Title: Rebel of The Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of The Sands #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Viking Books
Publication date: March 8th, 2016
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor 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 mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
“You are this country, Amani. More alive than anything ought to be in this place. All fire and gunpowder, with one finger always on the trigger.”
I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed right now. I don’t know what I was expected before picking this book, but I ended up really enjoying it. It was so amazing, despite being the first book in a series and the story hasn’t fully developed, but I cannot wait to read its sequel, because so far I’m loving where the story’s going.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. I heard great things about this series, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been recommended this book a few times as well, but it wasn’t until this month that I decided to finally pick it up (thank you, TBR jar!).
“Dreaming about the places my mother talked about stopped being enough when the trapdoor dropped open below her feet.”
I don’t know why but I usually tend to love stories that take place in the dessert, so I was so intrigued when I first started this novel. And I can asure you that it was so whimsical and atmospheric. I really liked the magic system and the mythology that was in the book. It had jinni in it, but it added its own version to the story, and I enjoyed getting to know more about the history of that magic and how it worked.
But I think my favorite part was the characters. Now I’m a character driven kind of girl, and despite this book being focused more on the politics and conspiracies, it had an amazing character development, and a main character that was so easy to empathize with and love. Amani was such a strong protagonist, and not only that but she was witty and intelligent, and somehow ended up getting out of troubles in the weirdest way possible.
I adored her relationship with Jin. It was so well executed, and it took its time to develop, which usually are my favorites to read. Basically they had a lot of chemistry, but also camaraderie. Jin was a hilarious character, and I’m so glad the author didn’t end up doing a very famous trope, because there was a time where I thought she would be, and I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.
“I finally understood the crazy kid in the pistol pit the night I met Jin. That these ideas could make men shout for rebellion even when it meant they would hang for it.”
Some parts were a bit slow, but overall I think it was a very fast read that it’s quite easy to get into. I had no trouble with remembering names of characters or creatures, and it was so easy to follow. It’s true that sometimes there were some tropes or things that weren’t that great, and I still would love to know more about the world, but since it’s a first book in a series, I can’t complain much about it.
The ending was so action packed and amazing, and it kept me at the edge of my seat. There were some twists I wasn’t expected, but wow, guys, it was honestly so good that it made me so excited to pick up the other two books.
Overall, I think it was a solid and amazing first book in a series, and despite at times being a bit slow, I adored the characters and plot, and I cannot wait to pick up the sequel!
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