Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Published by: Faber & Faber
Release Date: 4th February 2016
Source: NetGalley & Purchased
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 was an exhilarating adventure of a book that had everything you could possibly need: action, romance, culture, magic, an amazing plotline, insanely strong and fun characters…I could not put it down.
Amani was an amazing character – she was so fun, strong, sarcastic and smart. She is someone who defies the norms and expectations of her society and is true to herself. She doesn’t let her gender make her feel inferior in this world where women are seen as property. She doesn’t accept her fate in marrying someone she doesn’t love, forced to stay in the run down town she hates. She fights for herself, and is determined to get out of her town and make her own way in the city. I loved seeing the story through her eyes – she had a voice that was entertaining and kept you coming back for more.
The character development of Amani was fantastic. I love the feeling of pride you get when you reach the end of a book, and can look back and see how far a character has come, how much they’ve grown. And this – as well as a burning need to read more – is the exact feeling you get upon turning the last page of Rebel of the Sands. Amani really develops as a character, becomes stronger, if that’s possible, admirable, a character who you grow to love even more as the book goes on.
And speaking of characters, they were all so well put together. I LOVED Jin, especially. He was mysterious, strong, funny (& gorgeous) and was so much fun to read about! I adored him and Amani together – they were such a great pair.
The world building in this book was breathtaking – it was so vivid and absorbing. Alwyn Hamilton’s writing style is spectacular. You become a part of this world, really feel involved, and the mythical creatures, the characters, the desert, everything is so well described, so imaginative and visual you can’t help but get dragged into this sensational, magical world.
Rating: Rebel of the Sands was a sensational debut that I didn’t want to end. I need more! ★★★★★