Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Published: 2nd February 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Summary: Mere months ago, Amani al’Hiza fled her hometown with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji. 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.
*I recieved a free eARC of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
*This review contains spoiler for the previous book in the series!
In my opinion, this book was a lot better than the first book in the series, Rebel of the Sands. Set some time after the events of the previous book, Amani finds herself kidnapped and trapped in the Sultan’s palace, where she learns more about the regime that she is trying so hard to fight.
Amani has matured since the first book, after spending time with the rebels, she’s more confident in herself and the rebels’ goal to take the throne. She’s more serious in this book, so this story lacks a lot of the humour that featured in the first one, but I feel this change is understandable considering Amani’s has been trapped by the enemy. There was a lack of Jin in this story which was a bit disappointing, as his relationship with Amani is one of my favourite things about this series. But, the romance which was present was lovely and I really appreciate Amani and Jin’s dyanmic.
This book also reintroduced us to some of the characters from the first book. So, we find out what happened to a few of the people from Amani’s hometown, Dustwalk, such as Tamid who she left behind. I really loved all the new side characters introduced in this story, although there were a lot of them. Sometimes it was hard to differentiate them, especially when it came to the Sultan’s children.
“I thought about revenge and about love and about sacrifice and the great and terrible things I’d seen people do. I thought about how many people I’d seen lay their lives down for the Rebellion, over and over.”
The plot itself was slow starting and is set some time after the events of the first book, which was confusing for me at first. I think this made it difficult for me to get my head around things but I’m glad I stuck it out and continued. After about 100 pages or so the plot picked up and I was hooked. I loved reading about the Sultan’s palace, as this gave an insight into a powerful character who we knew little about previously. Amani’s bravery shone through in this book and, for the first time since joining the rebellion, she begins to question whether what she’s doing is right.
Traitor to the Throne featured more political elements to it than the previous book. Along with this came more scheming, betrayal and plot twists. It was difficult figuring out which characters could be trusted and which were planning to stop the rebels. This book is more serious than the first one but there were some humorous moments thrown in now and then to lighten the mood.
I love how the magic system was expanded on in this story. We’re introduced to more folklore and also learn about just how powerful, and potentially dangerous, the Djinni are.
The plot and world-building were very strong in this story and have left me anticipating the next book’s release (even though it’s ages away). Even though this book was different than the first one, for me it was different in all the right ways. Perhaps, a bit more humour would’ve been welcome. But, I’m pretty sure if you enjoyed the first book, than you should love this one also.