Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton is the sequel to Rebel of the Sands which came out on 2nd February 2017. I pre-ordered it on Amazon because I enjoyed Rebel of the Sands so much last year. It took me quite a while to finish it because I was working quite a lot this week. Here is my review:
Judging a Book By It’s Cover
When I first saw the cover I thought it was very pretty but not as nice as Rebel. I think that’s personal preference though, I just like blues and greens better than pinks and purples. However, they are both easily two of the prettiest books I have on my shelf.
Before the Story
When you first open the book there is a character list. Usually I don’t like these because I think that unless the book is Game of Thrones complicated, you should be able to remember who the characters are.
After a few chapters of reading, though, I found myself referring back to it. Now I appreciate why they decided to stick that in: there are a lot of characters! The benefit of the character list is the narrative didn’t need to go into detail about who was who. There is a mistake in my copy though (I think) as it lists Sayyida as Amani’s aunt but her aunt’s name is Safiyah. Not a big mistake but enough to confuse me for a minute.
After I started reading I was disappointed to see that there is a map in the US Hardback version coming out on March 7th. I wish they’d put it in the paperback.
I really love this series because it’s set in such a rich world. Usually fantasy novels are set in medieval England but this has a middle-eastern setting and it’s almost steam-punk in it’s technology. It made it so much more interesting. When I first read Rebel it inspired me to make my own world set around a different country. Like The Grisha series, it benefits from not fitting that mold.
I liked how tough most of the characters were. Shazad is my favourite, I think. I also liked that the main character’s love interest is absent for most of the book which meant she was able to work things out for herself rather than being saved all the time. After characters get together, it can get a bit stagnant but this made their subplot continue to be interesting.
This book is one of a handful where I had to pause about five chapters from the end. Like with Empire of Storms, I got to a point when I was happy with what was happening. And there was another 80 pages left. All readers will know that this is not a good thing for our emotions. I had the feeling that everything was going to go wrong and decided I had to work up my courage to read the rest. So stressful!
Spoilers: When I finally managed to go back to it (it took me a morning, I was so invested) I read the last few chapters all at once and forgot to eat lunch. And that ending! I did not see it coming. There is a pretty major twist right in the last chapter which I wasn’t prepared for. I was both sad and happy. Not broken, like with Empire of Storms, but I did have a little sad, curl-up-on-the-couch hour afterwards.
I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one. 8/10. I might need to see if I can find a second hand hardback cover after we go to Canada so it can go on my book shelf. I love maps too much!