Series: Rebel of the Sands #2
Published by Faber & Faber on February 2nd 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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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.
“This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.”
Traitor to the Throne marks the second instalment of the Rebels of the Sands series and I am a bit of a emotional wreck after it, please excuse me. While I wasn’t particularly fond of about 20% of this book, I gave it 5 stars regardless because what it lacked in some places it gained tenfold in others.
I spent the first 10% of this book asking myself, “who are you again?” which brought my excitement for this sequel to a steady halt. It probably would have been a good idea for me to have refreshed my memory with what exactly went down during Rebel of the Sands.
But I got through.
This book took a hard turn from being your typical romantic adventure in the desert to “action-packed-political-intrigue”. However, in getting there, we had to overcome a great deal of info-dumps from an unidentified omnipresent narrator which often overshadowed and slowed down the opening chapters. Hamilton needed to show rather than tell. I would have much preferred to have each info-dump unravel subtly throughout the plot than have it dumped on my door step with explicit instructions of how every little thing happened in the past.
The plot overall was action-packed, laden with old familiar faces and the arrival of the new, each with their own story lines and purposes. No character ever seemed to be there just because. They were each working towards something that added to the plot. The mythology that blossomed during Traitor to the Throne – namely, the myths and legends of Miraji – truly enriched the world Alywn had created. Stories of ancient wars and magical love stories had my yearning for novellas about these times.
But where was Jin, Alywn? He was missing from 80% of the book and while I understand that it had to be that way because of plot restrictions doesn’t mean I have to like it. I straight up need more smart-mouthed, ass-kicking Jin in book 3, please?
That ending though… I’m not sure I’ll be getting over it anytime soon because it absolutely slayed me. One second you’re trying to recover from a holy mammoth of a plot twist (that I really should have seen coming but still shocked me to the core ngl) to the plot twist of the plot twist which had me trying to locate my heart that was last seen floundering frantically on the ground.
My only request for book 3 is that there is more sass, more gun slinging, more Jin, and for Delilah to stand on her own two feet and prove that she doesn’t need to be protected, she’s a Djinni and she can slay any day of the week.