Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Released: 2nd of February 2017
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.
What I Have to Say
I adore this series. Not only does it show a world full of exciting exotic settings, but it is also written in such a beautiful way. Sometimes Hamilton adopts an almost fairytail way of story telling, recounting things and making everything more magical by doing so. The only problem with that came in this book, where at the start she recounted everything that happened in the first book, which I felt was just too much of an info-dump. It's fine when it's a story that we haven't been told yet, but I just didn't need a recap like that.
One of the things that defines these books, other than the setting, is the characters. The characters are so well defined. You can easily see how true their reactions are. Whether it's Jin running away so he doesn't have to see his girlfriend die, Ahmed covering for his brother or Amani desperately trying to rescue everyone. I love all the characters so much.
But it's because I love Amani so much that I felt she was given a disservice with what happened at the palace. I felt that her headstrong and reckless nature was cast aside a little while she relied on others to get her out of danger. It felt very much like she was being changed into the the damsel in distress, waiting on her prince to come rescue her. And maybe that's mostly because she was kept in the harem rather than in a different part of the palace. It just felt wrong really. An injustice to this strong woman to see her dressed up and paraded around like something to be owned.
Even so, these books are still such beautiful books and I can't wait for the next one to find out what happens next!
My thanks go to Netgalley and Faber & Faber for providing me with this copy for review.