Rebel of the Sands ~ Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Date Published: March 8, 2016
Rating: 5 stars
This is author Alwyn Hamilton’s debut book and the first of the trilogy to be released. I would describe this book as a fantasy adventure with a little bit of magic and romance thrown in. It contains charming outlaws and dangerous sharpshooters trying to survive in a magical desert that never forgets or forgives.
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.
I received this book in my March box from the YA subscription Uppercase and was extremely pleased with it. In fact, I hard a very hard time putting the book down once I started. My first opinion of this book was that the cover is absolutely gorgeous and is probably one of my favorite of the books I own at the moment. I know you technically aren’t suppose to “judge a book by it’s cover” but just look at how well the gold and turquoise contrasts with the overall hues of the book. The story itself is engaging and keeps you guessing until the very end with such great twists you’ll never see coming. I felt like I was right there with Amani as she dealt with the harsh conditions of the desert to find herself and be free.
The story begins with Amani, disguised as a boy, entering a sharpshooting competition she needs to win in order to have the money to escape from her Uncle and this town she lives in. At this competition is where she meets a charming foreigner named Jin that changes her life forever. A life where she would have either ended up marrying her horrible, cruel Uncle against her will or dead. You’ll quickly learn that Amani is a stubborn badass who won’t do anything she doesn’t want to, a trait that gets her into trouble quite often. She’s strong, smart, and fiercely independent.
Overall this book was fantastic and it kept my interest peaked the entire time with ease. There were no lulls between chapters as something was either going wrong or right the entire time thanks to Amani’s stubbornness to do things her own way. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in fantasy, magic, or the wild west with a twist. Can’t wait for the release of the next one!