TRAITOR TO THE THRONE
The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.
When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan's palace—she's determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan's secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she's a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she's been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often. Follow her at @AlwynFJH.
Interview with Alwyn
Hello Alwyn, and thank you for this interview. We are big fans of Rebel of the Sands and are most excited for Traitor to the Throne. That being said...
1. Fans of Rebel of the Sands are excited for the next installment in this series. What can readers expect in Traitor to the Throne?
TRAITOR TO THE THRONE is the EMPIRE STRIKES BACK of the REBEL series. It picks up about half a year after the end of the REBEL, Amani is settled into the Rebellion, just as it starts to crumble around them. When the crew has to evacuate the rebel camp Amani ends up captured and in the Harem, where she find a way to act as a spy while trying to keep herself alive.
So basically…there’s kissing and explosions and a whole lot of betrayal.
2. I appreciate how you created a villain that I could understand the logic behind his actions and how it wasn't so black and white. How was writing about the Sultan? and what do you want readers to know about him?
I had a feeling going in I would enjoy writing the Sultan but I didn’t expect quite how much. Villains who stomp around killing puppies and declaring their evil plans aren’t that interesting to spend any time with so I definitely knew I wanted to create someone who was interesting to watch, who thinks his cause is as just as that of the Heroes.
Thinking about it logically, the Sultan is a powerful man who has kept a grip on his country for two decades so it made sense for him to be charming and smart and a steady handed ruler. He also took the throne by force so he had to be physically adept, a fighter. And he’s the father of the two princes you’ve gotten to know in REBEL, Ahmed and Jin, who are both pretty good looking boys, and they had to all get that from somewhere.
All that, combined with Amani’s need for a father figure makes her very vulnerable to him and to second guessing her own beliefs when she’s around him. And I think it’s easy for her and the reader to forget that this is a man who has beaten women to death with his bare hands.
3. I loved the mythology behind the Djinn and how the magic system is portrayed. What research went into this mesmerizing factor?
While I did a lot of reading of myths and folk tales from that part of the world I have to admit that a lot of the mythology in the series is a total mishmash. The Demdji are partly inspired by the Demigods of Greek Mythology and the Djinn themselves toe the line between characteristics that are attributed to our world’s Djinn, Greek Gods, and Faye/Fairies (who are their equivalents in less arid parts of the world).
But for me the most important thing about any mythology is grounding it in firm rules. The rules in REBEL are that all magic is tied to something elemental, earth, wind, fire, water. All of which make up the lifeforce of these beings and of mortals. And it can be bound and killed by metals like iron, another part of the fairies myth. And no matter what I do or create it has to tie back to that.
4. Traitor to the Throne is fast, clever and it has a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. Was that ending your original choice?
That ending came to mind as soon as I realized that this was an idea that was going to have to be split into more than one book. So I have been planning it since before REBEL was even finished and I was really happy that I was able to pull it off as I knew it would be tricky.
5. I was eager to return to this world that you created because some of the characters had a special place in my heart, but I was also pleased to be introduced to even more endearing characters. Which was your favorite to write?
I really loved writing Sam, the foreigner, and blue-eyed bandit imposter, who can walk through walls. He is just faintly ridiculous enough to be fun to write and he takes nothing seriously, which is refreshing in a group of characters who take everything so seriously.
6. What are you working on right now?
Edits for REBEL 3: As Yet Untitled. As well as some early chapters of a totally new idea that is still taking shape.
7. If you could swap characters from another novel/world who would you like to see visit TTTT?
I feel like Astrid Krieger from David Iserson’s FIRECRACKER would be a great addition to the REBELLION. She’s a mastermind, good at creating chaos. She could run a mission or two.
Otherwise…the crew of the Rampion from Marisa Meyer’s LUNAR CHRONICLES series. I feel like they’d get along well with the members of the rebellion.
8. Do you have a Spotify music list for TTTT and if so can you share it with us?
Not on spotify but I do have one here for REBEL: http://www.penguinteen.com/the-official-rebel-of-the-sands-playlists-are-on-point/
9. Have you created a Pinterest board for you series and what inspiration does it provide for your stories?
I have! The one for TRAITOR TO THE THRONE is here: https://uk.pinterest.com/alwynhamilton/traitor-to-the-throne/
I think I use them mostly to get a vague feeling of things when I’m writing rather than to pull any specific details of something. They are also excellent tools for procrastination.
3/6 – The YA Book Traveler – Mood Board
3/7 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A
3/8 – Love is Not a Triangle – Review
3/9 – MundieMoms – Review + Favorite Quotes3/10 – Butter My Books – Guest PostWeek Two:3/13 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post3/14 – The Eater of Books! – Favorite Quotes3/15 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Q&A3/16 – Lost in Lit – Review3/17 – My Friends Are Fiction – ReviewWeek Three:3/20 – The Yong Folks – Author Q&A3/21 – The Book Addict’s Guide – Traitor Candle3/22 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review3/23 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review3/24 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post
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Enter for a chance to win one (1) grand prize set of Alwyn Hamilton’s books, including a paperback copy of Rebel of the Sands and a hardcover of Traitor to the Throne, or to win one (1) of five (5) paperback copies of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (ARV: $10.99 each).
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