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518 pages, Hardcover
First published March 7, 2017
I'd once asked Jin if the sand sea was like the real sea. He'd given me that knowing smile he used to use when he knew something I didn't.
I wasn't beautiful. I wasn't here because of that. I was here because I was powerful. [...]
They'd better believe I was.
I got the strangest impression he was pausing for effect. After a beat, he stepped forward dramatically.
That was when his arm got stuck in one of the vines that hung from the wall.
He flung his sheema over his shoulder. It snagged on one of the branches of the Weeping Wall tree.
"You need to strip," she told me. As one, Hala and I turned to look at Sam meaningfully.
He held up his hands like we had him at gunpoint.
That was the beauty of the desert. It got into everything, right down to your soul. Jin said that to me once.
"No more tricks, just a good old-fashioned rescue."
"I wouldn’t point fingers if I were you. You know what they say: those who point fingers wind up with them broken so badly they point straight back at them."
My 200th review!!
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I thought about revenge and about love and about sacrifice and the great and terrible things I’d seen people do. I thought about how many people I’d seen lay their lives down for the Rebellion, over and over.
If anyone asked me whether I liked Traitor to the Throne, I'd say 'yes'. If anyone asked me whether it was better than Rebel of the sands, I'd say that some parts were. But if anyone asked me whether I liked the first book or the second one more, I'd definitely say I liked the first book more, or more precisely, I liked the first half of book 1 more than I liked the rest of two books combined. In my opinion, first 60% of Rebel of the sands are the best among the rest of the series so far. I'll explain why!
●Rebel of the sands had this special atmosphere that at once inserted readers into the western-like world of sand and magic and gunpowder. Mixed together these elements created an unforgettable picture. In Traitor to the throne, though, that atmosphere was gone. I missed the feeling of 'sandy' adventures.
● I really loved romance in book 1. In this part there was almost none of it. Understandably the plot concentrated on palace intrigues and politics more, and it was quite suiting the storyline, but scarce interactions between Jin and Amani didn't do it for me most of the time. Jin was gunpowder in book 1, meaning his presence illuminated the whole book for me; his playfulness and tension between him and Amani were one of the best things I enjoyed. In this book Jin was more like Amani's servant boy: You want to go risk your life, Amani? Yes, go do it. You need to do something secretly without telling me what and risk your life again? Yes, go do it, my sweet, I'll just sit here waiting for you and making you supper. And so one. Let alone that there's little Jin at all: he was wandering somewhere the whole time, and I am not satisfied with the explanation of his doings. I had a feeling Jin was here just as a supportive romantic interest, whose only purpose was to serve and pleasure the one and only -- special-snowflake/Mary Sue Amani. I was so not okay with Jin's role. Give me back my witty, funny cinnamon roll!
●I didn't really like Amani in this part. I was looking forward to her old self -- the magic-less one -- for me she was better without any magic but with her wits and a gun in hand. Alas, instead of a gun I got pathos speeches and Mary Sue-ish whining. Hold yourself together, girl!
●I liked the aforementioned political intrigues. I enjoyed how the author made us consider different points of view, and everything is not as obvious as it seems at first. We have gray areas. And gray areas are always cool when it comes to plot development. It's no secret I like complex villains and Sultan in this book didn't let me down, though, I am not sure he should be considered a villain at all, because the man was telling a lot of reasonable stuff I couldn't not agree with. And that leads me to Ahmed - the Rebel Prince. I don't get why people follow him, because starting from book 1 he was kind of character-less? Compared to him Sultan looks like a more multilayered character. Would I follow Ahmed? Heck, no! I'd join Sultan. But to find out whose side main characters will ultimately choose, you have to read the book. I'd say that a lot happened during this part and, though, it felt like the first 60% or so of the book were slow and boring at times, the book involved a lot of events to mull about The plot development was definitely the strongest in this book!
●The writing was okay, I guess; I can't say it's beautiful or something special, but it was engaging and mostly kept my attention on the book. Plus, as in part one, the author continued inserting myths and legends throughout the story and they were utterly beautiful and fascinating. I'd really like to read the whole book of them!
●Traitor to the throne is more steam punk than western this time around. I am not sure how I feel about the whole machinery thing yet, but I liked the idea of joining magic and mechanics. We'll see how it works out in book 3.
- Plotwise this book is way better than the first one, but the atmosphere of the previous part is gone. A pity!
- I like this series, but don't feel like there's something special about it. Good, solid, but without an emotional involvement form my side.
- I'd preferred to read 500+ about shirtless Jin rather than Ahmed and his rebellion and their blah blah this, blah blah that. Will never understand why Amani joined his cause in the first place.
- The myths and legends are as gorgeous as in book 1.
- Secondary charters were nice: some of them new, some from the previous part
- I am looking forward to book 3 but my excitement is lesser now than it was after book 1.
BUT never fear Alwyn Hamilton did not let us down and this book was amazing as you think it's going to be.
This book is significantly longer than Rebel, like 200+ pages more! More history, more legends, more plot, more story, more backstory, more understands, more characters, more twists and turns, more EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE! And it's all brilliant.
So here we are, Jin left Amani for fear that he would watch her die. Oh OH! Karma for Amani right?! well I love how all these characters are oh so flawed and make terrible choices and that's what makes them so great. I love Amani I love her sassy mouth and everything about her. When Amani is kidnapped well that when the plot thickens...
Oh how I don't want to say too much especially if you haven't read the first book, (WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! GO READ IT NOW!). This book had me questioning everything. I was scared. I literally had myself torn and frightened at where the author was going to take me. I kept second guessing myself and became just as confused as Amani!
Overall : This book did not disappoint if you haven't noticed. If you loved the first book be prepared for just more story. Get prepared for more backdrop and understand and clicking and everything. It's all worth it.
*A HUGE thank you to Viking Books for this ARC which I got in exchange for an honest review*
Idealists make great leaders, but they never make good rulers.