Mar 3, 2017

Review--Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

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.

*Side note I ordered the UK copy since it came out a month earlier than the US one! So this is still a totally all me review! ;)

Alwyn Hamilton rocked the bookish world with her debut Rebel of the Sands and her sequel, Traitor to the Throne is sure to take everyone’s breath away as well! This is a series that promises to be action packed until its very end and we all know that the conclusion will be just as thrilling as the first book!

We begin the story some months after the events of Rebel of the Sands. Jin is MIA on his own mission, having left when Amani got shot and took a while to heal. Amani finds herself being taken prisoner so that she can rescue some of her captured band members. And it’s really where all the trouble begins when one of the other prisoners calls her by her mother’s name.

It’s not long before the band of rebels are on the run again and Amani is taken prisoner only to be sold to the Sultan. No one knows where she is at since she was taken in the middle of the night and it will be up to her to save herself, and of course learn whatever information she can about the Sultan’s plans.

While it may seem like not much really happens progress wise in this one, you have to look deeper, because in fact a lot really does happen. Amani is sent to the harem in the Sultan’s palace and she’s surrounded by his wives and of course the Sultim’s wives as well, those three are the real villains for Amani. Amani is going to have to use skills and cunning attitude in order to find out any information that can help Ahmed and the rebels.

The Sultan keeps her prisoner with metals trapped under her skin. Without knowing where they are, Amani can do nothing but obey his commands. While in a sense I get that Amani has to follow the Sultan’s commands since she is a djinni and his prisoner, I felt like his commands weren’t very specific. All the djinns that I’ve come across in literature basically have it where you must be very, very explicit with your wishes or else the djinn will turn your wish against you. And we see that in some vague sense with other djinn in the story, but Amani finds herself to follow all these vague commands. For example, the Sultan says “follow her” to Amani in regards to following a servant. He’s not telling her when she needs to follow said servant but Amani does it right away. This happens quite frequently and I almost want to shout to Amani you don’t have to do it! He’s not saying WHEN you need to do said commands! Djinn have constantly been able to twist commands so that they are in their favor more than their master. I’m not sure if it’s because Amani is only the daughter of one and not a full blooded djinni that makes her more susceptible to vague commands, but I really didn’t care for her lack of “cunningness” when it came to her own personal being. This is one of the few things that drive me crazy throughout the book.

The other thing that I didn’t care for was the lack of Jin time. Jin is away for a part of the beginning and it’s for a mere moment or two before Amani is kidnapped that we get to see the two of them together. Then we get a little more togetherness towards the end, but it wasn’t quite enough. Since they were nearly inseparable in the first book I was kind of used to them together. And then it was because of the reasons behind all their separations that it didn’t lead to many swoony moments between them in the short time they had together. For Amani was quite peeved that Jin just disappeared after she was shot. Which, yeah, bad move, Jin!

There was a lot of tension in this one! Not really in the romantic sense either, but good old fashion tension where you don’t know what will happen to all our beloved characters! There’s a greater sense of danger too for it seems that the Sultan gets the upper-hand more than once throughout the book. And then people go missing, getting caught, there’s a LOT that happens that will have you gasping for breath and wondering at the fate of all of the rebels!

There was also a few new characters to pop into the story! Some get spoilery, but one that’s not is Sam! He is…something all right! LOL! He’s quite the character and I loved his smarmy attitude. It also looks like he’s been smitten by Shazad. Though he’s not in the story nearly enough for my liking I quite enjoyed what we did see of him and what we learn.

Which is another thing I wanted to mention! I can’t remember if the first book was like this or not either, but I loved how every now and then the story is put on “pause” for a storytelling of a different kind. Mythology plays a pretty big role in parts of the story, and I love that when the timing is just right, we actually get to know a little more about that myth or story within the story! The way it just fits seamlessly into the story at large is remarkable! It doesn’t really detract from Amani’s story at all, but it enhances it!

The ending to this one will amaze and surprise you! Just when you feel lost and confused and have no clue as to where things will end by the next book, we get to see a teeny, tiny light that will guide us there! There was still that same initial gut wrenching reaction though! This book will tear your feels anew!!  The question is: are you ready for it?

Traitor to the Throne was one fast paced, action packed read! The characters continue to amaze and delight me as I kept turning the pages one by one! This book doesn’t fall anywhere close to that dreaded middle book syndrome! It’s pretty much on par with being as amazing as its predecessor! I cannot wait to see how this incredibly thrilling series will end next year!!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


  1. YAY! Five stars! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jessica. Great disclaimer at the top. ;D I really wanted more Jin/Amani time! I have a feeling the author is going to make up for it in book three. Sam is one of my favorites! I really hope he gets a HEA with... well, someone. o_o Wonderful review, Jessica!

    Have a lovely weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. I guess with a recommendation like that I need to check out this author. Great review.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I'm glad you liked this one, too:). In many ways, I enjoyed it more as the political aspect is more completely covered and I liked how we get to see the world filtered through the Palace. I didn't mind not so much romance, but did like the second guessing that inevitably goes on when a close-knit couple are forced apart by circumstance. I'm very much looking forward to the next slice of this adventure!

  4. YES! I loved this book so much. I actually got this book on Netgalley, only to realize that its the second book in a series. I binged the two books and I just couldn't get enough. I totally agree with you about taking the pause and explaining the mythological side of the story, it really is wonderful.
    Great review :)

  5. Nice way to get your hands on an early copy of a book. I still need to read this series. Glad you enjoyed it.


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