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Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands) Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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PRAISE FOR Traitor to the Throne:
*"[Traitor builds] to a crescendo of heart-pounding—and heartbreaking—climaxes that will leave readers sobbing and desperate for the next volume."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[Traitor] is full of compelling twists and turns, and the ending will leave readers highly anticipating the final volume in theRebel of the Sands trilogy."--Booklist
"[A] worthy sequel...unforgettable."--BCCB
PRAISE FOR Rebel of the Sands:
“Romantic, thrilling, hilarious, and just plain great fun.”--Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Debut author Hamilton combines elements of Western and Middle Eastern civilization and lore with her own mythology, crafting an enticing, full-bodied story . . . successfully mingles romance with thrilling stakes, and hints at a welcome sequel.” --Publishers Weekly
“This atmospheric fantasy combines magic, mythology, and the Wild West to create a riveting tale...an exciting, romantic adventure that is unique and all its own.” --Starred Review, Booklist
About the Author
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often. Follow her at @AlwynFJH.
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Top Customer Reviews
Amani is my first love of this series. Whether she is on a mission to a desert town, or unexpectedly finds herself captured and taken to the Sultan's palace, this girl is strong and capable. But Amani is not a typical martyr heroine, offering herself up as a sacrifice in need of saving. She's able and willing to make smart but difficult choices in the name of rebellion. Amani is badass and a survivor, even in moments when her choices are taken away from her. But Amani is not an island to herself, and I enjoyed seeing Amani as part of a larger group, with friends and people she trusts and respects. That is so different from the girl we met in book one.
Although I hated seeing Amani captured, I love that through the experience, Amani's understanding of her world is broadened. Amani gains invaluable perspective when she is taken right to the heart of the ruthless Sultan's palace, coming face to face with the very ruler the rebellion is fighting against. While in the palace, Amani begins to think about what the rebellion means for all sides, as well as how her previous - often rash - decisions have affected others. Some of my formed opinions of characters even changed throughout this book, and I loved the further complexities that gave the story.
Traitor to the Throne is not always fast paced, but this pacing allows more reflection, and I think that's almost more important for Amani's growth and continued work with the rebellion. Even so, this story is intense. A lot of action is packed in too, especially near the end. These characters are starting a revolution and that means people are going to die - and do die in this story. Very hard choices have to be made, and though they made my heart break, I admired the characters' willingness to make them and keep moving forward.
The romance was definitely one of my favorite parts of the first book, and continues to be so in this installment, despite the fact that Jin and Amani spend a lot of time apart. While separations are never my favorite, and I love seeing these two work together the most, it wasn't as painful as I feared. Mostly because Amani has Things To Do and she doesn't let herself get pulled into unnecessary angst. I love Jin and I think he's a great match for Amani - they are stronger when working together, but I have to admit to being a little bit upset with him in this story. Jin loves Amani and his brother Ahmed, but his heart isn't in their rebellion and that definitely causes some issues. However, Jin and Amani's love for each other is palpable and this story does have some sweet and swoony moments. I have high hopes for the continued progression of their romance in the final book in this series. (GET YOUR STUFF TOGETHER BOY).
I loved how this story developed. However, I do think some of the official cover copy was overstated a bit. There were definitely revelations and surprises and moments of reflection, but not exactly what I anticipated from my first look at the book's description. Thankfully, I'm very happy and excited about where this story took me and its characters.
This is a book and series that I adore and highly recommend. I'm dying for the finale now!
One thing I always find interesting in YA are the different themes and tropes that are used in them. Traitor to the Throne very much harped on the separation trope between Amani and Jin. As an author, Hamilton executed this trope to perfection because she used it as a vehicle to further develop Amani as a character, in absence of Jin. Some authors fail at making their women protagonists into a truly independent woman by letting their male counterparts define them. As romantic as they were in their scenes, and as much in love Amani claims to be with Jin, employing the separation trope made Amani's character soar. She had a sense of agency that was focused and it was admirable to read about. Hamilton doesn't allow her characters to fall into too much angst, which some authors tend to do too. This romance was kept fresh because it wasn't perfect. While Amani may be completely infatuated, we notice a slight disconnect between them, due in part by the rebellion at large. Jin is not completely committed to the rebellion like his brother Ahmed is, and like Amani has grown to as well. This has put some stress on their romance a bit, so it will be interesting how this plays out going forward.
Amani is captured by the Sultan, and while to anyone else this would be an end all be all kind of situation, we see Amani rise to the occasion. Amani isn't your typical martyr character that most YA books have been spewing out, she knows that offering herself up as a sacrifice is not the way to go. She faces down the hard choices she must make with a single-minded determination that is almost scary. Amani is forced into many situations that make her less than what she was in Rebel of the Sands, however she never, not once, feels like a character that is diminishing. What she may lose in power and magic, she more than makes up for with cunning and grit. Amani uses her captivity in the Sultan's Palace as yet another thing to use to help the rebellion. Even in her darkest moments, she's always looking to the future to the moment she will escape and return to the rebellion. While Amani felt like a one-woman army unto herself in book one, we see that she's a part of a larger group of characters that she relies heavily on in order to push through her obstacles. It was humbling to see her need and use her friends and family to get out of some sticky situations, because at the end of the day it does in fact, take a village to achieve greatness.
Amani comes face to face with the Sultan, the father of the boy she loves, Jin, and of the boy who's in charge of the rebellion she's a part of, Ahmed. During this tumultuous time, Amani broadens her perspective of what it means to be part of a rebellion. She finds out how a rebellion affects all parties involved and what that looks like. She also does some deep reflection on how her past actions in book one have affected certain people. Amani learns a powerful lesson; those with great attentions can cause the most harm.
The pacing of the story is very different than that of Rebel of the Sands' pacing. While Traitor to the Throne does have some of the best action scenes, the pacing to the book allows for readers to fully become immersed within Hamilton's world. It allows us and Amani as a character to contemplate and reflect on the hardships of a rebellion and war. We got to learn where and who Amani comes from and more about that heritage.
Alwyn Hamilton has set the stage for her next installment. The dice have been cast, and they will surely land where they may. Traitor to the Throne lives up to the hype with it's magic and deep and meaningful character development. I look forward to seeing how this war plays out in the next book. Be sure to pick up Rebel of the Sands, the breakout debut of 2016, and follow it up with this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amani continues to be every bit the spitfire heroine I adore as she takes on demons and kings alike.Read more