Traitor to the Throne

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Pages: 592

ISBN: 978-0571325412

Series: Rebel of the Sands #2

Genre: Fantasy

The rebellion is growing and becoming more and more attention after the win in Falahi but with the reputation come new challenges and dangers. Trying to free more cities from the influence of the sultan and also recruiting more Demji for their cause, Amani also has to deal with the fact that Jin is gone after she wakes up from a serious injury. And then, she is kidnapped and finds herself in the palace, more precisely in the harem with all the other wives and children of the sultan and the sultim and everybody’s own secrets and intrigues.

But being in enemy territory is not the only thing that Amani has to worry about, she is also being stripped of her power so she has to find a different way to escape. And with no word from the rebellion, she has to fend for herself without drawing too much attention to herself. Nevertheless, she soon meets people from her past in the palace and spying gets more and more difficult with more eyes watching.

While gathering all possible information for when she sees her friends again, Amani also has to admit that the fight for the throne and the country is not as black and white as she thought it was.


This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is great. Really, I don’t know how to describe what I feel, there is just so much I adore about it even though I know it is not without its flaws. What is standing out for me though and therefore I can look over some minor details is the story. I just love the plot and that there is so much happening and still, everything makes sense and there is enough room for character development or world building.

Yes, this story is really something and I love how you can never be sure of anything because it may happen, that the next page is going to rip your heart out. Especially some developments in the last third of the book were really tough on my emotions and I had to keep myself from going totally crazy. I like that the history of the countries is being told as well as explaining the politics and why everything is the way it is. A lot of thought has been put into this, which counts as world building to me, so I don’t mind too much that actual descriptions of places are sometimes not as distinct as they could be.

In this book, there is not as much action as there was in book one but it is not necessary at all as the action here is coming from story elements and plot twists. Some of them are somewhat predictable but others are not. At least for me, but I realised that a sign of a great book for me is when I have no desire to figure out what is going to happen. Tis is normally the case when the story completely captures me and I don’t want to spend precious time not reading to see what is actually happening.

Just like in the Rebel of the Sands, I adore Amani. Yes, she is still a little naïve in some situations but throughout the book she is learning more and more and in the end she is even taking on big responsibilities. She has not lost any wit or sassiness but she is gaining more character traits in the process of being held captive in the palace. She is growing on the tasks and difficulties at hand.

I really like that because much of the book plays in the capital, the reader is confronted with new characters and their behaviour. They are all distinguishable from each other and it just rounds the story even further. Something that I always enjoy as it comes so much closer to a real person is the fact that all characters have done good things as well as bad ones.

This is become especially clear in the exchanges between Amani and the sultan. With everything he tells her and what she finds out, she can find some redeeming qualities about the ruler she and her friends want to dethrone. But not just this relationship is very well developed, all other interactions are done so great, various protagonists bring out a different side of Amani.

And of course, there is still Jin and he is as amazing as he was in Rebel of the Sands but what I love even more is the fact that the story works really well without the romance between him and Amani playing a big part. This might be quite contradicting as I really like his character and enjoy him a great deal in the story. But the story works perfectly fine without the relationship taking up a lot of space and time in the book. I like that there is no need for any of the main characters to define themselves through a relationship or a person they love.

There is so much more to this book but I just don’t know how to express myself, that is why I am a reader and not an author… I can only say that this book is easily one of my favourites and I can’t wait to read the next book. I hope it is going to be huge because I don’t want the story to end because I adore this world and what the author is doing with it.

More from Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Pages: 358

ISBN: 978-0571325252

Series: Rebel of the Sands #1

Genre: Fantasy

Amani has had enough of Dustwalk, a tiny place in the middle of the desert which has nothing to offer to her. She wants adventures. And a better life in the capital, away from the lousy, boring and unsatisfying nothing of her birth place.

Not fitting in, she decides to take fate into her own hands and flee. But she needs money so she uses the one skill she has to get as much as possible to be on her way. But the sharp shooting contest does not go as planned and instead of more, she returns with less then she came with. When all hell breaks loose the next day though, she has no other choice and flees with the boy that is responsible for all this mess.

On her way through the desert, secrets are revealed, plans change and the girl and the boy start to fall in love.


This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was not prepared for this but I absolutely loved this book. I loved the story, the setting, the characters, the writing, just all of it.

The world is so different from anything I read before, it has the typical western elements of shooting in the desert cities and long trains connecting the places, combined with an overall middle eastern setting and some magic. It was fantastic to read out of the comfort zone and the author was able to make me get totally lost in the world. I devoured this story within one day, I just did not want to leave this world. Nevertheless, I think the places would have benefitted from more descriptions and world building. I hope there is more of that in the sequel. The same does for the magical beings and the magic system. I feel that sometimes it is a little underdeveloped and could have needed some more explaining.

Leaving that aside, the characters are a major reason why this book is so enjoyable for me. I think the main character Amani is so well developed and has so many facets to her, it’s a pleasure to read about her. She is strong, determined and brave and she learned her skill to shoot over many, many years which makes it so much more realistic. This goes for all of the characters, they don’t just wake up and are masters in what they do but they have to learn and grow into it.

The trait I adore the most about Amani though is her sassiness and her retorts. And this is even more developed in the relationship with Jin, although he is able to silence her from time to time. Jin is remaining mysterious throughout the book even though more and more is revealed over time.

The relationship between Jin and Amani is so refreshing, not only because there is no love triangle. It is a relationship that is growing over time and they don’t fall in love because the other person is beautiful and gorgeous and nothing they ever laid eyes onto. In fact, I cannot think of a place where Amani’s features are described to a great extent other than her eyes. There are no ‘I looked into her eyes and melted away’ moments and I am so grateful for that.

Apart from the main protagonist, the side characters are also very well rounded and they all have a purpose and reason to be in the story.

All in all, I personally could enjoy this book immensely although it is obviously not perfect in every regard. The plot was predictable to a point but there were enough occasions where I was genuinely surprised by what happened.

I can’t wait to dive into the world again and see what happens next. I hope for equal greatness.

More from Alwyn Hamilton