Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)
by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published on March 8th 2016
by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Also by this author: , Rebel of the Sands, Traitor to the Throne
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.
Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.
Sometimes it’s hard to write a review. That’s specially true when one of two things happen, 1) the book sucks, or 2) the book is SO good that words fail to describe its overall greatness. This is the case my gorgeous readers with Rebel of the Sands.
I think that the book itself is fantasy perfection. It has all the elements needed to make it a must read for fantasy lovers out there, but for my review – one of many glowing ones, I hope – I will concentrate on two aspects. I fear that if I don’t do that I will be gushing over it forever!
Amani is perfect in her imperfection. She’s a young girl that’s hungry for more than what her tiny town has to offer. Her only prospect is an undesirable marriage and so she grasps the opportunity to leave when it presents itself. Amani is 16, an orphan living with her aunt that already has too many mouths to feed in a dying town that makes weapons. There was little else to do, but learn to shoot and she’s really good at it. Amani is not perfect, she’s clueless about many things, she doesn’t trust easily, she’s has great survival instincts, she’s sincere, but not really honest.
“I’m a girl who could’ve done just about anything if I’d been born a boy.”
Jin is a thief, a scoundrel, with a good heart and many secrets. He’s handsome, smart, fast on his feet, he looks out for himself and tries his best to do what’s right, even if he has to bend a few rules. I really like him as a character and I think he will grow to be more important as the story progresses.
I hope that a great romance develops between Amani and Jin, but Rebel of the Sands is more about learning about a new world and the characters getting to know each other. We know, as readers that they are in love, but not much romance goes one during this first book. Other characters make an appearance on the second part of the book and are likable and well fleshed out.
The plot, the writing style, the way secrets are revealed, the world building… it all combines to form a perfect harmony. There are quite a few plot twists that I didn’t see coming at all even though I suspected others. The writing style itself if is enthralling, engrossing, so beautiful. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series and where Ms. Hamilton will take the story next. There’s a lot I cannot write in my review because it will be very spoilery indeed! I hope you read Rebel of the Sands and discover its perfection for yourself 🙂
“You are this country, Amani.” He spoke more quietly now. “More alive than anything ought to be in this place. All fire and gunpowder, with one finger always on the trigger.”
I sent my ARC to Bee and I can’t wait to read her review!