The Traitor Prince

The Traitor Prince

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....

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Title:The Traitor Prince
Author:C.J. Redwine
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Traitor Prince Reviews

  • Carina Olsen

    This book broke my heart. Which was fully rude of it. But I loved it so very much, despite how broken my heart is. These fairytale retellings are the very best. And this third one was so amazing. I love how every book is a standalone, yet set in the same world around the same time. And small hints from all the other books.

    This book tells the story of Javan and Sajda. It begins with Javan still at his school, where he have been at all times for the last ten years. Javan is a prince. He is doing h

    This book broke my heart. Which was fully rude of it. But I loved it so very much, despite how broken my heart is. These fairytale retellings are the very best. And this third one was so amazing. I love how every book is a standalone, yet set in the same world around the same time. And small hints from all the other books.

    This book tells the story of Javan and Sajda. It begins with Javan still at his school, where he have been at all times for the last ten years. Javan is a prince. He is doing his very best to become the best at school to honor his dead mother, and to make his father proud. And ah, Javan really is the best there. I loved that. But oh.

    He also ignores just about every person in this school too, which was depressing to read about. I wanted and needed this lovely boy to have more fun. To spend time with his could-be friends. He does have one friend, though, Kellan. And I wish there was more of this boy. I do not know what happened to him. He was pretty awesome, but was only there in the beginning. Anyway. Not going to share the whole start of the book, just that Javan is still at the school, almost about to graduate and go home to his kingdom. But then he's almost murdered when he's ready to go home. Then another boy is pretending to be him, taking his carriage and things home with him. Javan survives his attempted murder, and follows the impostor. It does not go well. Ack.

    The plot of this book is how Javan is trying to reveal that there is an impostor trying to steal his kingdom. But people to do believe him. His own uncle is working against him, saying that he is the impostor. And so Javan is about to be murdered again. But instead ends up in the worst prison in this kingdom. And gosh, this prison. It was all kinds of awful and I couldn't help but love every moment spent in it. Which was just about the whole book. Shudders. There is so much happening. Whole book was interesting and exciting.

    While the beginning of the book is all Javan, when he arrives at the prison we start getting point of views from Sajda too. And oh, how I adored this girl. I loved reading about her so much. She has been inside this prison since she was five years old. Since she was sold as a slave to the warden. My heart simply broke for this girl. She hasn't been outside for so long. She's had to protect herself from prisoners. And from the warden woman. All that she wants is to be free. To travel far away. To know everything. Sniffs.

    I simply loved getting to know Sajda. I loved how she had one friend, and older man named Tarek. He was amazing to read about. Though this one scene with him killed me. Gosh. There is also something special about Sajda. She had magic. And in an awesome way. Though the warden has placed cuffs on her arms, so her magic is very limited. Sad face. But Sajda was amazing. Brave and fierce and strong. I really enjoyed reading about her and learning about her magic. I just wish to know even more about her.

    Reading about Javan spending time is this prison was pretty awful. A few people want to kill him here too, of course. Rude. But he quickly becomes sort of friends with Sajda. And I loved reading about these two getting to know each other. Eee. They were the cutest together and I shipped them so hard. I loved how she was able to help him and protect him, for the most part. Which he needed. Because this prison has an arena. And there is some type of fighting. And it was so brutal and awful and so exciting to read about.

    I have already said more than I was going to about this book, yet not nearly enough at the same time. Gosh. There is just so much happening. I loved Javan and Sajda so much. There is also a point of view of the false prince, and it was the rudest. I hated this boy. So much. But I loved this story. I loved how Javan and Sajda worked together, trying to figure out how he would be able to prove he was the real prince. Their story was the best. I just wish there was even more. I want another book with them. Ack.

    There are tons of reasons for why this book was amazing. The school beginning was a bit slow, but also fast to read, and it passed so quickly too. Ahh. And then the prison parts happened. And the arena. And the small romance started. And this whole book was simply perfection. And I loved it very much. So five stars for sure. Even though my heart is all kinds of broken. Because there were a lot of death in this book. Gruesome ones too. And some of them ruined me a little. But so well done. So I couldn't help but love it.

    I love how the cover fits so well with the story. First, it's gorgeous. And it fits very much. The crown is for Javan. Aka the crown that he does not have at the moment. And the iron cuffs are for Sajda, that she is forced to wear at all times. Gorgeous cover, but brutal too. I must also mention the ending of this book a little bit. It's all kinds of bittersweet. A good ending, like all these lovely books, but also so heartbreaking. And also very fitting with the characters, and I loved that. Broke my heart a little, but beyond amazing.

    I have so much love for all these books by C. J. Eee. She's amazing. And her books are awesome. And I simply cannot wait to read more books from this world. They are all going to be so good. Sigh. Next one will be Cinderella, and I simply can't wait. And also, I very much need the Hansel and Gretel story soon. They are in many of these books, and I love them already. Huge thank you to HarperTeen for the auto approval on Edelweiss, that made me able to read this precious book early. So happy to have read this.

    ---

    This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here:

  • Rachel McMillan

    Last week, I devoured The Wish Granter by CJ Redwine after a recommendation from my friend Ruth. I loved it to death. Sebastian was a Rachel catnip hero and the dark Rumpelstiltskin world was immensely readable. First off, because I will make you buy this book--- Though the book is the third in the Ravenspire series: they are standalone novels set in a similar world. okay?

    Let's dig in, kittens!

    "Fear out, Courage in."

    I craved more, so immediately downloaded The Traitor Prince which blew me away i

    Last week, I devoured The Wish Granter by CJ Redwine after a recommendation from my friend Ruth. I loved it to death. Sebastian was a Rachel catnip hero and the dark Rumpelstiltskin world was immensely readable. First off, because I will make you buy this book--- Though the book is the third in the Ravenspire series: they are standalone novels set in a similar world. okay?

    Let's dig in, kittens!

    "Fear out, Courage in."

    I craved more, so immediately downloaded The Traitor Prince which blew me away in the best way possible. I am not hyperbolic in saying it is one of the best books I have ever read; because I am not just carrying the hangover of emotion and well-crafted world. I am stating that as someone who loves to watch technique, who catches and revels in nuance, who stops and notices the slow, unfurling threads of allegorical substance, who is alighted by the pursuit of a hero's journey resplendent with heartbreaking themes of sacrifice and grace.

    Javan Najafai is the true prince of Akram. He has lived at the prestigious Milisatria Academy for Nobility for ten years, excelling at everything and becoming well rounded enough that he will eventually be able to step into the crown.

    He is kind and studious, forsaking the revelry and hobbies of his friends for prayer and reflection and to become the kind of king that his father, the King, will be proud of. He is a devoted servant of his god, Yl' Haliq and relies on his wisdom and guidance as he prepares himself for the arduous and magnanimous task of eventual ascension to the throne.

    Since his mother's dying wish that he earn the most honours of any prince educated at the academy, Javan has centered his sights on granting her this honour: furthered by his desire for his father's pride and respect when he graduates at the head of his class and presents the coveted red sash that marks his accomplishment. The guidance from his headmaster and the support of his friend Kallen have seen him to the days leading up to final examinations and graduation.

    --

    "Now he had to pick up his beliefs, one by one, and examine them the flaws that surely ran through them."

    --

    Elsewhere, Rahim, who bears a striking resemblance to Javan and has a threadbare connection to the throne, works with a plot to supplant Prince Javan on the throne after his return to Akram. The true king slowly poisoned, Rahim's estranged father--and the king's closest relative---has wielded his unlikely power to mold the kingdom into place of bleak poverty and despair. While the nobility gets richer, they do so on the backs of the outcasts and impoverished and any clemency the true King might have shown to their plight is squandered under his tyranny.

    What follows is a plot that weaves a tapestry reminiscent of The Prince and the Pauper, The Count of Monte Cristo and the book's lesser known eponymous fairy tale.

    A swath of grace ( one of many --often undeserved and unexpected) finds Javan escaping the death plot set against him though at tragic cost. Sparing his life, someone who recognizes him for who he says he is, throws him into Maqbara Prison: where if he can survive and win a gruesome gladiator-like champion, he will be granted an audience with the king and a boon of his choosing.

    In order to fight for his rightful claim to the throne, Javan will risk his life daily while his faith dwindles and enemies surround, using the skill set he learned at Milistaria not to lead, rather to survive.

    The world of the prison --where 80 percent of the novel takes place-- is unbelievably painted in grim and creaky palette. The warden is a fearsome enemy, food is scarce and blood is shed. And yet, Redwine consistently offers smatters of light and hope. One of Javan's allies is Tarek, an old prisoner with a heart of gold and stable countenance who will put readers in mind of Abbe Faria in The Count of Monte Cristo. Tarek's role in the story affected me deeply. Another--and far more reticent connection--- is Sajda. Enslaved at a young age by the warden, she is kept in cuffs and forced to keep the prisoners and the ever-changing range of magical beasts for the circus arena combat in check.

    The prisoners --many arrested and confined for minimal disturbance--and often unjustly--- spend their days cleaning the arena that will lead to many of their deaths as well as training (however inexperienced) for the next games day.

    Spectators attend lavishly bloodthirsty productions where terrible beasts are thrown in with prisoners--some armed-- some not. Points are assigned for the killing of each creature and the top competitor will be granted the king's ear. It is not, Javan soon realizes, that different than ascending the ranks of the academy as his mother wished.

    Javan is a true hero. His heart is splendid. His humility is inspiring. His journey is heartbreaking. Readers of this blog know that I keep one foot in the Inspirational Fiction world and I can safely say the faith message in this story--- integral to Javan's journey--- and written in a subtle, almost-allegorical way, is 80 times more potent than many of the books I have read intentionally published for faith readers in the past year. And yet it is in his doubt and tragedy and moments of hopelessness that he becomes a beacon to lean on. He is not perfect. He takes a wrong step. But at heart---at his core--- is everything that the story needs him to be. He is at times a martyr but only to lead to his destiny.

    This book ripped my heart to shreds. I was anxious about finishing it. Anxious to be leaving the way it alighted my world and spirit. And even though I carefully rationed it over the past few days, lingering over its poetically sensory experience, I am so glad that I was finally able to encounter the punch-to-your-stomach poignancy of its climax. This book instills in me the strength to believe, to hope, to endure. Javan is a hero whose faith in god and his eventual restoration for the sake of his people puts him with the greats. He is timeless. He is the hero we return to. He is reminiscent of Dantes, yes, but also of Homer. And, for those of us approaching Easter, his entreaty of Yl' Haliq to intercept his grim fate will put readers in mind of the Greatest Hero of All.

    I was profoundly moved by this story. I was broken and sobbing by the end. I was touched so deeply by Javan's goodness, by Tarek's selflessness, by Sajdan's vulnerability. Indeed, I can count a few reading moments previously that have left me so wrung: Jessica Dotta's Price of Privilege trilogy, for one. Stephanie Landsem's The Thief as another. Sometimes I just cried because the storytelling was so perfect and the language so beautiful, its consonance tripping of my tongue as I read phrases aloud, the languorous legato of several lines in their perfect magic order...

    But lest you think this is all about presenting a theological tenet or speaking to the balance of visceral darkness and staggering light of humanity, it is so much more than that. This book is a beautifully told story of survival and each competition---ascending in importance --kept my heart in my throat and my pulse pounding. This, readers, is exceptionally written adventure fiction. Javan's strategy to make loose connections with prisoners who would see him dead and to balance his immediate penchant for mercy and assistance in a gruesome ring while cognizant of the greater significance of his survival and restoration, is why we read books. There is a classic sensibility to this piece.

    To add, it is a beautifully woven love story between two lonely souls who find each other in the midst of squalor. Sajdan realizes that Javan is who he says he is because of his actions. It goes beyond his noble manner of speech and the way he commands himself, his erect shoulders and his unending knowledge of all of the kingdoms in their world. Javan is princely to his core. A true prince who puts the lives of his people before his own.

    Initially, he enlists her help by promising her his knowledge. She is determined to one day shake off her shackles and step into freedom. She wants to learn about the stars--- the galaxy that she climbs to amidst crates and crackles high into the rafters of Maqbara, like an architect plotting to build a steeple that will pierce close to heaven.

    --

    "Being her friend was like taking a ride on a half wild stallion with nothing but your wits and your courage between you and a long, dangerous fall."

    --

    But as for one of the greatest books I have ever read, it comes in the execution of the plot and the pieces falling into perfect place. In the subtle moments where the quest shifts from Javan's survival to his recognition that he must win for the goodness of humanity, that there is a far greater weight. It comes in his recognition that Yl' Haliq has presented him with a path of suffering for a greater purpose than all of his prayers for restoration and redemption could ever have imagined.

    --

    "Yl' Haliq was with him, whether Javan could feel him or not. The sacred texts were clear."

    --

    It comes in the way that Redwine understands the keen sensibility of the reader--- in the meted metrics of intensity--- in her shifting of perspective during arena sequences. Indeed, I nearly gasped at the brilliance of her shifting the point of view to that of the villain (there is more than one villain in this piece, all brilliantly realized and dimensional).

    It is in her perusal of nightmares--living and imagined--- in the power that Sajda hides and then wields with abandon when the life of another is on the line.

    --

    "And in the stillness of his mind, an idea formed, crystallizing before he realized what was happening. He clenched his folded hands as hope, soft and fragile, unfurled in his chest and took root. He was right where he was supposed to be He was meant to hurt the way his epople hurt. To see the truth of Akram from their eyes. Their grief was his to bear. Their injustices his to make right He was destined to lose what he'd thought was his so that he could gain something even more important---wisdom."

    --

    It is in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment when slight narrative intrusion turns our minds: no longer is she referring to Javan by his name but slowly, achingly, she begins to speak to the Prince of Akram. It is when his world crumbles around him, that the authorial voice restores his rightful place.

    It is in the heart and humanity and hope whose resonance spans far beyond a made-up sphere set years and years ago and surged with magic.

    Authors use tropes and tales to tell their truth. Redwine inhabits a fairytale like atmosphere to speak to weave a treatise of faith and doubt and unbelievable sacrifice. This book will strengthen you.

    And, at the end of the day, it is just a damned joy to read.

    --

    "I kept praying for deliverance. For escape. I was so consumed with the wrong done to me that I failed to stop and listen. To learn. But I've been listening, Sajda. And I know that I was always meant to be in Maqbara. I was meant to understand the corruption my uncle brought to Akram, the pain it causes my people and the horrors that take place here in the name of sport.... And I was destined to meet you. I wouldn't take back a second my own pain if it meant that you and I would be strangers. But my pain isn't the most important thing to me. Yours is. I would do anything to take backk the heartbreak you feel. Even if it meant I'd never get to be your friend in the first place."

    --

    Like, guys, for the love of cookies. It is the most lusciously romantic, heart stopping, action packed ,gruesome, alive and wonderful and wisdom-filled and faith-surged piece of fiction in the freakin' land. This author is a genius, her pen is inspired and every word will rumble in your chest and every theme will light your eyes like a bulb and can we please just make her write more in this ilk forever? and ever?

    amen.

  • Amber

    Javan who is the Prince of Akram has just finished his training at the Milisatria school for Royalty and is about to go home to see his father who he had not seen for 10 years when someone tries to have him murdered. When he finds out that it is a boy who is trying to impersonate him and take over his kingdom, Javan fights back only to land in Maqbara the most deadliest prison in the Kingdom. Can he survive and escape the prison in order to save his father the King and his kingdom from those wil

    Javan who is the Prince of Akram has just finished his training at the Milisatria school for Royalty and is about to go home to see his father who he had not seen for 10 years when someone tries to have him murdered. When he finds out that it is a boy who is trying to impersonate him and take over his kingdom, Javan fights back only to land in Maqbara the most deadliest prison in the Kingdom. Can he survive and escape the prison in order to save his father the King and his kingdom from those willing to bring it to ruin? Read on and find out for yourself.

    This was a pretty good read as well as an interesting take on the Prince and the Pauper. If you enjoy new versions of Fairy Tales, definitely check this book and the rest of the Ravenspire fairy tale series by C.J. Redwine out. It is available at your local library and wherever books are sold.

  • Marissa

    4.5 stars

  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    I haven’t read any of the other books set in the Ravenspire universe, but I might have to go back and check them out now, because I thought that

    was pretty goo

    I haven’t read any of the other books set in the Ravenspire universe, but I might have to go back and check them out now, because I thought that

    was pretty good. We follow Prince Javan Najafai after a failed assassination attempt and an imposter takes his place, forcing Javan to hide in Maqbara, the kingdom’s most dangerous prison. The only way to expose the treachery is to compete in Marqbara’s deadly tournament.

    is such a good person. He’s actually an angel? He is so dedicated to his family and genuinely cares for his kingdom and his people. He has so much honor and integrity and just purity, that was admirable. But he never felt perfect or inaccessible.

    These

    that I flew through this book. It was just so easy to read and I didn’t want to put it down.

    was a good villainous character. He was smart, which I love in a villain, and he was actually scary. He is a threat and creates actual fear and tension in the story, and you don’t know quite what to expect from him. He keeps the story interesting.

    I really liked the friendship and partnership that develops between

    , the warden’s number 2 who has secrets of her own. I felt like I saw their relationship progress and saw their trust building. So when a romantic turn came, I bought it.

    I felt like the

    was most successful in the beginning of the story and in the first round of the tournament when we’re in Javan’s POV. During the other rounds we see from different perspectives, while adding to those character’s, detracted from the tension and anticipation in the action.

    I felt like the

    was a little unsatisfying overall. There’s nothing too major that I didn’t like, but it felt a little easy and some characters felt weaker. It just wasn’t the strong finish I wanted from this story.

    Overall I’m really happy with this and I’m surprised at how much I liked it. Javan was so pure and kind and it was impossible to not connect and want him to succeed. I really liked seeing the relationships form while in Maqbara and seeing the kingdom of Akram.

    was a quick and fun fantasy about honor and family that put me in fantastic reading mood.

  • Kayla

    This book was not my favrouite in the series. It fell kinda flat for me and I really loved the synopsis but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

  • Iryna Khymych

    1/5 Stars

    Where do I even start with this book? As excited as I was with the premise, the actual story for me did not deliver. And neither did the writing.

    From the first page I already had a feeling this was not going to be a book that I was going to end up enjoying. The writing was stagnant, ill-paced, and unimaginative. I’ve read books with beautiful prose and descriptions and this just f

    1/5 Stars

    Where do I even start with this book? As excited as I was with the premise, the actual story for me did not deliver. And neither did the writing.

    From the first page I already had a feeling this was not going to be a book that I was going to end up enjoying. The writing was stagnant, ill-paced, and unimaginative. I’ve read books with beautiful prose and descriptions and this just fell flat.

    For example, the main character traveled three weeks through the desert in the span of one sentence. That’s it. That’s all we got. I mean are you telling me that the character’s trip across a large, arid, and possibly dangerous desert was so uneventful?

    The main villain of the story, Rahim, was your stereotypical villain. His dialogue (along with everyone else’s) was pitiful. He was a pathetic villain who was violent for the sake of being violent. That’s it? What drove him, besides growing up poor? Was the author trying to say that people who grow up poor and unwanted by their fathers all grow up to be murderous villains? His backstory needed more work and so did his motivations.

    Our goody two-shoes of a main character, Javan, somehow found himself thrown into what was allegedly the most dangerous and heinous prison in the city of Akram. While there he suddenly became a “gladiator” forced to fight against vicious monsters and fellow prisoners for the chance at a possible meeting with the King to possibly maybe gain his freedom. Yup. That’s it. I can’t tell you how sick I am of the whole gladiator trope. If you are going to go down that route write it well, (Jay Kristoff’s Godsgrave as an example). Also coming back to Javan all he ever did was repeat himself. Literally every other page of his POV involved him repeating things he said and being all “woe is me”. I was tired of hearing about why he was where he was and the endless repetition of his monologue.

    I went a lot farther into this book than I wanted (80%), only because I was initially so excited to read it that I kept hoping there had to be some sort of redemption to this story towards the end (which I ended up skipping to). FYI, there wasn’t. I can’t even bring myself to write about the other characters or issues I had with this book because I will surely run out of space.

  • The Girl Murdered by Her TBR

    Dammit!!! I really am a sucker for pretty book covers!!!

  • Colleen Houck

    This is a great series with each book getting better and better. The kingdoms are so unique and yet they flow together as a part of a fantastically imagined world. If you're a Marissa Meyer fan and/or love retellings of fairy tales, you need to pick up this series. Hope there's another coming!

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