Review Blog

Mar 17 2017

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

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Rebel of the Sands bk 2. Faber and Faber, 2017. ISBN 9780571325412
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Fantasy. What a roller coaster of a ride this book turned out to be! Amani, the Blue-Eyed Bandit from Rebel of the Sands, has been captured by the Sultan and imprisoned in his palace. Stripped of her powers, and made to obey the Sultan's every order, Amani is determined to spy on everything that goes on and report back to the rebels. She is desperately plotting to get information out of the palace and to keep the momentum of the rebellion going.
Danger is everywhere, especially in the harem, where intrigue is the order of the day. Amani has to come to grips with people from her past, and begins to think about her actions and where they have led her. Her understanding of the powers of the Demdji is growing as is her confidence in her own abilities and beliefs.
While attending the Sultan's meetings she has the opportunity to observe how he operates and also has many conversations with him, where the nature of ruling and power are discussed. The plight of women in the harem is also highlighted - they are powerless unless they have a male heir, and many disappear. This contrasts with the power that the women who align with the Rebel Prince have - they are leaders, generals and valuable advisors.
The setting of the Sultan's palace forms an interesting background to the political intrigues and the friendships that Amani forms. There are some new characters introduced and some desperate losses as the group face the fact that a traitor has betrayed them. Amani's romance with Jin is low-key as maintaining the rebellion takes up most of the time.
There is a gut-wrenching conclusion that will leave readers longing for the next book in the series.
Pat Pledger

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