Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Arabian Fantasy
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Series: Rebel of the Sands
I was unbelievably excited to have my wish granted on Netgalley for Traitor to the Throne because Rebel of the Sands was such an exciting debut, and even though I only gave it 3 stars, I was really pumped for the sequel. Sometimes fantasy series just take a while to get on their feet! I really really enjoyed this book. I feel like I got to know the characters more and learned more about the magic behind the world and the Djinni.
I’d already heard some reviewers say that Traitor to the Throne suffers from Second Book Syndrome, but I would have to wholeheartedly disagree. So, for the majority of it, Amani is stuck in the Sultan’s harem, trying to smuggle messages out while patiently learning more about her enemies, but I had no problem with the slightly slower place. In fact, I loved it. It reminded me of why I loved something like The Host because you can just chill out for a bit and take note of the setting. And setting is really important for this series.
Don’t get me wrong, Traitor to the Throne has it’s exciting sections too. It opens with a rescue mission that’s totally full-on! But otherwise, this book is more focused on intrigue and political relations. Basically, it made all the stuff I found boring in And I Darken interesting.
You wanna know another thing I loved? World building! In this book, it’s mostly achieved though telling stories about the Djinni and their origins, and I loved how everyone knew these stories and it helped them understand how to fight or get through different situations. The way their told is so beautiful too. It’s lyrical and fairytale-esque.
The only thing I would say is about just how many characters there are! Thank goodness for the characters list in the beginning, because for the first ten percent whenever a name was dropped I’d be checking out their lineage and whose side they were on. Obviously, I remembered Amani, Jin and Ahmed, but as for everyone else I was confused about who was related to who. Then we’re introduced to a ton of new characters too, so wrapping your head around the cast of this series can be a little tricky. Also, Hamilton does an excellent job of wrapping up what happened in the first book in the beginning of the story. Whenever I read a series that’s been out for a while and I binge my way through the whole thing this can get annoying, but because I’m actually on top of a new series release for once, I found this ridiculously helpful too!
I felt so much more emotional connection with the characters in this instalment. Especially with Amani and Shari. Some might say it’s sad to see Amani not being so headstrong and rebellious, but I thought it just showed how clever she really was that she was able to assess her situation and bide her time accordingly. I also liked that she wasn’t constantly thinking about Jin. Romance was the one thing I wasn’t expecting from Rebel of the Sands, and it was what stopped me from giving that book a higher rating, and then just when I’m expecting it in this book, it’s not really there! Huzzah! Again, that’s not to say I don’t like their chemistry, but Amani’s going through enough with her powers and saving the world, she doesn’t have time to be thinking of boys! haha!
Overall, I gave Traitor to the Throne 4 stars. I liked it so much more than Rebel of the Sands, and I’m officially hyped for the next book! I can’t wait to see where this series is going to go since I was so riled up by all the rebellion in this one! The cause is getting so strong, I wonder how it’s going to all resolve!