Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Allen & Unwin Australia

This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

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.
Review by Nara

The Rebel of the Sands series is quickly becoming one of my favourites for many reasons, including the unique fusion of genres (Western and high fantasy) and the Arabian influence and the incredible characters and the fast paced non-stop action balanced perfectly with character and relationship development. There is hardly anything to dislike about the series.

I would hands down say that the best aspect of Traitor to the Throne is the actual story. It was so complex and intriguing and there were so many moments where I was just like WHAT THE HECK WHAT IS THIS. With the setting shifting from the open deserts to the Sultan's palace, there is much more political intrigue and while there's not as much "action" as book one in terms of physical fights, this second book certainly does not suffer from middle book syndrome with its intertwining plot threads and awesome twists. The ending is where the pace really speeds up; so chaotic (in a good way) that it's impossible to stop reading.

Some figures from Amani's past appear in this novel, and it's certainly not in the context that I expected. Hard to say too much about that because spoilers, so the best I can do is to say that you should just read the book for yourselves. The villain of the story is actually very interestingly portrayed. It's one of those types where you're not sure that he's completely evil, as there are actually some semi-reasonable justifications for why he acts the way he does. Definitely looking forward to how that pans out in the last book, especially with Amani's changing views of her world.

One of the worst things about getting an early copy of a book (actually probably the only bad thing) is that I now have to wait EVEN LONGER for the last book.
Excuse me while I quickly build a time machine and get my hands on book three.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 5/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3.5/5