April 30, 2016

Review of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

 Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books
Page Count: 320
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA
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 has the distinction of being one of the first books I've bought in over a month and I have to say, I couldn't have picked a better book. From the second I saw Rebel of Sands' cover I knew I had to have it and after the description I immediately ordered it and started reading it. Alwyn Hamilton has concocted a magical tale of djinni, desert, and power that has left me eagerly waiting for the sequel.

I'm from the middle east (Turkey) so I love everything desert and "Arabian" inspired (even though Turkey doesn't really have a desert) which made Rebel of the Sands even better for me. World-building and settings are the first thing I look at when reading a book and Alwyn Hamilton passed the test from the very first chapter. Everything from Miraji to Dustwalk and the desert around it spoke to me and placed me in a setting that I wanted to learn more about. All the different towns in Miraji and magical beings encountered just upped the ante even more and added to the world-building. Sure, there have been other books set in a similar setting but Alwyn Hamilton managed to bypass all of them and leave this book imprinted in my mind (which is more than I can say for some of the others).

The second I saw the name Amani I knew she would be a character I wouldn't forget anytime soon and as the book progressed it only confirmed my beliefs. I would probably even go so far as to say that the characters in Rebel of the Sands passed the world-building in terms of how good they are which in my experience is something very hard to do. All the characters were developed and interesting enough that they kept me wanting to read to find out their fates. Plus Amani and Jin were kind of my OTP as soon as they met each other at the shooting competition. The half-djinni half-humans (kind of like demigods in Greek mythology) added another unique element to the characters and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the sequel. Alwyn Hamilton has managed to create that much sought-for equilibrium between world-building, character development, and plot writing that makes a book worth reading.

Even though Rebel of the Sands just came out I'm already looking forward to the sequel eagerly (even though it doesn't even have a title yet). The ending wasn't 100% a cliffhanger but it was enough of a cliffhanger that I have to know what happens next. If you like reading "Arabian" inspired type books or fantasy overall you should definitely give Rebel of the Sands a shot.

4.5/5 - Very good book

1 comment:

  1. I have an ARC of this book but I haven't read it yet. I hope to read it soon! :)