The Traitor Prince (Ravenspire #3)
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 imposter takes his place—and no one believes Javan is the true prince. After barely escaping the imposter’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 acing competitions at school, and soon Javan finds himself beset not just by the terrifying creatures in the arena, but also a band of prisoners allied against him, and even 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 the 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.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Okay, all I can say is that C.J. Redwine did it again! She is a master at creating an atmosphere of absolute despair and grief and somehow making it all better by the time it ends. This book had me on the edge of my seat and wondering just how it would all play out. I had a feeling it was going to have to do with Sajda and her dangerous secrets. This book had everything: romance, intrigue, monsters, gladiator style tournaments, and so much sadness and grief. I did not know exactly how it would all resolve for Javan and Sajda but I enjoyed seeing how it all unfolded.
So, I liked Javan from the very beginning. I loved his dedication and discipline to do what it took to fulfill his mother's dying wish and make his father proud. He did everything he could to get that ultimate prize. Javan was so honorable and faithful and it wasn't in an annoying way. He still felt anger and doubt like anyone else and maybe even more so with all he had to endure. I loved Sajda. She was a scared girl trying to figure out how to survive in a prison as something that everyone despised and would have killed her for. She grew up surrounded by violent criminals and a warden who was intent on abusing her from the moment she got Sajda. My heart hurt when I learned she was sold to the warden when she was only five years old and I could understand her cold indifference to everyone except a select few. Javan and Sajda together are couple goals! They complemented each other so well and my favorite part about them was the way Sajda challenged Javan on everything. She was determined to be better than him at anything he said he'd learned and excelled at in school. Tarek was another favorite for me. He was a kind old man who loved Sajda and looked out for Javan after Javan protected him on his first day at Maqbara. The king was a kind man too. The villians, Rahim and Fariq, were nasty and treacherous. They were willing to do any and everything to get what they sought.
All and all, I enjoyed this book immensely. I've liked all of the Ravenspire books so far and cannot wait until the fourth book. The action in The Traitor Prince was amazing and kept me interested throughout. Everything happened so fast but also slowly. I liked that it was told from Javan, Sajda, and Rahim's points of view so I knew what was going on at all times. This book had me tearing up on a number of occasions and if I had not been at work, I probably would have cried but this was one of her best books so far. I recommend reading this series if you haven't already done so.