Rebel of the Sands
Series : Rebel of the Sands
Publisher : Faber & Faber
Source : Publisher (Allen and Unwin)
Release Date : February 4th 2016
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.
I have read Rebel of the Sands previously but didn’t know at the time what to say about the book and left writing the review for far too long . Therefore I had to re-read the book which was perfect as I wanted to read the second one Traitor to the Throne with this book fresh in mind. .
Hamilton’s debut didn’t disappoint the second time around I loved this magical world that were are introduced to where in the middle of nowhere in the desert is a town called Dustwalk. A place were nothing really happens exciting if you are a girl. They aren’t seen or heard, the men are their protectors and leaders. Except for Amani who is a sharpshooter taught by a friend and determined to escape her fate. As an orphan she is under the protection of her uncle who is determined to take her as one of his wives and into life of submission. Something that Amani is not.
She is a determined young woman so she decides to take a risk and dress as a boy so she able to use her skills as a sharpshooter to enter a completion to get her some much need money to escape. As the Blue Eyed Bandit no one is going to recognise her as a girl and she can escape away safely . She is determined to resign herself to the fales of the females in the town.
However being a rebel in the desert is not a straight forward thing and quickly this story takes an interesting turn that forces Amani to takes some risks and become a true rebel whether she likes it or not. With the fantasies taking inspiration from Middle East, there have been some amazing female lead stories in YA lately . This book was no except to the trend as Amani tries to change the status quo in her small world. However it had a Western influence as well and the blend worked perfectly
She dreams of a better life and it isn’t that big of a dream considering her current situation. However Amani isn’t one to shy away from things and this causes trouble or good fortune depending how you looked at things. As she wants to stand up for what is right even if causes trouble and doesn’t think things through always.
As a result her world is broaden and she becomes part of the rebel cause. Hence the title as we learn about the problems of the world that even have reached Dustwalk. As change of Sultan and a promise of a new dawn is something that will affect them all , the little and the big people . Whilst I enjoyed the tale and the empowering of Amani, I can’t forget Jin who also played a big part. My heart had a bigger love for Amani given that she was challenging the norm and fighting for basic rights in this story. Jin is a engmia at first, a welcome distracted that makes Amani better.
He introduced her to the rebels and a world that offered her a chance making herself someone. Not a wife submitting to her uncle/husband. He was the perfect companion and whilst I wonder what is store for him as well in the future given the direction the series is heading .
The rebels want to embrace those who are different and give woman a greater rights like other kingdoms. But with the own Sultan having issues with dijins and other magical creatures are treated as sub beings. It is hard slog and this book shows this as travels trying to make her way to her destination but instead finding herself in a different position in a whirlwind adventure. Whilst a lot of information is thrown at us readers in this book and it is pretty fast moving. It’s unique and I loved the format. As we need the build up to make sense of that ending bombshell that lefts a big question hanging over this series.
After that ending, I don’t what to think, whilst the signs where there. I can’t wait to dive into Traitor the Throne and discover more of this intriguing world. I’m enjoying the concept but there something holding me back from saying I totally in love. I like the blend of culture to create this intriguing concept so who knows what will happen.