Date of Publication: March 7th, 2017
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.
Note: I received an eARC of this book from Viking Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
It took me a while, but I finally managed to finish this book! While there were some elements of Rebel of the Sands that carried over to Traitor to the Throne, there appeared to be quite a few differences between the two, which did not sit well with me.
First of all, Jin was gone from the very beginning – it starts with Amani having negative feelings towards him, and it is not until a little later that we find out why. As far as I can remember, the reason happened off the page. And I must say, this reason for Jin disappearing was pretty ridiculous and overdramatic. When I read it I thought “Really? That’s the reason why you chose to make him leave?”. This tension between them seemed very forced, and had almost nothing to do with the actual story. With Jin gone, that same fun, playful banter that I got to know and love disappeared with him, which was disappointing.
Hamilton’s descriptions of the world were still engaging and fun to read, but I do, however, think that there was a lot of unnecessary rambling on Amani’s part, which made the book drag on.
Speaking of Amani, she appears to be an entirely different person in this book than she was in the first. I really liked Amani in the first book, but I didn’t have that same draw to her this time around. While I realize that there is such thing as character development, this seemed more like a complete character 180 happened between books. (TBH, I was more interested in learning more about the Sultan than Amani.)
As with many other fantasy sequels, this book was filled with lots of political intrigue, which isn’t really my jam, but I can understand why it was necessary. This is another reason why it appeared to drag, especially since there was a lot less action this time around, though don’t worry, action still exists in this book.
Again, there are way more characters – especially princes – than there probably needs to be, which can make keeping track of everything happening difficult, especially when a lot of people have powers.
On a positive note, this book had a lot of plot twists to keep me on my toes. Of course, the magic was still abundant and was a joy to read about – I enjoy seeing the clever ways that magical beings use their powers.
I am on the fence about whether or not I want to finish what I assume will be this trilogy. I will have to see how I feel when it comes out.
Overall: Though it had magic, tension, and hope, this sequel fell flat in comparison to the first book.