Rebel of the Sands was a perky pony, galloping through the deserts, laughing; Traitor to the Throne is a river, a wide river slowly gathering earth from its shores, transporting boats with people, cattle and merchant goods to the final port. The book is so well-paced, maybe slow for some tastes, especially at the beginning, but it all taking me along in the current of the great river that cannot be stopped.
Traitor to the Throne brings along world building: a world that feels so real (it has always bothered me how much of a caricature the world of a very very very popular series is), myth and legend are seamlessly blended into the main story, faraway countries not only appear on the map, but gain goals and motivations of their own. I want more of this world. A trilogy set in Gamanix, please?! Sam’s adventures, please? More Xicha, if possible?
I’ve never much liked in fantasy books the oh-so-necessary, but oh-so-boring parts of training the hero. Hamilton solves this in a way that doesn’t stop either character building or the plot from moving on, by letting Amani to learn on the go, from the best of the best, by observing others actions, rather than words. She gets development, and training, but not in an obvious training-arc. I appreciate this so much!
New characters are introduced, some old ones return. The introduction to the Sultan bringing along the question of the moral ambiguity of a rebellion, which is rarely explored in our era of hundreds of rebellion stories. No doubts left, of course, by the end. But the Sultan is such a compelling character, am really glad Hamilton gave so much insight into him.
I ugly cried. I ugly cried at the end chapters, once and then once more, but here’s a gem of a character in the middle of the book, for whom I ugly-cried as well.
I hope in the next book Jin, will get more character development. I liked him a lot in book 1, but he seems sort of a douche by end of Traitor to the Throne, and his role as the love interest is not enough at this point. I hope another character, a purple haired someone, will get more spot-light and action and character development. I hope a certain beauty will be with us through till the end. I hope.. my I’ve got so many hopes and fears for book three!
I enjoyed the book immensely, even as it made me go back and reread Rebel of the Sands, while I was some hundred pages into Traitor to the Throne. Hamilton proved herself to be a very solid writer, one I’ll look forward to read more from.