A rather surprising sequel, after the last time I read this was maybe last year in November. But one which did surprise me in many ways.
Amani goes through quite a lot here, and well learning to be in the palace and trying to survive and escape there was much more interesting really. As she slowly navigates, tries to figure out and also gets to know the Sultan. Which to my surprise, she is still the same as ever before but with a better sense of politics. At the end of it, she certainly does seem a lot more grown than before.
As for the Sultan, again he is a very good convincing villain. He isn’t perfect but he is the one who kept the throne for who knows how many years, and is truly ruthless. Not kidding, which makes me even more interested in him. Since he is like many of history’s kings, benevolent ones were more the rarity rather than the norm, an tyrants were relatively uncommon. But the Sultan to me is pragmatic, he does know that winning his people over is an important thing. No king can rule without popular favour even when their countries are all in favour of having brothers kill each other for the throne. But again, I still like him.
As for the romance, honestly it doesn’t bring anything to table and I don’t really feel much for Jin, who is just there. Well, he doesn’t want to lead, but will still do plenty to things to save Amani. But nothing else. So, not really interested.
As for Ahmed, on some levels yes he does have some good points. On others, well his father was correct about him. He is a good leader, but not necessarily someone who can hold onto power. Well, I do hope captivity changes him quite a little bit.
As for the plot, it really focused on the right bits. Rebellions have a lot of politics in it finding allies and armies who will support you is extremely important. You are seen as a threat when you can compare to them, not when your rebels can be squashed. So, yeah I like when the book is focusing on the plot of fighting against the Sultan, which requires a fair bit of political intrigue.
As for the tales, I frankly loved them. But not much apart from that, and the whole djinns being responsible for humans creation and Dmenji being unable to tell a lie. That was all so nice, and the opening was always my favourite as of now.
So, you can say that I simply fell in love with this book. It may have been rather okay in the first book, now, I am waiting for the sequel like no other. Verdict: recommended.
Rating: 4 out of 5