I love that Alwyn has created two female characters who are so strong, sassy and independent yet they have such a fierce love for each other and their friendship is more like a sisterhood. Shira really rose up in my expectations in this book and I loved how strong she turned out to be. Ahmed and Rahim are two male characters that I like and obviously I cannot leave out Jin. I love Jin SO much and my only bug bear with this book is that there wasn’t enough of Jin (or Jin/Amani for that matter – I did love the glimpses that we got though!)
Overall I thought this was an excellent addition to the series and the way in which it ended has me desperate for the final book in the trilogy. There is sure to be plenty of bloodshed and action when the Rebellion continues.
Have you read Rebel of the Sands/Traitor to the Throne? What did you think?
Who was your favourite character?
What are your favourite YA fantasy series?