Book Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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Title: Rebel of the Sands
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure
Format: Hardcover
Source: Uppercasebox Subscription

ABOUT REBEL OF THE SANDS:

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.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 


My Rants and Raves of Rebel of the Sands

First, Rebel of the Sands saved me from another reading slump. I am a mood reader, and lately I’ve been thinking that I need to read fluffy contemporaries or romantic NA books, but I was wrong, I needed this engaging fantasy! I needed Rebel of the Sands, because in the end, it had beautiful world-building, elaborate folklore and creatures, well-rounded characters, and an eager-to-finish storyline. 

I am sucker for badass female characters, and Alwyn Hamilton, the author, does not disappoint with creating a feisty, determined heroine named Amani. Amani is not a character that grew on me; instead I fell instantly in love with her.  Like Shakespeare’s Rosalind in “As You Like It,” Amani can crossdress with the best of them; she can shoot better than Annie Oakley; she upholds the compassion of J.K. Rowling’s Ms. Weasley; and she is as baddass as  Joss Whedon’s Buffy. Furthermore, I loved Amani’s ability to think before she acted, and a majority of the time her actions are cautious, selfless, and merciful. 

Along with Amani, I loved the character Jin. He has the roguish, “outlaw” persona, but under his mischievous personality he has a caring heart. Plus the chemistry between Amani and Jin is perfectly crafted. These two characters challenge each other in the most swoonworthy ways. They are definitely a dynamic duo that will give you the warm fuzzies. 

Rebel of the Sands is one of the most satisfying books I have read this year. I loved how unpredictable this book is, as well as how intricate it is, and how thought-provoking the main characters, secondary characters, and the fantastical characters, like the Nightmares, Skinwalkers, and Djinns, are depicted. More importantly, I loved how smoothly the plot unfolded; as I read each chapter, I honestly felt like I was delicately being carried away on a wistful breeze across the hot, desert sand. 

star rating

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

NOTE:  I received this book in an Uppercasebox Subscription, which I paid for with my own funds. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review; I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

  1. I have no idea why I still haven’t read this book and reading your review is making me more anxious to get my hands on it. I love fantasy novels with a bit of a romance (when the chemistry’s good) and I love the fact that Amani is a badass. Definitely will read.

  2. This book had the same effect on me. I read it at the beginning of the year and was picking up a bunch of three star books and the occasional four star and just needed something to get me out of that funk and this book did it. I’m a big fan of Amani and Jin’s interactions and cannot wait for the sequel. Great review!

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