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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy, Mythology
Hardcover: 513 pages
Publisher: Viking
Release date: March 7, 2017

Series:  Rebel of the Sands, #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the New York Times bestselling Rebel of the Sands, by the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Author of 2016!

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

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.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

Rebel of the Sands was a New York Times bestseller, published in fifteen countries and the recipient of four starred reviews and multiple accolades. But its sequel is even better.

This did not have second book syndrome! It was fantastic! Only made me love this series even more.

Since book 1, we've discovered that Amani is not human or Gallan at all, but that she is Demdji, a child of a human and a Djinni, and possesses particularly powerful magic over sand. This part of her needs to be kept quiet though as some factions kill Demdji and others sell their body parts for magical talismans. Instead, her skill with a gun helps her hide her magic, as Demdji cannot use their powers if touching metal. Additionally, we found out that Jin is, in fact, the Rebel Prince's half-brother and son of the Sultan. We also see Amani's cousin Shira and her old friend Tamid again. No spoilers here, but it surprised me!

In the first book, there was only hints of magic, but here, with Amani learning to use her Demdji heritage, there's already considerably more. We also are introduced to a real Djinni in the form of Amani's father, and with both, there is more myth and legend that creep up to make an appearance in this book, including more steampunk-like aspects.

This second installment begins with some separation of the events in Rebel of the Sands as her previous adventures were mostly with Jin. Now, Jin is largely gone for most of the book and Amani is more of a leader. On this trip to liberate a city for the Rebel Prince, she finds her long-lost aunt, Safiyah, who eventually betrays her, selling Amani to the Sultan. (Who would do this to their niece?! Too bad her mother isn't around to kick her greedy sister in the pants...) The Sultan has particular interest in Demdji, and he has Amani summon the Djinni who was her father, though she doesn't know why. Why does he want Djinni under his control? However, Amani is still determined to do her part for the rebellion. She is placed in the Sultan's harem and desired greatly by the Sultim, the Sultan's heir, which doesn't leave her in much of a favorable position, especially since the Sultan has taken precautions to keep her captive and obedient. After all, Demdji cannot tell lies. Still, Amani is able to gain some knowledge and allies while being in a pit of vipers...

My favorite part about this read is how Amani gets a chance to change things all on her own, with requested help, but still, she makes the decisions and takes the actions. She becomes more independent and in making her own choices, makes her own messes too. The ending and plot twists will, once again, blow you away.

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

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