Friday, July 22, 2016

Rebel of the Sands

Title: Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

First Published: March 8th 2016

Series: Rebel of the Sands #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 320

My Copy: Kindle Edition

My Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary
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 took me a while, but I finally picked it up to read it! I had very high expectations for this book, due to all the hype I've read when it first came out, and I'm glad to say that it did not disappoint!

Instead of the usual English (is that even what you call it?) fantasy, this time we have an Arabian theme. We have a whole load of mythical creatures, like Djinni, Roq, Buraqi... They all play a large role in Rebel of the Sands, but not the type of role we'd normally expect.

Amani is an independent, tough and witty character. She manages to wriggle her way out of trouble around 99% of the time. In the beginning, she's the type of person who would run to save their own skin, but by the end of the book, she is willing to stay behind and risk her life for her friends. Her character development is strong and detailed, seen when she left Noorsham and Tamid for dead in the earlier parts of the book, but wouldn't let Shazad die on the train. Go Amani!

Jin is different from what I expected. Unlike many YA characters these days, he seems to have no interest in the current state of things, especially since he doesn't want anything to do with the rebellion. Yes, he will stand alongside his family, but no he doesn't particularly want to fight. He is even quick to criticise Amani when *spoiler alert* she finds out there she is a Demjinni. Once she knows, she's determined to figure out her powers, thinking that only then will she be powerful and important. Jin rebuts that by saying that she was already important in the first place - as the Blue Eye Bandit. Ah, cute supportive boyfriend there ;) *spoiler over*

Amani and Jin's relationship is also nicely told. They seem like two strangers helping each other in the beginning, but that slowly develops into something more. Eventually, they end up fleeing together and they are a great team! Then - obviously - their friendship changes into something more romantic, but there isn't that much romance in this, except for Jin's protectiveness over Amani and their kiss at the end. :) I like Jin because although he is pretty protective over Amani, he isn't possessive or controlling. He's Amani's support, because even if he doesn't like her actions, he won't stop her.

Now, to the plot! There was quite a lot of action in this one, but limited to fleeing, fight scenes and talks of rebellion. No gory or bloody scenes at all. In every YA book, there has to be a rebellion right? But this one seems more calm and subtle, none of the "let's rush in and kill all the government!" and *stab-stab-stab* kind of violence. Of course, there is talk of bringing down the monarchy so the Rebel Prince can regain his rightful throne, but it doesn't extend past that. This kind of rebellion really brings some relief, especially after the heartbreaking rebellions as seen in Mockingjay, Red Queen, etc. I can't wait to see how this plays out!

This book really beats out all cliches in the YA Fantasy-Dystopia category. There is a rebellion, but no violent bloodshed (not much, anyway - just the weapon). Amani isn't selfless, but rather selfish at first. And no cliffhanger moment! The ending was pretty calm, not the heart-breaking kind, but it still manages to keep you longing for the next book to come out.

All in all, this book hit all my expectations and surprised me even more! I cannot wait for the next book!

My Chosen Quote
"There was no arguing against belief. It was a foreign language to logic.”


  1. I learng of the existence of this book a week ago and since, I am seeing it everywhere haha ^^ It is getting some very positive reviews so I'll probably add it on my TBR !
    Lovely review :))

    "Book Addict"

    1. Thanks! I really hope you read it - it's worth it! :)

  2. You review made me smile at so many places! I completely agree about Jin, he is the perfect supportive boyfriend, and he and Amani were so cute together! I was also so relieved that the rebellion wasn't anything horrible. We've had so many dark stories about a rebellion, and so many stories with such a high body count. This book to me was just a breath of fresh air, and a reminder that not all rebellions have to be so gruesome and dark and power-hungry!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked my review :) I know - all the rebellions we've read about these days are horrible and gruesome, but this one was better. I agree that we needed this reminder that not all rebellions have to end in blood. :)


Hi there! I hope you liked my post! I'd love to hear your thoughts, so if you'd like to drop me a little message/comment, that would probably make my day! :) Thanks for visiting my blog!