I just finished reading Traitor to the Throne, by Alwyn Hamilton! This is the second book of a trilogy. The first book came out last year and was immediately one of my favorite reads of 2016. The wait for Traitor to the Throne was very long, but I finally read it! And I must say, it was amazing!
|Another gorgeous cover!|
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 cruelest 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."
So I just finished the book maybe 20 minutes ago, and I'm still shaken by the ending. This review will be riddled with spoilers for Rebel of the Sands: If you have not read Rebel, stop right here, turn around and go read it. You're seriously missing out!
Traitor started off about a year after Rebel ended - the rebellion is still together, although each member goes off on their own on little missions. Jin is often away, and there is some level of stress with the rebellion. One day, Amani gets kidnapped and taken to the Palace, to live under the control of the Sultan, who the rebellion is working against. She is forced to stay in the harem, and uses this as an opportunity to spy on the palace and how it works.
The characters in this book are absolutely amazing. Amani is strong-willed, smart and careful. she knows that she cannot lie, and is under the control of the Sultan, but manages to find little ways to get what she wants. And I mean look at this quote:
"And just like that, everyone was looking at me. If I'd know I was doomed to get this much attention I might've brushed my hair." I stopped and laughed at this point!
I am so, so happy that Alwyn didn't fall into the love triangle trope - that could have been an 'obvious' choice for this book. Amani was surrounded by princes and other guys that help her at various times. It would have been so easy to make her have another love interest than Jin throughout this book.
ABOUT THAT - the only complaint I might have about this book, is that there isn't enough Jin in it. He is such an amazing character, but he's only here at the beginning and end of the book! He is such a cool character and he cares so much, it would have been nice to have short chapters that concern what he was up to while Amani was at the palace. For the next book, can we have some more Jimani? Pretty please? ^-^
This book was absolutely magical. Alwyn has a style of writing that immediately transports you to the desert, and that makes the book difficult to put down, in all the best ways. The world she came up with came from desert mythology but feels unique in the scope of YA fiction. And, to be clear, I love the world the book is sent in!
The plot of this book was also amazing! To avoid spoilers, It'll be in be in white below - highlight it if you want to be spoiled! But for the non-spoilery section, the plot is very well thought-out, and there were no central points that were skimmed over too quickly. I often find that to be a problem with YA books - some central plot points are often not thought-out enough. I'm so glad that this book didn't fall into that!
And now for the spoiler-talk! Remember to highlight the paragraphs below to see my thoughts on specific plot points!
This book made me pause in surprise so many times! When Amani finds her cousin Shira - who is the Sultim's wife and who is pregnant with the son of a Djinn - and her friend Tamid - who she left behind at the beginning of Rebel of the Sands for dead - I was so amazed! I mean sure I was expecting that Tamid would still be alive, but the plot twist with Shira was awesome! I liked how she had so many secrets and became so powerful. Her death was awful!
Every time Amani and the Sultan summoned a Djinn, I got so incredibly tense! I can't wait to see how that plays out in book three! The control he had (and lost) on her throughout the book presented so many issues but Amani was so good at overcoming them!
THE. END. KILLED. ME! The plot twists were done amazingly well, with absolutely no moments that made me think 'I saw that coming'. I could barely believe that Leyla was working against the rebellion the whole time, and trapped Tamid by charming him. She was so sweet and shy! But what killed me the most on the inside was when prince Ahmed was taken to be executed. Alwyn wrote his death scene so convincingly, that I almost started crying.
And then he wasn't dead. One of the rebels who can shape-shift took his place. Oh my gosh my heart had a hard time with that!
And now Amani's going to lead the rebellion!
I have to go fangirl now, but I'm deffinetly giving this a 5/5 feathers! It was incredible, and I'm dying for book 3 now!
Have you read Rebel, or Traitor? What do you think of these books? Let me know!