The Traitor’s Jewel by Shreya Boyapati

Book Blurb:

Would you kill your father to save your kingdom?

Following a deadly battle and an invasion upon her kingdom’s palace, Charlena Saxen, a seasoned soldier with a twisted family, uncovers painful secrets that draw her into the depths of the brewing war, away from the hidden desires of her own heart. Alistair Saxen, Charlena’s traitorous, psychotic father is bent on annihilating the current government and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, not even at slaying his own daughter.

Infuriated, Charlena hurls herself down the path of revenge, torn between love and hate, fury and grief. A transcontinental series of battles solidify the hate between the father-daughter duo and steel Charlena’s resolve. Her head and heart are drawn into the center of the war as she fights for her life and sanity. The forces of Charlena’s allies dwindle, pressed back by Alistair’s more powerful allies. Time is running out. But there’s something she doesn’t realize. Charlena’s sword has aided her through many battles, but it won’t be much use this time. All her decisions and desires culminate into a final battle, but there seems to be no gain.

Will Charlena destroy herself on the warpath? Or will she reunite the pieces of her heart?

I received a copy of this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.


This book started out with every element that I adore in fantasy books. A strong female protagonist, plenty of sassy dialogue, action and adventure, plot twists, betrayals, romance, all of it. The reason I gave it two stars, though, was that it didn’t feel like the book was edited enough.

The biggest thing for me was that the plot moved too quickly, without really following the typical plot arc shape. It felt like in every scene somebody was attacked, when what I really wanted to see was the casual interactions between the characters interspersed with all of the sword fighting. There were several sections that should have been explained but seemed brushed over to get to the action, and this caused a lot of confusion for me trying to keep up with everything. I was never really clear on who was a ‘good guy’ and who was a ‘bad guy’. Another problem this caused for me was that a lot of the actions and reactions that took place didn’t feel justified to me. I will believe just about anything while reading a book, but I have to be convinced and shown why it makes sense. This was especially true for the plot twist at the ending, which seemed to come out of nowhere since it wasn’t really foreshadowed. Even in the dialogue, though, it felt impulsive and overly dramatic rather than natural conversation.

This book has so much potential, but overall it feels almost like a rough draft that just got the ideas on paper.

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