ARC Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

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Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Series:
 Rebel of the Sands #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: March 7th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Length: 528 pages
Format: eARC from publisher (Thank you!)

The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!

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.

TRAITOR OF THE THRONE was one of my most anticipated of this year because I absolutely loved REBEL OF THE SANDS (save for the potentially inaccurate portrayal of Middle Eastern culture). While I did enjoy this sequel, I felt that it fell for the typical second book slump.

This sequel to REBEL follows Amani as she navigates the political dynamics of the Sultan’s control over Miraji. The plot focuses around Amani figuring out how to further the rebellion against the Sultan and to put Ahmed on the throne; along the way, she meets up with a few old faces, including Tamid and Shira. The continuation of the first book was not bad, per se, but it just seemed to be a jumble of Amani’s actions in Miraji. As a result, I felt as if there wasn’t enough fighting and bad-assery on Amani’s end—it was more about what the rebellion was doing while Amani was merely feeding information to them. Which isn’t a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, but I was just hoping for more fighting and gun-slinging and kissing.

That being said, there was barely any Jin in this novel???? I really enjoyed his and Amani’s relationship growth in the first book and I was anticipating seeing more of it in this one; however, Amani nearly dies in the beginning, and Jin is gone until the end. Which is disappointing because there’s barely any sexual tension, which I dig. Anyway, there is some tension between Tamid (the childhood friend who got shot in the leg before Amani fled Dustwalk in the first book) and Amani, and some tension between other characters in the book.

While Amani’s arrival at Miraji introduced a whole lot of characters, I’m not going to lie, I barely kept up with all of them. I recognize the characters that Amani met in Miraji, but the difficult thing is keeping track of the characters who are actually a part of the rebellion. In lots of rebellion-fighting-an-authoritarian-government novels, I’d really prefer to remember the members of the rebellion, but the names mostly fell flat for me. It was mostly a mixture of confusion and clumping the characters together whenever they were mentioned.

So was it a bad book? Not necessarily. There were a few pretty dope twists and turns towards the end—warning: you can’t trust anyone, basically—and there was some bloodshed, which I dig. I just hope that the next book brings back more of Amani’s bad-assery and puts her in more of a fighting role (which, by the sound of the end of this book, she will be). While I was disappointed by the lack of aspects that I loved in REBEL, I hope the next novel is better. If you enjoyed REBEL OF THE SANDS, I recommend checking this one out just in preparation for the third book, but just don’t expect to be blown away.

Thank you to Penguin for providing me with an early copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not compensated for this review. 

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Are you planning to read TRAITOR TO THE THRONE? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

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