The Traitor Prince

FeaturedHot
 
4.7 (2)
 
4.3 (1)
4447 0
The Traitor Prince
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 13, 2018
ISBN
9780062652980
Buy This Book
      

A dark epic fantasy inspired by The Prince and the Pauper and the fairy tale The False Prince, from bestselling author C.J. Redwine. A thrilling companion book in the Ravenspire series, The Traitor Prince is perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses series and The Wrath and the Dawn duology. Javan Najafai, crown prince of Akram, has spent the last ten years at an elite boarding school, far away from his kingdom. But his eagerly awaited return home is cut short when a mysterious impostor takes his place—and no one believes Javan is the true prince. After barely escaping the impostor’s assassins, Javan is thrown into Maqbara, the kingdom’s most dangerous prison. The only way to gain an audience with the king—and reveal Javan’s identity—is to fight in Maqbara’s yearly tournament. But winning is much harder than facing competitions at school, and soon Javan finds himself beset not just by the terrifying creatures in the arena but also by a band of prisoners allied against him, and even by the warden herself. The only person who can help him is Sajda, who has been enslaved by Maqbara’s warden since she was a child, and whose guarded demeanor and powerful right hook keep the prisoners in check. Working with Sajda might be the only way Javan can escape alive—but she has dangerous secrets. Together, Javan and Sajda have to outwit the vicious warden, outfight deadly creatures, and outlast the murderous prisoners intent on killing Javan. If they fail, they’ll be trapped in Maqbara for good—and the secret Sajda’s been hiding will bury them both.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

This Uncommon Retelling Packs A Punch
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
An adventurous, accessible YA fantasy—with likely appeal for fans of An Ember In The Ashes.

Based loosely on an Arabic folktale called The False Prince, this stand-alone book centers on the kingdom of Akram—with interwoven references to the kingdoms and characters from The Shadow Queen and The Wish Granter. Redwine’s prose shows notable development in this 3rd installment of her retold fairytale series. The Traitor Prince offers three 3rd person POVs, and a primarily male POV for the first 4th of the book—which is a structural departure from the more evenly alternating POVs of her previous works. But like her previous books there is an underlying theme of redemption, and of broken people finding healing in unexpected places.

“Fear in. Courage out.”

Javan is an overachieving honor-bound prince, who’s dedication to his mother’s dying wish has made him a perpetual stick-in-the-mud at the boarding school he’s been attending for the last decade of his young life. He’s naive and idealistic to a fault—and so unprepared when the conniving of others results in the loss of his identity and freedom. Unfortunately for him, the learning curve in Maqbara prison is incredibly steep—and being a quick study isn’t enough to insure his survival in their gladiator-style arena. He’ll need to secure trustworthy friends and allies. A skill he -hadn’t- been focusing on in school…

Sajda is, hands down, my favorite of Redwine’s heroines thus far. She’s steely, fierce, crafty, competent, and intensely powerful. She’s also deeply wounded, lonely, and afraid of her own nature. An abused young woman who hasn’t known freedom since her own mother sold her into slavery when she was five years old. Though her POV doesn’t enter until around page 90, she ends up being the character who shows the greatest degree of growth and development.

For those who prefer a slow burn romance, the progression in this story is pleasingly gradual. And it starts from a dismally low place of aggravation-at-first-sight. The eventual chemistry is very much believable—both sparked and fueled by a mutual competitiveness and unfaltering respect. Survival takes reasonable precedence well above relational progression, but after a certain point, also drives the tension.

As for the worldbuilding, I would have liked to see a little more explanation concerning the Dark Elves and their apparent history of oppressing humanity. I also would have preferred to know more about The Warden’s relationship with the people of Akram. Her nature seems to be openly known, but we aren’t told how she came to reside outside of her own people or how common it is for this to occur. The audacious hypocrisy in her treatment and regard for Sajda was something I kept expecting someone to point out. (i.e. every time she referred to Sajda as a monster, I had the urge to laugh hysterically.)

“Power is neither good nor evil. … It's what people do with power that matters.”

There were actually four prominent villains in this book: The Warden, a prisoner named Hashim, Rahim (the imposter prince)… and the one who conceived of putting him in power (who I won’t name out of spoiler concerns.) But of these villains, we are only given Rahim’s perspective—which is cunningly determined, but single-minded. His motives seem too simplistic at times. Yes, he grew up in obscure poverty as the bastard son of a royal… but surly that wasn’t enough to make him turn evil. (Ari, from the previous Ravenspire book, actually came from a similar background. And she is, frankly, delightful.) Rahim doesn’t seem to consider the mother he left behind when he began his schemes—nor is he at all interested in any justice on her behalf—so perhaps her influence on him was negative. Readers simply aren’t provided with that depth of insight.

This story does include an enriching faith element—which is incredibly rare to find in mainstream YA. While Javan’s belief system isn’t explained in great detail, the significance and motivation it holds for him is portrayed with an unmistakable air of authenticity. It even has its own arc, as Javan must wrestle with his beliefs about justice and the nature of his god while he endures a grave injustice—his prayers seemingly going unanswered.

All told, an enjoyable read with a lot of heart.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Tense, action-packed addition to the Ravenspire series
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
THE TRAITOR PRINCE is the latest installment in C.J. Redwine’s series of companion novels set in the Ravenspire world, each transforming a classic tale into something new and magical. This time, The False Prince and The Prince and the Pauper tales are combined to inspire the story of Javan, crown prince of Akram. After ten years devoting himself to his studies at a faraway boarding school, he is ready to return home and make his father proud. Before he can do so, an imposter takes his place, which leaves Javan, the true prince, abandoned in Maqbara, a dangerous prison where inmates must fight killer beasts, and each other, in an area. Sajda, enslaved by Maqbara’s warden, might be the only one who can help him…but she’s fighting battles of her own.

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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
The Traitor Prince Review
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A twisted dark tale of The Prince and the Pauper.
The third installment of the Ravenspire series was by far my favorite. There was evidence improvement in the writing, character development, and world building. There were elements of surprises that were not as present in the first book. Moments that made me gasp and sit at the edge of my seat wondering if a character is going to make it.
There were some parts I felt could have been slowed down a little but it did not inconvenience the story very much.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA series...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
Talent
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sandee Mason is convinced her life will change if she...
WITHIN THE FOLDS OF A SWAN'S WINGS
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if the one element that has always defined you...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this twisty,...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface, she...
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Cassie needs a horse. She’s determined to move up...
A Higher Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 9)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just when everything seems to be perfect, it all falls...
A Happier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 8)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two guys. One girl. A big confusing mess. ...
A Healthier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 7)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She broke his heart. Will he ever forgive her? ...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL continues Guinevere's story as she seeks to find her footing in a world that keeps throwing her..."
Loveboat, Taipei
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Ever’s pushy parents have already gotten their way by making her apply to medical school, but..."
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA is a lush, beautiful, and romantic fantasy that follows Flora, now living as..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.3
"SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG is a YA contemporary romance about siblings, feeling like an outcast, and friendship. Sunny definitely feels..."
The Companion
 
5.0
"Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken..."
How It All Blew Up
 
4.3
"Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"I really enjoyed Skyhunter, another winner from Marie Lu. Talin is a refugee and is mute. She is a Striker,..."
Now That I've Found You
 
4.0
"Evie is a young actress living in L.A. and has a legacy to live up to. Her parents are famous..."
Clown in a Cornfield
 
3.3
"When Quinn and her father move to a tiny town, she's hoping to fit in and finish high school. Kettle..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
4.7
"'Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,' edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma,..."
 
4.0
"Maisie is a young teenage girl growing up in the Bronx. The story takes place during the early 1960s. Maisie..."
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
"SING LIKE NO ONE'S LISTENING is a YA fiction about grief and anxiety. Nettie lost her mother unexpectedly after a..."
We Are Lost and Found
 
4.3
"WE ARE LOST AND FOUND is a profound historical fiction read that takes place in the early 1980s NYC. Michael..."