“This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.
Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert – and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.
Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl’s instinct for survival. For the Sultan’s palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper’s nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive… But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani’s past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.”
Okay lets start with that Cover – just beautiful, I loved the Rebel in The Sands cover and always worry about how they can keep it up, but wow did they! I love a book that goes onto my book shelf and just makes me think ‘pretty’ each time I see it there! I like that they have taken the time to put together such a beautiful cover (and haven’t just picked out a generic model shot) this cover like the last gives a little hint to the setting of the book – seeing as most of this story features in the palace!
Anyways onto the book –
I loved that Alwyn gave us more of her amazing and beautiful myths and legends, they were just beautiful and fascinating and really helped keep the Prince of Persia feeling to this series. During the book we get to learn more about Jin’s back story and the night his mother got him, Delila and Ahmed out of the palace. Also we get to hear the First Being’s side of the beginning of the creation of the world – WOW, just epic!
Although a lot of this book is spent outside of the dessert, which I did miss a little. However I did enjoy the political intrigue and how nothing is as it first seems. The palace is a dangerous place to be especially as a female, not just because of the Sultan’s and his son’s jealous wives but because of the many other visitors who want to harm Amani. As much of this book is set in the palace it means a severe lack of all the characters we have grown to love in Rebel.
Many characters come back to haunt us from the first book and are no longer the people we remembered them to be, which wow just shows how good Alwyn’s character development is! I did not expect any of this and made it one intriguing ride. TRUST NO ONE, because even I couldn’t predict what these characters were going to do!
We get to meet and spend time with the Sultan and here some of his side of the story, past and present. I actually enjoyed learning about the Sultan and even found myself start to wonder if he was actually making some sense and just had some hard decisions to make as a ruler. We also get tantalising hints at the long game that the Sultan is playing with his kingdom and all that he hopes to achieve for the future.
Never before have I actually wavered on my hatred of the villains – so well played Alwyn. I also found myself starting to compare the Sultan to his rebel son and wavered on my belief in Ahmed, as does Amani at times!
I did find Amani a little frustrating during her time in the Palace, to start out she sees her imprisonment as an opportunity to spy and gather information for the rebellion, true to our old Amani – getting herself into all kinds of trouble. But after a few set backs, she looses faith in herself and becomes a bit of a whiny character which was such a turn around from the gun slinging, sass mouthed ‘Blue-eyed bandit’ of the first book.
We got to meet Amani’s Dijinn father and hear his side of the story of how he came to meet Amani’s mother – I want , no actually I NEED to know what wish he granted her!
The plot was a bit of a slow burn, but still kept my attention. There are a lot of twist, turns and then THE END.. what a cliffhanger! Looking forward to an action packed third book with more Jin, Dijinn and magic please!
Rating – 3.5 Stars
If you enjoyed this book, I think you will also enjoy;
Opalescent (Four Kingdoms Saga 2) by Bri Amari
Legend (Legend 1) by Marie Lu
The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle 1) by Peter V. Brett
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha 1) by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows (Six of Crows 1) by Leigh Bardugo
The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy 1) by Marie Rutkoski
What I am reading next;
Dawn Study (Soulfinders 3) by Maria V. Snyder
What I am currently listening to;
Okay, okay so it’s not quite music. But I am listening to my first podcast – as I have been nagged to death by my work colleagues for weeks! It’s so funny, I actually think I look like a total weirdo laughing silently to myself on my morning train and tube!
It’s a son’s running commentary on his Dad’s self published ‘erotic novel’ and he has 2 friends helping him through the ordeal. It’s so honest, funny and entertaining – and I am only on chapter 8.