Publication Date: Mar 8th, 2016
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A sharpshooter. A dreamer. A damn good liar.
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 a mythical horse or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
I began Rebel of the Sands with a little trepidation as the previous book I had just DNF’d left me a little hesitant to start another well-hyped series. But thankfully my expectations for the book were met.
Alwyn Hamilton did a nice job with her world building – keeping it similar to what you might imagine poor desert-dwelling towns and luxurious Sultan’s palaces in the real world are like, but with their own flair that added niely to the world of Rebel of the Sands. She described the various environments richly but without over doing it (I’m looking at you Tolkien).
The MC, Amani is sassy, determined and a little bit reckless. She dresses as a boy and as she’s an excellent shot with gun she tried her hand at an underground competition in order to win enough prize-money to escape. Whilst is doesn’t go exactly according to plan, Amani does make it out of the chaos alive and with all her body parts and faculties in tact.
Something else done quite well in Rebel of the Sands is the djinn and other mystical beings who dwell out in the desert ‘somewhere’. Not too many people wholeheartedly believe in them because they’ve never seen them, but no-one is stupid enough to say that they don’t believe in them either as the people who dwell in the desert are highly superstitious as well.
The one thing about Rebel of the Sands that I didn’t enjoy was that it was pretty slow-going until about halfway or so into the book. There was enough to keep me invested enough to finish, but it was a bit of a slog to start with. So if you think you might enjoy it after the first few chapters, just keep with it.
There’s a lot of intrigue, betrayal and djinns in the series, and Alwyn Hamilton sets it all up nicely in Rebel of the Sands.
Stay tuned for my review of the 2nd and 3rd book in this trilogy.