Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #2)

rebel-of-the-sandsShe’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Published 6th March 2016

314 pages

Try It – 3.5 stars

traitor-to-the-troneThis 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.

Published 2nd February 2017

570 pages

Must Read – 4.5 stars

Read from 1st to 6th February 

First off, I am still recovering from the ending. It is so well thought out and planned and worked through that it has really stuck with me.

This whole story is just a massive growth from the simple notion of the first book. I was worried that it would end up as a filler for the final book but it explores concepts and characters and situations in so much more detail that enrich the story and the world.

We begin the story six months after the end of the first book and it breaks us in with like a fairy tale. The explanation of the first book and how everything works in together is done really well and all of the memories and feelings for Rebel of the Sands come flooding back. When I think back to how much has happened in this book never mind series it can feel a bit overwhelming because the pace gradually grows.

I managed to read this in just under a week which is pretty good considering how much I have going on but you never want to put it down. I was constantly thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it and I was planning things around it in order to get back to it. It is written in such a fast and compelling way. The writing really is probably my favourite part of the book because it conveys its message so well.

The story is focussed around one aspect which I can’t talk about due to spoilers but I liked how it gave us more detail about the world and characters that we were introduced to in the first book but didn’t really get enough depth about. I also liked how it built and all of the aspects that were integrated into it to make it so full and interesting. My only issue was that we were pretty much stuck in one area and my criticism of the first book was the lack of world building. This did add to it but by second hand means and through discussion rather than our characters venturing into it. I highly doubt that we will get this in the last book but I’m ok with that.

The plot was so well executed that I didn’t see so many of the twist coming. The author really used her characters and elements well and you could tell that she had thought everything out and had a clear direction to the story. One thing I love in books is when the author knows when to let people in the main sphere/party die. She lets bad things happen because it brings all the more meaning to the story. No one feels safe and this is nothing is more apparent than in the ending. You, as a reader, are constantly wondering who dies and who will make it and how they will cope.

There is a very large cast of characters and more are added and it can feel a bit overwhelming but the author has very distinct elements for each that it then makes it easier to connect who Amani is talking about. The names do feel a little confusing at time because they do seem so foreign which is why it is so important to build each as an individual. I like Amani in this a lot more than I did in the first book. She has really grown up even though she was hardened by her past events she has become more of a leader and is becoming more thoughtful about her actions. I don’t like Jin but I do – I know makes no sense, so let me explain. He isn’t a perfect guy, he runs away; he doesn’t feel reliable or trustworthy. He abandons Amani and doesn’t give reasons, he doesn’t communicate and then gets emotional due to not speaking out. But that’s what makes him great, he shows up at the right moments and he hopes to be better. YA is so full of perfect male romantic interests and it’s just not true. In fact, that’s the thing about all the characters in this book, they have their faults but that’s what makes them feel so authentic and makes them so easier to connect with. They complement each other because they look out for each other and know the weaknesses and work to combat this.

The ending gave me Goosebumps. I still can’t believe what happened actually happened. It has thrown me through a loop and that’s why I love it. Throughout the whole book it was all brought together, there were elements planted and it all culminated in the last few chapters. I knew that is wasn’t going to be a happy ending and I was waiting to be heartbroken and that didn’t make it any less painful. I need the sequel to complete this because I can’t imagine how good it will be with the step up between these two books.

I didn’t think I would be able to write much about this because I always struggle with books I love but this was just such an amazing book and I would highly encourage people to pick it up.

Has anyone read this or plan to pick it up? I also apologise to American readers who can’t get this till next month.

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