Fantasy

Rebel of the Sands: A Fiery Blend of Mythology & the Wild West

5/5 Stars!

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Publisher/Imprint: Speak

Edition: Paperback, 314 Pages

Publication Date: February 14, 2017

A Spine that Shines? Definitely!

Initial Thoughts & the Plot

Rebel of the Sands was such a fun read! I can definitely see why it won a Goodreads award. I loved the world-building and mythology blended with Amani’s gun-slinging Western skills. The Ghouls and the other creatures are so creepy!

“Ghouls came in a thousand different forms. Tall faceless Skinwalkers, who’d eat a man’s flesh and take his shape so they could feast on his family, too.”

I also really loved the Buraqi, the magical horse creatures, and wished the author had used them more in the story.

There are even enchanted compasses and fugitives jumping off trains in the middle of a desert! The plot was exciting and easy to follow, and I never wanted to set the book down. If you like fast-paced, action-packed stories, this book is definitely for you.

The Characters & Romance

Amani: To me, the main character Amani behaves as if she is older than sixteen. She is a strong young woman fighting to forge her own destiny. And Amani’s powers! Woah! I won’t specify what they are since you should totally read about them for yourself. But they are pretty awesome. And the big showdown scene at the end of the book was completely satisfying.

Jin: A foreigner who is also pretty good with a gun. He’s witty and smart and hides a big secret. I loved the romance between Jin and Amani. The two have great chemistry. Yes, the romance does start pretty early in the book, but it is not over the top. I truly enjoyed how the author developed their relationship.

Even the side characters are enjoyable to read about. They add a nice touch to the story. Some of my favorite side characters are Shazad, a tough general’s daughter, and Izz and Maz, the goofy shape-shifting twins.

Final Thoughts

There are some small things that didn’t quite feel right. For instance, I had difficulty believing that all of those guys in the beginning wanted to marry Amani. Plus, what happens to her friend Tamid from her hometown? The way she kind of tosses him aside bothered me slightly. And what purpose did his disability serve? Furthermore, I was a little disappointed that we don’t get to see Izman and Amani’s other aunt after all of her talk about going to Izman, but perhaps we will in a later book? Also, some things that happened felt a bit coincidental, but it was all so highly entertaining. I didn’t subtract any stars from my rating. Overall, a five-star book! You should definitely give it a try! I look forward to reading more publications by Alwyn Hamilton.

 

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