Traitor to the Throne was one of this year’s most anticipated reads for me, as I fell in love with Rebel of the Sands and all the sass and gunfire that came with the protagonist, Amani.
I was overjoyed to once again dive into the world Alwyn Hamilton created. I read quickly, and deep into the night, fighting back sleep as it insistently blurred the lines on the page. Alwyn’s ability to draw me in and hold my attention didn’t let me down.
Amani’s journey begins in action, and we are quickly reintroduced to several characters from Rebel. We also discover that Jin, the other main character from Rebel, has been gone for months, ever since Amani took a bullet to the gut and wasn’t thought to survive. Boys and their stupidity.
Jin reappears soon after the novel takes off, but before he and Amani can rekindle the spark of their former relationship, a newcomer sweeps in and steals Amani away. The newcomer is paid a hefty price from the Sultan for his new demdji prisoner, and Amani is powerless due to the controls the Sultan has put in place.
She does her best to keep suspicions at a low that she is the infamous Blue-Eyed Bandit. But the Sultan wants her for her power to call upon a first being, a Djinni, which proves to be more dangerous than any knowledge that Amani could betray be being caught as a rebel.
We meet new characters in the Sultan’s harem and his palace, as well as reintroduced to a couple of characters from Amani’s past, a cousin and a former best friend, both who were taken after her escape from her hometown in Rebel of the Sands.
Amani finds means of conversing with the rebellion and sends information to them of the Sultan’s maneuvers, as well as devising a plan to escape and take along several new allies.
This part of the book proved to be slow, although it still maintained the ‘what happens next’ factor, I found myself wondering when the action would pick up.
Jin is nowhere to be found, last known making his way back to Dustwalk to look for Amani. The dynamic between Amani and Jin was one of the reasons I loved Rebel so much, and I did miss it in Traitor. However, Amani’s character needed to grow and she needed to learn who she is as an independent. Not just the Blue-Eyed Bandit, or traitor, or Jin’s beloved. So, I understood why Jin wasn’t more involved in the story, but I did miss his wittiness.
No worries, they see each other again and the action does rise. Plot twists happen and all hell brakes loose when the traitor camp is invaded and the rebel prince is captured.
All in all, I very much enjoyed the story and I love Alwyn’s writing ability. However, I can’t deny that there were two major plot holes that left me feeling cheated.
1. Amani is a demdji, and being one she can only speak the truth. She spends so much time worrying and trying not to be caught as a rebel when inside the palace. Couldn’t she just have spoken the sentence ‘The Sultan knows who I am.’ And known whether she was in true danger?
2. *Spolier* The rebel prince is beheaded and the rest of the prisoners are given a life sentence. Here is the twist. The one executed isn’t the prince, but another rebel with the ability to change form. Wouldn’t it be apparent after the beheading? Shouldn’t the rebel transform into her original form?
Alwyn has stacked up some great odds against the rebels and their pursuit for their captured prince. The power couple is together again and the dwindling rebels have a new leader, Amani. I’m eager for the next installment and the finale!