Thursday, August 24, 2017

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands

Title: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Young | Fantasy | Magic 
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Source: Purchased
Format: Physical

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 (goodreads).


Rebel of the Sands just introduced a hell of an adventure!

Plot: Amani was just trying to survive the Dustwalk the only way she knew how: placing bets and avoiding her aunt and uncle. After meeting a handsome stranger, she found herself in the middle of the fight between kingdoms and royalty.

I fell in love from the start. Rebel of the Sands opened with action, mythological creatures, and the legend of a rebel prince. Everything about this book screamed 'adventure' and I knew that I was going to have to devour the rest of this series. While I had a mostly positive experience while reading Rebel of the Sands, I was taken out of the story for the middle chunk of it. My attention was waning and I felt that Amani was being inconsistent as a character. Luckily, the last 50 or so pages really picked up with twists and turns that I couldn't predict.

Characters: Amani was nothing short of a firecracker. I was a bit turned off by her because she was "not like the other girls" because of her (foreigner) blue eyes. For a good portion of the novel, that did annoy me but after a while, I understood the author's intent. Other than that, I loved Amani and her refusal to let her family choose her future. The mysterious Jin was charming and elusive and I'm excited to see how he and Amani grow together.

Worldbuilding: I was instantly drawn into the world of Rebel of the Sands. It was filled with tension, desperate people, and an unmistakable air of magic. I loved how much of a role the djinn played and how clearly the iron industry was threatening the magic of this realm. I mentioned earlier that I'm a sucker for desert fantasy, and Rebel of the Sands made me giddy while reading.

Short N Sweet: Rebel of the Sands was not a perfect novel, but it was fun!


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