Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine

Title: The Traitor Prince
Author: C.J. Redwine
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Javan Najafai, crown prince of Akram, has spent the last ten years at an elite boarding school, far away from his kingdom. But his eagerly awaited return home is cut short when a mysterious imposter takes his place—and no one believes Javan is the true prince.

After barely escaping the imposter’s assassins, Javan is thrown into Maqbara, the kingdom’s most dangerous prison. The only way to gain an audience with the king — and reveal Javan’s identity — is to fight in Maqbara’s yearly tournament. But winning is much harder than acing competitions at school, and soon Javan finds himself beset not just by the terrifying creatures in the arena, but also a band of prisoners allied against him, and even the warden herself.

The only person who can help him is Sajda, who has been enslaved by Maqbara’s warden since she was a child, and whose guarded demeanor and powerful right hook keep the prisoners in check. Working with Sajda might be the only way Javan can escape alive — but she has dangerous secrets.

Together, Javan and Sajda have to outwit the vicious warden, outfight the deadly creatures, and outlast the murderous prisoners intent on killing Javan. If they fail, they’ll be trapped in Maqbara for good—and the secret Sajda’s been hiding will bury them both.
Review by Nara

For some reason I was irrationally angry while reading the first section of the The Traitor Prince. It was such an injustice to see Javan being treated like a fake and thrown in jail and the imposter prince basically getting everything that he wants.

I didn't really like the point of view chapters from Rahim (the imposter) as much. He was a very typical villain with flimsy motivations behind why he is "evil" (seeming more a general "I want to see the world burn" type of guy). I feel like Redwine's villains in general tend to be somewhat flat (apart from the one in The Wish Granter), and need better characterisation in terms of what makes them tick. Rahim was given a bit of back story but it doesn't seem like a good enough reason as to why he wants to take the throne.

In general, I gave this book a lower rating than the others in this series of companion novels as the story is a little typical, with the majority of the book being predictable and the characters' secrets relatively easy to guess. Again, like others in the series, the romance was a bit sappy, and I'm a bit on the fence as to whether I felt okay about that this time. However, on the plus side the pacing of the romance was quite well done, and the general progression of the story was simple to follow.

I will most likely be continuing with this series. Also, I must say I wouldn't mind if characters from previous books had larger cameos in the books to come.

Liked it
Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 2/5