February 7, 2018

Tournament for Truth • The Traitor Prince

Javan, the crown prince of Akram, finds himself caught up in the conflict of politics and power when there is an attempt on his life that results in an impostor pretending to be him and getting himself thrown into Maqbara, the most notorious prison in their kingdom. In order to reveal the truth to the king, he must compete in the prison tournaments where the inmates are pitted against dangerous creatures and each other. With the help of Sajda, the warden's slave, and unlikely friends he makes along the way, Javan will fight for truth, justice and the opportunity to reclaim his true identity and place as the crown prince.

Plot? It's extremely straightforward, and plays out exactly as the synopsis suggests. Readers are introduced to Javan and the impostor early on, the switch also happens early on and the rest of the novel is spent following Javan's attempts to survive the prison and succeed at winning the tournament in order to reveal the truth about himself and expose the impostor. It was a solid story, but I didn't find it particularly remarkable or different from other fantasy novels I've read before.

Characters? I didn't feel emotionally invested in main character Javan until about halfway through this story. That probably had more to do with me, as he is an admirable young man - determined, smart, kind and loyal. He had a strong sense of right and wrong, and really stood up for what he believed in and the people he cared for. It was actually Sajda who I immediately loved from the moment she first shows up on the page. There was just something about this reticent, strong, mysterious young woman who is slave to the prison warden that really snagged my attention and I just continued to love her even more as the story progressed. There is one more character I'd like to mention - the impostor prince, who is the primary antagonist. He, unfortunately, fell very, very flat to me, and just seemed like a cookie cutter version of a villain all in all.

Writing? Like her previous two Ravenspire novels, C.J. did a solid job of writing a unique story that had recognizable fairytale tropes. Her writing was just as readable in this novel as it was in the other books, and she did a good job with juggling the multiple points of view. The only real issue was that I could not take the villain seriously, which ruined the investment I had in the overall story stakes.

Overall? The Traitor Prince is a decent addition to the Ravenspire series. Despite the fact that I didn't care for the villain, I did like the two main characters, as well as their relationship, the tournament set-up and the ending. So, if you're a fan of the Ravenspire series, you'll probably still want to check this one out - though I certainly wouldn't say it's as good as its predecessors.

What's your favorite movie where the characters switch places? There are a couple of films that come to mind here, but I think my heart is telling me that I'll have to go with The Parent Trap, the version starring Lindsay Lohan. I genuinely adore that movie, and I watch it every single time I manage to see it airing on television (or I seek it out occasionally too). It's so adorable and heartfelt and funny, and I love it.

The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine | Series: Ravenspire #3
Previous Books in the Series: The Shadow Queen, The Wish Granter
Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Source: e-galley downloaded from Edelweiss (Thank you!)


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