Rebel Of The Sands By Alwyn Hamilton

I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.

Rebel Of The Sands By Alwyn HamiltonRebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel Of The Sands #1
Published by Penguin on March 8, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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 may sound strange to combine Wild West with Middle Eastern influence but, somehow, it worked really well.  The main character, Amani, is desperate to escape.  Her life is boxed in by the dusty, rundown town where she lives and her remaining family doesn’t try to make things better.  When a forced marriage looms in her future, she knows she must get out.  What I loved about Amani was her will to survive, of course,  but she as also a sharp shooter who is determined to use those skills to get out of Dodge, so to speak.  The Old West feel of the story fit in really well with the town of Dustwalk and the lawless, scrappy life that everyone lived in the desert.  In addition, Jin, the charming stranger, managed to both fit into the wild west trope and develop into something more.  I loved their dynamic because he seemed to immediately recognized that Amani was looking for more from her life, but she wasn’t waiting for someone to rescue her. The action sequences, which range from running away on horseback to riding on top of trains, gave the book a fast pace. If I had the time, I probably would have finished this story in one sitting, because I definitely didn’t want to put it down.

The mythology is a big part of the story.  In the last few years, there have been several books involving Jinn mythology. Going far beyond the Western world’s cartoonish understanding of these mythical beings, Rebel of the Sands adds a new dimension to the myth and weaves it in with a band of rebels trying to free their kingdom and, in turn, the greater world. Amani transforms from the girl who is only out for herself to a rebel who wants to stay and fight for a greater good.  Along the way, she has an amazing and emotional journey of loss, love, and self-discovery.  Rebel of the Sands had everything a good adventure should: compelling characters, a rich and vibrant setting, an emotional quest, and sweet romance.  I kept hearing that this book was outstanding and I have to say I agree.  I don’t want to give away too much, but rest assured that I think this book is living up to its hype.  I am so excited for this series and I cannot wait to read more!


About Alwyn Hamilton

Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.


6 responses to “Rebel Of The Sands By Alwyn Hamilton

  1. I’ve heard different things about the splicing of worlds, for some it worked and for others it didn’t, but I’m really hope that it works for me! The Jinn mythology sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to read my copy!

  2. I’ve been hearing some different things about this book, but they all make me interested in this story. I love the idea of the Jinn mythology and I really can’t wait to read this one!

  3. Great review, Kate. I’ve get more excited to read Rebel of the Sands with every positive review. I haven’t read many, if any, books that feature the “Wild West” as a trope, so I’m curious to see how I like it.

  4. I am really loving all the jinn books out there. i like that this one has an old west feel about it but also middle eastern. I love both those settings. I haven’t been able to get to this one but really would love to.

  5. I really enjoyed Rebel of the Sands! The combination of Western and Middle Eastern was definitely unexpected. But it worked well. I was really reeled into this world and among these characters, and I liked the story a whole lot!

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