Rebel of the Sands
by Alwyn Hamilton
published March 8th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers
young adult | fantasy | romance
find the book on
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.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve read this, but it stuck to me in a way that I can still remember a lot about what I loved about it. In this glorious piece of heaven you will find:
1. A realistic heroine — Amani’s fierce AF. She has a huge mouth that she can’t shut, is incredibly sassy and fierce. At first she was too into herself and a bit stuck up, but her development was amazing and she turned into such a compassionate, loving heroine by the end. (Not that her original murderous self wasn’t awesome or anything, because it was.)
2. A kick-butt world… and MAGIC — It was so easy to get lost in Miraji, with its djinn, ghouls and magical horses. But we’ve also got guns, trains, and those tech things that make the world a bit more complex and intriguing.
3. A super cute love interest and romance — Jin is just a mixture of mysterious, witty and charming (yes, feel free to ask for my hand in marriage, Jin darling), who isn’t afraid to back down. He compliments Amani and they’re just so annoyingly cute together.
4. BEAUTIFUL pacing — IT WAS FAST. It wasn’t too fast that you wouldn’t get any of the stuff that went down, but it wasn’t slow in a way that you wouldn’t get any substance from the plot. It was just fast enough for a lot of things to go down, remain totally investing, but still understandable.
5. That cover — Let’s just admire it, yes? Do yourself a favor and get yourself a physical copy. You’re welcome.