I used to work in a charity shop bookstore and one day, I came across this majestic being of a book and bought it. It was £1.50 and I had no clue that it was one of the most hyped up books of the time until I went onto Goodreads and saw all of the raving reviews that surrounded it. I’m so glad that I ended up buying this book!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 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.
I began reading this book at 07:30 in the morning whilst I was on the train to university. I was so engrossed in the book that I almost missed my stop. I was on page sixty. Normally, I find the beginning of books quite slow, I love the action and even though I like reading about the foundations of the characters, sometimes it can slow the book down; this was not the case for Rebel in the Sands. This is a fast-paced book but it’s not too fast so that you lose track of what is happening.
“Haven’t you ever wanted something so bad that it becomes more than a want? I need to get out of this town. I need it like I need to breathe.”
― Alwyn Hamilton,
I loved that it was set in the Middle East and that I got to experience a whole new culture; it was so refreshing to see a world that wasn’t American or British, I loved the characters… I could go on and on. Amani was the female protagonist who just wanted more in life and she didn’t want her gender to stop that. The whole gender argument within the book was slightly sexist at first but when you realise it’s because of the Sultan and his beliefs and that the Rebels want equality, you start to recognise the parallels between this fictional world and ours. Amani was a badass shooter who was just full to the brim of sassy comebacks but she also wasn’t afraid to show her more vulnerable side when it came to her friends.
I’ve read on Goodreads that a few people found this book predictable; I didn’t. All of the plot twists left me with my mouth hanging open and me yelling at the book. The surprises just kept on coming.
Also, can we just talk forever about the magical element of this book? The Djinnis, the fiery sand horses and the individuals with magic flowing through their veins? Ugggghhhh, this book was just utter fantasy perfection. If this review doesn’t convince you to go out and buy this book, then I may as well quit reviewing books and sleep for eternity. And I really don’t want to do that… So go and read this book!