June 20, 2016 by Betty
Title: Rebel of The Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Rebel of the Sands is such a well written mix of western ideals and middle eastern culture. Usually, you would not relate the two, but Hamilton made them meld into a seamless literary masterpiece. The heroine of the story, Amani, is a 17 year old gunslinger who is willing to do whatever is necessary to get out of Dustwalk, the tiny town she has lived in her whole life. I loved her personality and character. She is sassy, down to earth, has a quick wit and whose shoes you can place yourself in. For one, she wasn’t a drop dead gorgeous girl/ exceptionally pretty, with men declaring their love for her left and right. Although she does have unusually bright and gorgeous blue eyes. Amani couldn’t always save the people she wanted to or help those around her. She didn’t constantly find herself in an impossible situation she miraculously fought her way out of. She lost friends, left people behind and witnessed injustices she couldn’t right.
(SPOILER ALERT FOR THE NEXT PARAGRAPH)
For the first few chapters I wasn’t too sure where the story was going to go. There was mention of a rebel prince and his followers, but they were a offhand mention that did not seem directly tied to Amani’s story of escaping Dustwalk. However, when it is revealed that Jin is the brother to Prince Ahmed (the Rebel Prince) we are thrown into the rebellion and it’s members and cause.I also was captivated by the weaving of the history and geography of Amani’s world. Getting to “see” skinwalkers, nightmares, Demdji, and Buqaris make their appearance in the book was quite an experience. Having a glimpse of of the mythical creatures (First Beings) was a great change from the usual fantastical beings such as elves, fae, witches, etc.
(END OF SPOILER)
I enjoyed this book so much more than I though I would. Not that I had low expectations, I just was sort of blown away by the punch such a small book threw my way. I was so glad to learn that this will be a trilogy! Traitor to the Throne is the next book and the synopsis is so enthralling. Apparently there will be new revelations and things we thought we knew will be exposed as deceit and lies!