Hero at the Fall | spoiler-free review

hero at the fallHero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton
Published: February 1st 2018 by Faber & Faber
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Rating: 3/5 stars – ★★★

I won’t provide a synopsis for this book as it is the third and final book in the series. If you want to read the synopsis, you can click on the title above to go to the Goodreads page.

I have reviewed the second book, Traitor to the Throne, as well. You can find that review here.

This is a spoiler-free review even if you haven’t read the previous two books.

my review

I’m going to be honest, this is my least favorite book in the series. In fact, the more I think about it, the more issues I have with it. I still gave it three stars because I was interested in the ending of the series and it was still a fast-paced read. I enjoyed it, but I do think it’s the weak link in the trilogy.

So what did I enjoy? I was already invested in this story. I loved some of the characters and wanted the Rebellion to win and the Sultan to be overthrown. That didn’t change here. I still adored the same characters and wanted the Rebellion to win.

Another aspect of this book I really enjoyed was the Djinn themselves. I was really intrigued by Zaahir! The really short myths and legends that are woven through this story are incredibly interesting.

The last thing I really loved was the fact that this is another fast-paced fantasy that you just speed through. I wanted to keep reading, even though I had some issues with it.

Like I said, there were quite some things I didn’t like too.

Maybe it’s because I read the second and third book immediately after one another, but I grew really annoyed with the things that were constantly repeated. I read the phrase “I kissed the corner of his lips” multiple times (started rolling my eyes after a while, because why the corner??), and I grew irritated with Amani constantly putting herself down. Yes, there was a good reason for that but still. Every few pages she would think: “Who am I to make these decisions? I’m just a girl from the desert, a girl from nowhere, etc.”. Again and again and again. If you don’t believe in yourself at all, then why should I?

Another aspect that bothered me is Amani’s impulsive behavior. I realize that sometimes you have to make decisions quickly. But she’d make a (horrible) decision, and then realize it was a horrible decision 2 pages later. Again and again and again. I was so irritated after a while! For example, she has a wound that nearly makes her faint from pain when she uses her powers. Using her powers is essential to the rebellion. Yet she doesn’t say anything about it to anyone. And she doesn’t let anyone check it out! I MEAN, WHAT THE HELL?

I also think a lot of convenient things happened in this book. Stuck in this city? No problem, this person/immortal being just appears! I also don’t like that Izz and Maz were basically used as escape shapeshifters all the time and didn’t actually get any dialogue? You don’t really know them any better than you do after the first book which to me is a shame.

And then there’s the ending. I really enjoyed the actual ending/sort of epilogue you get on how the country fares in the next 10 to 20 years. I didn’t enjoy the last part of the battle. Some of it was so weird I found myself rolling my eyes.

I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book after discussing all those negatives with you but I did! I still think it’s an enjoyable YA fantasy book that’s quite fast-paced. Yes, to me it is the weakest book in the trilogy. But according to the Goodreads reviews, most people really loved this one. Overall, I would definitely recommend the series. They are fun, quick reads and managed to get me out of a reading slump.

Traitor the the Throne | spoiler-free review

traitor to the throneTraitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton
Published: February 2nd 2017 by Faber & Faber
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★

I won’t provide a synopsis as this is the second book in the series. If you want to see the synopsis you can click on the title to go to its Goodreads page.

I apparently forgot to review the first book, Rebel of the Sands, but it was a solid 4-star read for me. An interesting start to a YA fantasy series.

This is a spoiler-free review, even if you haven’t read the first book!

my review

I’m actually writing a review pretty soon after finishing the book. I know, I’m getting my reading and blogging mojo back! I read the first book, Rebel of the Sands, last year in preparation for YALC since Alwyn Hamilton would be signing books there. She’ll be present again this year so I wanted to read the rest of her trilogy and get it signed. So I finally picked up Traitor to the Throne.

This is my favorite book in the trilogy. It is, in my opinion, a great sequel that doesn’t suffer from second-book syndrome. I’ve actually been in a massive reading slump for months, and this got me out of it. I managed to read it in one day! It’s 570 pages long, so I do consider that an achievement…

I obviously can’t tell you much about the plot because I promised this would be a spoiler-free review. Traitor to the Throne is far more focused on the actual politics of a rebellion, and on scheming and backstabbing and court. The first book focused more on Amani escaping her dead-end town and finding the Rebellion. That’s why it seemed more action-packed to some readers than this one. I happen to adore royal life and backstabbing and scheming, so this book was right up my alley. If you don’t like political intrigue, you might like this book a little less than the previous one.

What I enjoyed most is Amani questioning their plans. She finds herself considering whether Prince Ahmed would be a good Sultan. Whether he would be able to make tough decisions to save the country. Whether he’d be too kind. I didn’t always agree with her, but it’s nice to see the main character asking questions instead of just blindly believing in something.

I do love the characters in this book. Amani is an interesting person to me. I usually don’t enjoy reading about characters who do things without thinking about it first. Amani is definitely an impulsive person, yet it didn’t really bother me in this book (mini spoiler for my next review: it definitely bothered me in the last book)Shazad might be my favorite female character in the series though.

There are some new characters introduced in this book, mainly Sam and Rahim. I do like Sam, he’s the typical witty and sarcastic thief. But I adore Rahim. Why wasn’t there more of Rahim in this book??

The only thing I didn’t like in this book were the unnecessary complications in the romance. I hate it when authors use miscommunication or a lack of communication to drive a wedge between a couple, and push the plot forward. That’s basically all that happened in this book with the romance. Instead of just talking to each other, they basically ran (or stomped) away every single time and it just made me roll my eyes. Yes, throwing a tantrum and running away is a GREAT way to solve your problems.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s my favorite one in the trilogy. It’s fast-paced and kept me reading. I even managed to finish it in one day! If you haven’t picked up this series, I’d recommend it.