Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy & Magic, Folklore
Read… on Valentines Day while… the boyfriend was at work.
Title: Rebel of the Sands
Publisher: Viking Books
Purchase your copy here.
Review: 5 out of 5 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Review: If you follow my blog, then you know that I rarely give a 5 star review. This book is totally deserving of every star – I absolutely loved it! Rebel of the Sands is a perfect mixture of gun-slinging, hard-drinking wild west, transposed onto a sweeping, romantic desert, with a rebel prince bent on overthrowing a wicked sultan, and a little magic along the same lines as The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights. It is a winning combination.
Amani is my new favorite badass heroine. Following in the footsteps of Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, and Hermione Granger, Amani is a fearless dreamer, a gunslinger with perfect aim, and a survivor who is also determined to thrive and live life to its fullest. You will LOVE her.
No one could see me, a girl with a stolen gun, shooting until my fingers were sore and my aim was good enough that I could’ve knocked a shot glass out of a drunk’s shaky fingers.
The world building in this book is phenomenal! Hamilton creates a convincing alternative universe. Particularly enjoyable are the mythical creatures that are added to the mix: “Nightmares” unfurl from “a vicious leathery ball into spindly limbs and filmy black wings;” “Skinwalkers” take on the appearance of the last human they ate; and the offspring of Djinns and mortals – the Demdjii – have superpowers allowing them, for example, to reduce a man to ash at will.
From start to finish, Hamilton sets a gutsy pace that rarely slows. This book truly is a page turner!