{Liza Reviews} Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Posted April 22, 2016 by Liza in Reviews / 9 Comments

{Liza Reviews} Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)

by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Pages: 320
Published on March 8th 2016
by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Goodreads

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.

4.5 Stars

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!



About Alwyn Hamilton

Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.


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9 responses to “{Liza Reviews} Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

  1. Leah

    I really liked this one, too, but I thought the world building could have been a little stronger. It seemed like it was tackling too much. But it was fun, and that ending…bring on book two!

  2. Nathan

    It sounds like it has quite a different world and strong characters. Maybe I should try this book someday. Thanks again for the review, for I have not heard of this book before. 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed this one as well though I wanted a teensy bit more from the romance. This is one of the only debuts I’ve enjoyed this year, so I’m really excited to read more in the world. Glad you enjoyed it too, Liza! 🙂

  4. Kim

    I’m so glad you loved this one! I read a sampler and I was really interested in it, but I saw a lot of reviews that only rated it 3 stars, so I was wary of reading it. Thanks for this review! 🙂

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

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