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.
My Rating: 4.5/5
Very rarely do I find a series that I like the sequel more than the first, but friends, here we are. I was really hopeful that Traitor to the Throne would be a strong sequel, and I wasn’t let down. I flew through this novel, finishing in just a couple of sittings. Traitor to the Throne picks up just months after the events of Rebel of the Sands and is pretty fast-paced, making it really easy to jump in to.
I find that the first novel in a series can be a bit tricky with world-building– and a lot of what Rebel of the Sands did was setting up the world; one that is full of old magic and on the brink of war. It did what it was supposed to do, introducing characters and plot lines and forming relationships. The sequel, however, is where I think the true test is, and I think that is where I personally felt that this series really grew. While taking place in the same kingdom, the scenery in this book changes dramatically. Instead of adventuring all across the desert, Amani is taken to the royal palace and learns more about the world that Ahmed and Jin had run away from all those years before. Relationships were strengthened, characters were explored, and everything you learned in the previous book is tested, all while retaining a sense the of adventure from the first. I think the characters grew into themselves so much, and I loved that open plot points from Rebel of the Sands were addressed in Traitor to the Throne!
As far as adventure/fantasy novels go, this is probably the happiest I’ve been with a series in a while. I sometimes find that in between the action and important plot points there is a lull in the story, but I personally never got that with this novel. Hamilton does a good job of constantly building the world and the characters, without dramatically changing the world or the characters themselves, which is a pitfall I’ve seen with a lot of other series. Overall, Traitor to the Throne is a really strong sequel to the series, and I’m so stoked to see what’s coming next!