Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton, Viking Books for Young Readers (March 7, 2017). ISBN: 9780451477859. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
One hallmark of a good second book in a series is the ease with which a reader can slip into it. When the world, plot and characters are as complex as they are here, finding it easy to re-enter this world speaks highly of the story.
At the end of the first book Amani was intent on freedom and exploring her relationship with Jin. What she finds here is the loss of both for much of the story. Awakening from the effects of her bullet wound would have been enough trauma for most, but Amani isn’t like the majority of women in her war torn world. As soon as she’s able, it’s right back to fighting, using her Demdji powers to help free prisoners. Unfortunately, she soon becomes one herself and after being betrayed by a family member, is trapped in the sultan’s harem.
What happens there, who is an ally and who is a betrayer, not to mention what happens among the ever shifting alliances between the varied warring factions, makes for a gripping and often brutal read. While this is an excellent fantasy, it’s not for the faint of heart and will leave readers hungry for another installment. Prospective readers are encouraged to read Rebel of the Sands first in order to get full benefit from the story.