Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton

Fantasy, 518 pages, published in 2017

After joining the rebellion, Amani and her Demdji powers of controlling the desert are an integral part of the group, when she suddenly gets captured and brought to the place, home of the Sultan the rebellion is fighting against. While there, she tries to find out information to help the rebel, but doesn’t sense even bigger danger around the corner.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was once again so pleasantly surprised by this series! This book started a little iffy to me, but by the end I could not stop reading it and thinking about it when I wasn’t reading.

This book starts about six months after the first book, Rebel of the Sands, ends. I normally don’t have a problem with timeskips, but I feel like a lot happened between books, and it was constantly referred back to and large parts of the plot were based on that. I don’t think another book between these two would have been helpful necessarily, but it was kind of awkward to be hearing these events referred to all the time when we never actually got to see them happen.

Another addition to this book that I thought was a little weird was the chapters that were like stories or tales. These were third person chapters in a book otherwise told completely from Amani’s first person POV. I think they were a good way to show what was happening outside of Amani’s view, but since I don’t recall them happening in the first book, the inconsistency kind of threw me off.

I was also a little thrown off by the plot of this book. I thought it was going to be a continuation of the rebel activity that we get a glimpse of in the first book, by a good portion of the book takes place in the palace, where Amani is trapped away from the rebellion and it’s members. It definitely took some time for me to adjust my mindset.

Although it took me some time to warm up to the idea of Amani being stuck in the palace, I loved reading about the complicated feelings she goes through while there. She begins getting to talk to the Sultan, and he seems like such a reasonable guy who would do anything for his country. He is the type of man that is very persuasive and makes you want his approval. It was interesting to see her feelings while being influenced by the Sultan, and also how much he makes her question what she is doing.

I love how Demdji can’t tell lies. The book elaborates on this in multiple ways. Amani always checks to see if people are alive by trying to say it out loud. Anything said in a promise will become a self-fulfilling truth, even if it doesn’t turn out how it is intended. I really loved this element of the story! It adds another layer and another dimension to the Demdji’s powers.

I also really appreciate that the stakes are so high in this book. No one’s life is safe, and many have already died along the way. Nothing really feels like it’s an easy way out, because everything that happens has a price.

The romance in this book is definitely less than in the first one, but the yearning in this one was so good! I definitely enjoyed and I love the relationship. I’m hoping it has more room to develop in the third book!

Amani has definitely grown since she left her end of desert town in the first book, but I think that based on how this book ended, she’s going to have a lot more growing to do in this last book.

I loved the end of this book and I already started the last one, Hero at the Fall! This series is becoming one of my favorites and I am very excited to see how it ends!

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