Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert – and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.
Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl’s instinct for survival. For the Sultan’s palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper’s nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive… But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani’s past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.
I’m reading this series with Alex and we’re really enjoying it! I liked Rebel of the Sands a lot but I wasn’t sure where this story would go. However, I actually enjoyed this more than the first book. It was even more of an emotional rollercoaster with so many twists and turns, me and Alex were messaging each other every day with our reactions and there were a lot of ‘did you get to this bit yet?’ messages too. Having read the first book, I felt a lot less daunted by this one and enjoyed it a lot more than going into the first one with no background to the characters and their story.
Again, I loved Amani as a main character. She is such a strong female lead, and the romance takes a backseat but I still really like the relationship Amani and Jin have. It feels like Amani is complemented by Jin rather than being supported by him, which I really liked. I also loved the supporting cast of characters yet again, and Sam was a great addition to the story. I feel like having a new character introduced into the second book in the series really helps boost the story and Sam made me laugh so much.
But then, this was what the desert did to us.
I really liked the setting of this book. Rather than being the wider desert, it’s set in a palace which I loved. I felt like I could picture the palace so clearly and having the majority of the book being set in the palace helped a lot. I definitely preferred it being set around the palace than the wider desert! Looking back, I feel like this book should have been a slow burner. But although it’s hard to tell with this being a buddy read and reading a set amount of pages a day, I feel like this was actually quite a quick read. I just wanted to keep reading as this book just had so much tension.
Once again in this book, I really liked the found family element of this story. Even though Amani is on her own in the palace throughout this, she is surrounded from a distance by her supportive friends. I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional in places but genuinely chuckle to myself in others. These books kind of have it all!
It made us dreamers with weapons.
I’m very glad to say this book definitely didn’t have second book syndrome, and I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what the last book has to give!
4 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽