Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #1
Pages: 358
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Release Date: February 4th 2016
*I received a copy of this book through a Twitter giveaway hosted by Reviews from a Bookworm, which does not influence my review*

      “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.”

swirl (2)

“My hands wrapped around its neck as it turned to muscle. The world seemed to drop away as the Buraqi panted against my chest. Sun and sand became flesh and blood below my fingers. I felt the strength of it below me, old as the world, older than death and darkness and sin. All I’d have to do was climb on its back and let it carry me to the end of the desert.”

Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton’s debut novel, is a compelling adventure with likable characters and an alluring setting. Amani Al’Hiza has been dreaming of leaving her town for years. Her mother always said she would get them both out, away from Amani’s father, and together they’d find a new life in the capital of Izman. But in a span of a moment, Amani loses both her parents, leaving her in the hands of her aunt and uncle. Amani knows there is only one fate for a young woman in the town of Dustwalk, but she is determined to forge her own destiny. Amani is a driven character, a self-taught sharpshooter, who wants more out of life than the opportunities afforded to her in her own town. She crosses paths with Jin, a young man on the run, who she falls into a partnership with. I loved their relationship from the start. They rely on one another, recognizing each other’s strengths and regard each other as equals which is very important to Amani who has been treated like a second-class citizen her whole life.

Rebel of the Sands takes place in a desert country with a rich history and an interesting system of beliefs. The ancient Djinni still hold influence over the people of Mirajin and there are dark creatures that thrive in the shadows. Nightmares and Skinwalkers stalk the night, looking for victims to devour. But it is the Buraqi, the desert horses, that capture the beauty and danger of the land of Mirajin. These creatures are a part of the desert itself, beautiful and elusive, capable of crossing the desert in the blink of an eye. Magic has been a part of Mirajin since the beginning of time, but with the growing influence of foreigners the magic of the land is beginning to fade as the world begins to creep into a new era of weaponry. The Sultan has forged an alliance with the Gallan, a foreign army, much to the detriment of his people. But there are rumors of another power threatening to rise. The Rebel Prince, son of the Sultan, is calling for change and in a land where the people continue to suffer at the hands of the Gallan, his following grows strong. Amani’s first instinct has always been to run, but she’s about to find herself in the middle of a revolution and must decide if it’s time for her to stop running and accept a different destiny than the one she had planned for herself

Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel in the Sands has so much to offer in terms of characters and setting. The world she has built is bold and enchanting, and I found myself craving more and more of it. Her characters are well-written, and I love that Hamilton takes time to peel away their layers.

Rating: 5/5

★★★★★

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14 thoughts on “Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

  1. I bought this today after you said you gave it 5 stars (I’ve seen other bloggers rave about it, too). I went into a bookstore and there it was, all pretty and shiny (the cover is *gorgeous*) and I couldn’t resist.
    I like what you wrote about the characters, that they’re well-rounded and interesting, this is so important to me. I’m really looking forward to reading it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Five of five! Wow! I’m really looking forward to reading this book. Waiting will not be easy. *biting nails* Based on your review (and an excellent one, always Alicia), I think I will really enjoy the relation between the heroine and hero. I love characters with layers. Peel, peel, peel… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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