Welcome to the blog tour for Traitor to the Throne, the sequel to Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands! Rebel of the Sands was one of my favorite books of 2016 (find the review here) and I’m thrilled to say that Traitor to the Throne is just as good – if not better – than its predecessor. Check out our interview to learn more about Traitor to the Throne, Alwyn Hamilton’s writing process, and get a hint about book three:
Can you describe Traitor to the Throne in five words?
REBEL 2: The Sultan Strikes Back.
Do you consider yourself a pantser, plotter, or something in between? What was your process while writing Traitor to the Throne, and did it differ from writing Rebel of the Sands?
I’d say I’m a daydreamer. Which is somewhere in between. I can’t write anything without at least having the whole skeleton of the book. So before I start writing anything I spent months daydreaming scenes and plotlines and connecting it. But that all happens in my mind rather than on paper. And then I sort of let it evolve when I go to write it down.
TRAITOR TO THE THRONE has been, loosely, plotted out in my mind since before I finished REBEL. But the biggest difference was how much of what is now the final book happened in editing. Because of the time constraints TRAITOR was much more of a messy draft than anything else when it was handed it. The editing process, with notes, gave it the shape it now has, rather than it being me agonizing over edits before anyone saw it.
Amani is one of my favorite female characters in YA right now – she’s independent, intelligent, and badass. What do you enjoy most about telling her story?
The best thing about writing Amani for me is her impulsiveness. It means that she drives the story rather than the story steering her around because she shoots first and asks questions later and I love that she gets to be active instead of reactive. But I also enjoy writing a character who has so much evolving to do. Amani starts REBEL off as selfish and evolves into someone able to fight for others rather than just herself. In TRAITOR she starts of certain of her convictions, only to have those shaken as the book goes on. And she learns and grows from that.
Traitor to the Throne raises the stakes with its magic, action, and setting. What did you find most challenging while writing?
I definitely find action scenes challenging to write because there are so many people in them. When they click and work it’s glorious and satisfying. But while you’re still trying to figure it out and you have a dozen named characters to keep track of, and half of them have a super power of some kind, plus an army to keep track of, and you have to work out all the logistics of who is moving where at any given time, it can be tricky to get right.
If you could spend a day with a character from Traitor to the Throne, who would it be and why?
I would want to spend a day in Izman with Shazad because she knows the lay of the land, since it’s where she grew up and could take me to all the best places in the city. And she’s also just genuinely good at being a friend so she wouldn’t get distracted and wander off on me. Plus if anyone gave us any trouble she could handle it.
Traitor to the Throne is the second book in a trilogy. Can you share anything about book three?
Hmmm…not much as I’m just starting to edit it. So everything currently in there is subject to change. We don’t even have a title yet. But I can tell you three things that appear in book 3 that I don’t think will get cut in editing:
Mythical Wall of Fire
Secret mountain cult
About Traitor to the Throne:
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.
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).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 27, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 29, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
TRAITOR Blog Tour
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 – Mundie Moms – Review + Favorite Quotes
3/10 – Butter My Books – Guest Post
3/13 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
3/14 – The Eater of Books! – Favorite Quotes
3/15 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Q&A
3/16 – Lost in Lit – Review
3/17 – My Friends Are Fiction – Review
3/20 – The Yong Folks – Author Q&A
3/21 – The Book Addict’s Guide – Traitor Candle
3/22 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
3/23 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
3/24 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post