Rebel of the Sands is a historical, YA, fantasy novel that will truly leave you in awe. The novel begins with Amani Al'Hiza disguised as a boy, ready to take part in a shooting competition to run away from Dustwalk and her uncle...who wants to marry her. In order to leave town, Amani needs to win the competition and the money.
It is there at the competition where Amani meets mysterious and handsome Jin, a foreigner. Amani soon finds herself a part of the uprising against Sultan and his forces. She never would have predicted any of this when she imaged leaving home, especially falling in love with Jin or the fact that he'd help her unlock the truth of who she truly she.
"Being born doesn't make a single soul important. But you were important when I met you, that girl who dressed as a boy, who taught herself to shoot true, who dreamed and saved and wanted so badly. That girl was someone who had made herself matter. She was someone I liked. What the hell has happened since you came here that she is so worthless to you?"
Let's start with the fact that Rebel of the Sands is Alwyn Hamilton's debut novel. That's right, this masterpiece is only the first novel (in a series). Which is astonishing considering how well paced and well written it is. The characters were drawn so beautifully and carried the novel so well, especially Amani. She was such a delightful character to read; she was strong but also naive about everything outside of her dead end town. And the romance, don't even get me started! The chemistry between both Amani and Jin was so electrically charged. Plus the action within the novel left me breathless, wanting to read more (desert battles, mythical sand horses, train heist, ext.).
"You know, I never believed in fate until I met you... then I started thinking coincidence didn't have near so cruel a sense of humour"
The writing was well written, the characters were well developed, and everyone was just so much more. In the end, this novel had a western take with an arabic inspired setting. If you haven't picked this novel up yet, be sure to do so today. Seriously, the links are below ↓
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
About The Author:
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 quiet so often.
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