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

Review

Alwyn Hamilton’s Traitor to the Throne dazzles, ratcheting up tension and intrigue.

It’s been months since gunslinger Amani al’Hiza, otherwise known as the Blue-eyed Bandit, joined the now-faltering rebellion. Jin, the boy she’s fallen for, disappears when she needs him the most, and to make matters worse, she’s deceived and sold to Sultan of Miraji, the very enemy they seek to dethrone.

Deception deepens within the walls of the palace, with a harem who hates her and a Sultan who exploits her Demdji powers. The only silver lining is that she can now spy on the manipulative Sultan in efforts to help the rebellion capture the throne.

The more she learns, however, the more doubts about the rebellion’s true strength and likely success addle her thoughts. New characters bring more complication and more scheming to an already tangled political landscape.

Before the novel’s shocking, tear-jerking climax, more blood will be shed, more hearts will be broken and more treachery will come to light, even as final surprises flip the story on its back. Love and loyalty is shaken; loss is felt deeply—all leaving readers desperate for more of this Wild West meets Arabian Nights adventure.

About Traitor to the Throne

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

Reading Order

Follow Alwyn

Twitter | Website

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

follow vbb 2

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Subscribe by Email

Related Reads:

Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

My Thoughts

bright and bold fantasy debut with an exciting
mix of Arabian mythology and Wild West grit.

4halfstars

Synopsis

Mar-08Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

My Review

“There’s got to be more than here.”

Alwyn Hamilton delivers an exciting fantastical adventure that swirls in the sands of the Miraji desert, and unravels in the arenous streets of Dustwalk, where a girl dreams of a fate bigger than the one she’s been dealt. Touting a fusion of middle-eastern mythology and a bold Wild West feel, this novel was spirited and fresh with magic roiling like sand, in a time where those who possessed it either hid or were used by those with insidious agendas.

The story begins with Amani Al’Hiza, a talented gunslinger and orphan desperate to escape Dustwalk, her uncle and her fate.

“Dreaming about the places my mother talked about stopped being enough when the trapdoor dropped open below her feet.”

Without further recourse, especially as a woman living in a time where she was considered worthless, Amani dresses up as a boy and enters a shootout to win money she desperately needs.

It’s there she meets scrappy foreigner, Jin, a fellow competitor.

“Jin had the sort of smile that would turn over whole empires to the enemy – that made me feel like suddenly I understood him exactly, even though I knew nothing about him.”

Before they know it, they’re caught in chaos, which continues into the next day as the army marches through their streets, eventually hunting both Amani and Jin.

Their escape marks the beginning of an epic adventure. Amani began her story very much alone, and before long, she finds herself connecting with and relying on this charming foreigner. As bullets fly and cities burn, Amani learns truths about the kingdom, its Sultan, the rebellion and even herself. Amani unexpectedly collides with the very purpose she’s been seeking, something bigger than who she is, something worth fighting for.

“And then all I could see was the sand and I forgot about everything. About fear. About bombs. About Jin. The desert reached out for us all with huge open arms. The churning mass that was chaos in the streets became order in the sand, welcoming us home.”

I loved Amani’s fierceness, wit and verve. Loved that she wasn’t a perfect heroine, that we saw her vulnerability juxtaposed with her strength. Together with Jin, who was endlessly caring and loyal, they faced one challenge after another as they cheated death across sands, on trains and mythical horseback. The race to the end is rife with surprises, action and the promise of more to come. Overall, this was a bright and immersive debut and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

“You are this country, Amani.” He spoke more quietly now. “More alive than anything ought to be in this place. All fire and gunpowder, with one finger always on the trigger.”

Follow Alwyn

Twitter | Website

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

follow vbb 2

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Subscribe by Email

Related Reads: