Monday, January 29, 2018

Book Review: The Traitor Prince (Ravenspire #3)

Release Date: February 13, 2018
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Length: 416 pages
Source: Edelweiss eARC

Javan Najafai, the crown prince of Akram, has spent the last ten years at school, far away from his kingdom. He’s been eagerly awaiting his return home to his ailing father, but his journey there goes dangerously wrong. A mysterious imposter has taken his place—and no one will believe Javan is the true prince.

After barely escaping the imposter’s hitmen, Javan is thrown in the most dangerous prison in his kingdom—Maqbara. The only way to gain an audience with the king and reveal the truth is to fight his way out in the prison’s yearly tournament, which pits inmates against a coterie of the deadliest creatures in the world.

The one person who can help him is Sajda, a strong and secretive girl who has been enslaved by Maqbara’s warden since she was a child. Working with Sajda might be the only way Javan can escape alive—but she’s hiding something.

Together, Javan and Sajda will have to outwit the dangerous warden, outfight the hundreds of deadly creatures, and outlast the murderous prisoners intent on killing Javan before he can win—in order to fight for their freedom, and take down the imposter once and for all.



Protagonists: Javan has spent the last ten years of his life doing everything he can to be the best student at the Milisatria and fulfill his mother's dying wish that he be the best student so he can be the best King for Akram. That is until an imposter takes his place and he finds himself in Maqbara, a terrible prison where he is forced to fight in a deadly tournament to win an audience with his father and hopefully put all this treachery to rest. There he meets Sajda, the warden's slave girl hiding a broken past and a dangerous secret. As these characters try and face their own adversities, they learn to lean on each other and find themselves forming an unlikely friendship that just might lead to more. I love these characters, Javan is very honorable, almost to a fault, and strives to be the best in his classes, but there's more to learn about the world than math, history, and mythology, and Javan's predicament shows him just how corrupt his kingdom can be. Sadja is wounded and broken by her years as a slave but hasn't given up hope to somehow escape and taste freedom. I love how each of these characters grew both together and independently to figure out who they really are and what they truly want out of life.

Romance: It's really hard to talk too much about this romance without spoiling small parts of how things unfold but I'm going to do my best. There is a fair bit of romance in this story, the bond between Javan and Sajda is amazing and I loved how the author told their story. The romance doesn't affect too much of the plot until much later on in the story, and I really enjoyed a lighter romance in this book. There wasn't a lot of drama and I really felt a draw to the relationship between these characters. There's a part of the book that talks about how well Javan fits with Sajda's broken edges and it came off 100% authentic. These characters go so well together and I couldn't stop rooting for them while I was reading, not even for a second.

World-Building: While the romance might not have a lot of drama, the rest of the story certainly does. There are a great number of villains in this story, not just Rahim, the Traitor Prince himself, though Rahim is the true villain. I love how the author really amped up the villainy in this book because it really heightens the stakes and there are a good number of times where I could see no way out for our heroes and my stress levels went through the roof in the best way possible. The previous two books in this series had strong ties to the fairy tales that inspired them, and well, unfortunately, I'm not well versed in the fairy tale this story was inspired by, and because there wasn't that nostalgic tie to a childhood tale, this story didn't feel as steeped in fairy tales as the other stories did, but honestly, at the end of the day I didn't care. I just loved getting to see more of this expansive world and I was surprised at just how much more of this world we got to see. Because the arena matches also include monsters we get to see so many more creatures that roam this world and it was so fun to see more of this world's ecosystem and while we didn't get a large selection of creatures from all over, it was still an exciting every time a new round in the arena started. Finally, yes there are connections to the other books in this series, mainly The Wish Granter, and it was fantastic to see how everything in this story connects to the rest of the world.

Predictability: Even though it was fairly easy to pick up on the foreshadowing in this book, that never really affected how I experienced this story. I was never bummed if I figured out a twist early on in its development and there were quite a few times when I was genuinely shocked at a large twist to this tale. There are actually a lot of great surprises in this story that completely caught me off guard and added to the excitement of this story. I wish I had more to say here but that pretty much sums it up. The book isn't completely unpredictable, but I didn't mind and there were still a number of exciting surprises to keep me going.

Ending: The final climax of this book is EPIC, I may have used those same words to describe the endings to other books in the past, but this one stands high above all others. Throughout this entire book, I wasn't quite sure how everything was going to be resolved because in all honesty, this one of the most dastardly villains yet, and with no magic to boot! However, with how everything went down in the final climax, I'm still shaken and I loved every minute of it. There isn't too much time at the end for a nice cooldown period, but it didn't need to be, in fact, I liked how things sort of quickly wound down toward the end and how the story ended with a fantastic epilogue!


This was no surprise to me. Even though I was a little unsure about this book because I wasn't as well versed with the inspiration for this story as I was with the previous two, this might be tied with the second book as my favorite of the series so far. It's full of action, romance, and some dark and twisted political intrigue! I loved it so much, but I'm sort of cursing myself because I need the next book right away, and now I have to wait a while!


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