Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Traitor to the Throne

Title: Traitor to the Throne
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Viking Books
Release Date: March 7, 2017

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.

Excuse me while I flail and scream and flail some more.

It's early on in the year, and yet I know this is going to be one of my top five reads in 2017. Alwyn did not disappoint.

We start off a few months after the end of Rebel of the Sands, with Amani and friends going on a rescue mission for some of their rebels that got imprisoned. Except Jin is not there. Jin has run off to do things for the rebellion, because Amani was shot sometime in between the first and second book and almost died. We don't really know what Jin is up to aside from the small prologue where he acts as an interpreter gathering information from Xichia.

It's really tough to put my feelings into words, and believe me. I had a lot of FEELINGS when I finished this book. Oh so many feelings.

So Amani is captured and brought to the sultan, Jin and Ahmed's father. He's clever and conniving and almost seems like he wants the best for the kingdom. Amani starts to realize things aren't necessarily as black and white as she once thought they were.

Amongst all of the palace intrigue and such, we meet the rest of the sultan's sons and a daughter of his. As well as many of the Sultim's wives in the harem. Old faces show up, and no one can be trusted.

So much happened in this book. It was fairly plot and world-building heavy, with less of the action scenes of the first book. Not that there isn't any action, but as Amani spends much of the book captured, there is far less. If you're looking for the constant action and gunslinging of Rebel, you might find yourself disappointed. But I thoroughly enjoyed all the intrigue and games, which led to us learning much more about the surrounding kingdoms and the history of the world.

The only thing I was upset about was the lack of Jin. He and Amani spend probably 80-90% of the book apart, because of circumstances. But when he is on page, he makes it count. And even though Amani is upset about being away from Jin, she still gets all the things done and doesn't sit around moping.

The ending nearly ripped me to pieces. I was screaming (for real), and I certainly hadn't expected what came next. I really, really need the next book now.

Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
World: 5 stars
Feels: 1,000,000 stars (jk 5 stars)

5 AMAZING stars

Note: I received a galley of this book at ALA, and that in no way sways my views on this book.

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