With each addition to the Ravenspire world, I am newly stunned by the fresh takes Redwine spins on familiar tales. The story is a breathtaking combination of action, romance, and so much tension that I felt the urge to meditate several times, just to keep my heart rate regular. Though we see little of Akram’s kingdom, as Javan is locked in prison for much of the novel, Redwine never fails to craft a detailed and immerse setting, weaving in broader details of magical creatures and laws, as well as key minor details like the atmosphere of the prison. Readers will find no challenge playing out each scene in their head.
While I thoroughly enjoyed all the main character in this series, Javan and Sajda might be my favorite yet. Their romance, as is often with Redwine’s novels, is a perfect slow burn. Javan and Sajda are both grieving, hurt, and lost in different ways, but they slowly find a source of comfort and understanding in each other. Javan is a heartwarming mixture of kind, soft, and honorable, even as his circumstances worsen and worsen. Sajda is fierce, lonely, elegant, and unbelievably powerful. Together, they make a surprising but stunning team. I particularly appreciate how realistic their romance is, all the way through the end of the story. They never lose their individual identities and complexities, even as they grow closer.
Likewise, the villains are some of the darkest yet. Rahim, the imposter prince, is absolutely chilling, and he has what makes a villain so scary: an understandable motive. The Ravenspire novels are truly an embodiment of the idea that your choices are what define you rather than your circumstances. Though the warden’s origins aren’t as fully explored, as Rahim is the primary antagonist, she is just as compelling and frightening, both abusers of power and authority.
THE TRAITOR PRINCE showcases Redwine’s beloved staples, immense talent, in-depth characterization, and clever world-building. Fans of the Ravenspire books will not be disappointed, and new readers will have no trouble sinking into this fantasy world even without reading the previous companions. I impatiently await the next magical journey.