Title: The Traitor Prince
Author: C. J. Redwine
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Shadow Queen
2. The Wish Granter
Date Started: July 23
Date Finished: July 25
Format: hardcover from local library
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 impostor has taken his place—and no one will believe Javan is the true prince. After barely escaping the impostor’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 impostor once and for all.
I feel really, really stupid right about now. Why? Well, because it took me FOREVER to figure out which fairy tale Redwine was trying to put a spin on in this novel. With the first in the Ravenspire series it was Snow White, with the second it was Rumpelstiltskin, and as I was reading this one I kept flip flopping between Aladdin or A Thousand and One Nights. But details weren’t lining up right. Javan has been pushed off the throne by an impostor who is hell bent on ruling Akram. This impostor is a ‘puppet’ of the king’s cousin Fariq who wanted to rule instead (I even thought Hamlet/The Lion King here) but because of linage laws the crown would never fall to him. But before he can reveal the truth, Javan is thrown into prison and must find a way out. The girl he meets – Sajda – has her own secrets to tell and in reality I think she was throwing me off the most. I kept waiting to see a different version of Jasmine, but…
It wasn’t until the ending with Sajda’s cuffs coming off that I finally put the pieces together. It is a retelling of Aladdin. Only Jasmine is played by Javan (duh, names!). Jafar is Fariq/Rahim. And the Genie is Sajda. You think I would have guessed that one sooner with all her talk about freedom. Yikes. I’m extremely slow on the uptake.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I really, really enjoyed myself with this one. Redwine really flipped this fairy tale on its head and it was the best way possible. When this book first started I didn’t think I was going to keep going with it, it started off so slow, but I’m glad I stuck with it. These characters were wonderful and I can’t wait to see what tale Redwine twists in The Blood Spell!
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