After reading the much-loved Rebel of the Sands, Traitor to the Throne jumps ahead nearly a year to when the Rebellion has gained much more ground and Amani is fighting for what she believes in. I feel like this book suffered the second-book-syndrome. That’s not to say it was rubbish (because it really wasn’t!) it just wasn’t as good as the first one – hence the four stars instead of the five.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.
The reason I didn’t like it as much as the first one is because I feel like the book is too long. It’s 500 odd pages, which is brilliant in a way, because you get to read more of Hamilton’s amazing writing, but I feel like the middle of the book was too slow and the plot dragged a bit. They could have easily could out 100/150 pages and the book would be like the first one: fast-paced and amazing.
“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.”
– Alwyn Hamilton, Traitor to the Throne
However, what I loved about this book was that there was hardly any romance. The story was focused on Amani and her cunning, brilliant ways. Although I love the character of Jin and I think him and Amani are super cute together, I liked that Rebel of the Sands was about politics and love and Traitor to the Throne concentrates on the politics (however, I did find it majorly annoying how Amani kept going on about how Jin wasn’t there when she woke up from being shot – GET OVER IT!). I loved that we got to see the character of the Sultan because it was interesting to read about one of the characters we had heard so much about in the first book.
Another brilliant aspect of this book was the little tales that Hamilton would tell in between some of the chapters. Hamilton tells us the stories that Amani would have grown up hearing and the stories that Hamilton tell us, also add context to the plot. I thought it was a brilliant idea.
Overall, Traitor to the Throne is a magnificent book of power, betrayal, bravery and a badass female protagonist who will do anything to keep those that she loves, safe. Even with the dragging plot during the middle section of the book, this book is still four stars because of the action and the beautiful writing.
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review