Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Viking, Penguin Random House, 2016
Edition: Hardcover, 314 pages
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumors has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse – or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes – in the fires of rebellion, the smolder of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.
This was a book that caught my eye when I was making my way through the library to pick up a few holds. And I devoured it within 24 hours.
I was enraptured by the setting of the book – the deserts – and the heroine here – Amani. She’s quite a ferocious young lady who is determined to live her life on her own terms and I loved following on her adventure as she escaped the home she lived in. I really enjoyed the added mystery of the First Beings – mystical and magical creatures that Amani shares her world with and although not many actually appear, I foresee it becoming a greater part in the series as the story goes on.
As for the character of Jin, our “rakish foreigner”, well it’s hard not to fall for him even as I had my suspicions about him from the start. Though there were twists throughout the story that did catch me by surprise. Which is another reason why I enjoyed the books, I’ve reached a point where many books I’m ready seem to be too predictable but Alwyn Hamilton actually still caught me by surprise with the characters and the plot. In a good way – sometimes authors throw in a curve ball that makes absolutely no sense after everything that has happened.
Anyways, if you enjoy adventures in the desert, magical powers (though these appear later in the novel), rakish foreigners, and the thrill of a rebellion, give Rebel of the Sands a chance. The next book in the series is set to come out next year!