Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton


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.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power. (Goodreads)

Initial Thoughts.jpg

I really liked it and really didn’t like all at the same time. 


So let’s start out with what I liked.  The overall plot was very enjoyable.  I am a sucker for a rebel cause so that hooked me right away.  I also liked the character of  Amani.  She is very tough, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it.  There were a couple of the surprises thrown in and I always enjoy being surprised, and the side characters were great.  

Now what I didn’t like, there were two things really.  Now two things don’t seem like a lot but when one is world building and the other is the male lead, well you have problems.  Jin just didn’t do it for me.  Without being spoilery there were a couple of things I just didn’t like the way he handled. He’s certainly alright, but I liked just about all the side characters more than him.  

My main issue was the world building.  The book is basically a western set in the middle east.  And I would have preferred just a book set in the middle east.  The western part isn’t that prominent but colloquialisms like “reckon” are used a lot, and it always took me out of the story when I would come across that.  I also wanted more insight into the magical world.  I certainly feel like these will probably be touched on in the rest of the series, but isn’t the purpose of the first book really set up?

Bottom Line

If the world building wouldn’t bother you then this is worth a read.  

Overall: 3

Buy it from Amazon 

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