Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
My Rating: 4.25 stars! ⭐️
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
This is actually a reread for me, in preparation for reading the final book in this trilogy, Hero at the Fall! I think I made a good call in rereading the first two books in this series before the finale, especially because I LOVE THESE BOOKS SO MUCH!
And I know a lot of you have read this first book, feeling a bit meh about it, BUT TRUST ME, TRAITOR TO THE THRONE (the sequel) is honestly phenomenal. It’s one of my all-time favorite books! I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend continuing on, just to read the amazing sequel.
In Rebel of the Sands, we follow a main character who has the full intention to leave her town Dustwalk and is striving for a better life elsewhere. Amani has such strength and toughness to her character, but also carries this realistic nature that you can’t help but identify in yourself as well.
Straight off the bat, she disguises herself as a boy to attend a sharpshooting contest (one in which she’s obviously going to win because she legit never misses a shot) and stumbles upon a foreign boy who is a whole lot more than he seems.
Onto the review itself, I definitely think that rereading this book again made me focus more on the world-building and the details I know will come into play in the second book. It was like my brain fine-tuned on the parts that I know are important, which obviously isn’t something that first time readers will be aware of.
I will say this, it is a little difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. I’m not saying that there’s a whole lot of info dumps, it’s just that for some reason, certain parts in this book can be easy to forget? I don’t know what it is, it’s just that I started to get so invested in one part of the story, that I totally forgot about another thing that occurred previously.
Even though (so far) my preference in this trilogy is the second book…Rebel of the Sands still has a whole lot to offer. It’s such an amazing setup novel and the arcs of each character carry on through the next book as well. It’s a constant development and it’s so good! Amani is an awesome main character to follow, especially since her decisions are rational and make sense.
Also, there are a lot of wtf moments in this book as well as in the sequel, and a little warning: the author is not afraid to kill off characters.
Overall, this is a trilogy I highly recommend to you guys, especially if you’re looking for something you can binge super easily! It has amazing characters and such a strong plot, that you’ll for sure miss these books once they are over!
Thanks for reading!