*Warning this review contains spoilers for the first book in the series, Rebel of the Sands*
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #2
Publication:March 7th 2017 by Viking
Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.
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 Djinn and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.
I liked Traitor to the Throne but didn't love the way I did Rebel of the Sands. I think Book 1 was way better. I have a review of it that you can read here!
The plot of Traitor to the Throne felt like something I've read numerous times before so it wasn't exciting like book 1 was. I also felt like the pacing was off. The beginning was great- it was very go go go but then It started to get slow and drag in the middle and I had to push myself to get through it and then it picked up again towards the end. There was a few twists but nothing major I didn't see coming. It lacked all the action I loved from Rebel of the Sands. It was too long, it easily could have been 100 pages shorter.
I also had problems with the characters; I am not emotionally attached to any of them. Amani was so sassy and impulsive in Rebel of the Sands and I love character development but her not being as wild in this book made it kind of boring. I felt like she just fell into this state of being very bland and uninteresting to read about.
Onto Amani and Jin- Jin has hardly any page time in Traitor to the Throne which I was sad about because I loved Amani and Jin's banter. I was a bit disappointed that Traitor to the Throne went down the route where the love interests are angry with each other the whole time in the sequel book.
The world building was good. We get to explore Dijinni magic more and we even get to meet Amani's father which was interesting. I liked how there was little stories sprinkled throughout the story.
I also liked how there was a lot more political stuff going on in this book. We spend a lot of time in the Sultan's palace (too much time maybe) and meet lots of new people. It was interesting how we got an insight into everyone's perspective and how the author created these lovely complex grey characters like the Sultan for instance. We get to know him more and he shares his motives and such which paints him not as a villain but as a man who is doing what's best for his people.
I didn't have any major problems with Traitor to the Throne, I just felt like it was something a younger me would have liked a lot more. Had I read this a few years ago when I was only getting into reading I probably would have loved it. It's a fun light YA fantasy that's nothing too heavy. I'd recommend this series for readers who are looking to get into YA fantasy.
My rating: 3 stars
Thanks for reading,