Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Published: March 8th 2016
So if you follow me over on Instagram you may have seen me plugging the little book club that I started on Instagram/Facebook/Goodreads called Read With Sammy. For the month of April we chose to read Rebel of the Sands together and I AM SO GLAD THAT WE DID BECAUSE I LOVED IT SO MUCH.
I have to admit, this book was originally a cover buy for me. I picked it up within the first week of its release and I honestly didn’t even look into what it was about. My reaction was ‘YA book with an awesome cover? I need it’… so I bought it.
‘She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.’
This is a young adult fantasy novel with a bit of a Western/Arabian vibe. So, if you like a good action adventure story with a bit of romance between your characters, then this book is definitely for you.
Amani lives in Dustwalk, a desert mining town, and she wants to get the hickity-heck out of there. She enters herself into a shooting competition disguised as a boy, and hopes to use the prize money to get herself out of town. Stuff happens, her plans are changed, and the next thing she knows she’s galloping across the desert on a mythical horse with a handsome fugitive.
The story had me gripped from the first chapter, and I indulged myself in the world and read the entire book in one sitting. A lot of unladylike noises were made whilst reading this, and I received many questionable looks from my partner as he sat next to me. I couldn’t help myself – the story had my pulse racing! I closed the book and sulked for a good ten minutes after finishing it because I realised I would have to wait a year for the sequel.
When I picked the book up off my TBR shelf and flipped it over to the blurb I did cringe a little bit at the romance plug: “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.”
I absolutely HATE books with insta-love and unrealistic romances, and when books advertise a romance in the blurb i’m generally disappointed. However, this book proved me wrong! The romance was a beautiful part of the story and the chemistry between the two main characters bubbled and built over the course of the story. By the end of the book the author had me swooning, gushing and crying all at the same time, and it’s been a while since a story had me feeling that way!
I really enjoyed the writing style, and the pace of the story, and even though the world building was rich I didn’t feel bogged down reading it? (I’m not sure if anyone will understand what I mean when I say that though haha). There were some parts in the plot that fell a little short for me, but I am hoping that those will be brought into the next book and built upon. Overall I thought this to be a beautifully unique and creative start to a new fantasy series, and it’s definitely sparked a curiosity for middle-eastern inspired fiction.
And HOLY SHOOTING DUCK BUMS THIS IS A DEBUT NOVEL?!? I am so excited to see where Alwyn Hamilton takes this series, and will definitely be picking up the next installment. *crosses fingers for another pretty cover*
Have you read Rebel of the Sands yet? What did you think of it?