Published on: March 8th 2016
Published by: Penguin
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
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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.
This book was incredible, and I am so so glad that Hamilton is attending YALC 2016 or I probably never would have found it and what a tragedy that would have been!!! This book kept me up until 3am because I just could not put it down. I love finding new authors and I especially love finding new fantasy trilogies and this one is already one of my favourites of the year!
As you are probably well aware of by now I am a MASSIVE fan of fantasy worlds and Hamilton does an incredible job of building hers. The history, the creatures, the myths, the magic, the places; it is all so beautifully woven into this incredible and totally believable world. The last book I read that was set in the middle of the desert was quite frankly terrible, but Hamilton brought life to this lifeless setting and fed all my craving for more of this wonderful world right up until the last page.
“She moved like a storm someone had given steel to.”
I loved Amani and Jin (such cool names). I loved their banter, I loved their friendship and I loved the slow build of a romance between them. You could say that we have read this story tons of times: Katniss and Peeta, Tris and Four, June and Day; but like each of those this one is special in its own way. Both characters are strong, in their own way, and the two really complimented each other well. The chemistry is always there between them, but they actually build a really great friendship first and I really think that this is what makes them such great characters and their eventual romance all the more real.
“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.”
Amani is totally kick ass. Just like Katniss she has an unbelievable skill (although with a gun and not a bow) and is always underestimated until people see her shoot. In a world were women are nothing Amani makes herself stand out with her bright blue eyes and her will to fight for what is fair and right.
Jin is pretty mysterious for the majority of the book, I thought I knew where his storyline was going and all the clues we were given along the way were adding up, and then we got our reveal and I wasn’t quite right, but I really liked the way that Hamilton had taken it and I can’t wait to discover more about him as the series continues.
“It was damn hard to trust a boy with a smile like that. A smile that made me want to follow him straight to the places he’d told me about and made me sure I shouldn’t at the same time.”
There is a great base of secondary characters in this book and in a lot of books they get lost along the way, but Hamilton made sure that we remembered every single one of them. Sure, I got their names a little confused (but that’s always going to happen when characters have weird and wonderful names that all start with the same letter!) but I knew who each character was and they really brought the story to life and added so much more and so many more mini storylines to the book which I am looking forward to seeing play out.
“But if knowledge was power, then the unknown was the greatest weakness of immortal things.”
Going into this book you can’t be blamed for thinking it’s going to be another fantasy story with a kick ass heroine and a epic rebellion. Well yes, it kind of is but why hate on them when they are always so good! And this one especially is very very good! The plot was so cleverly written and every time I thought I had figured it out Hamilton twisted the story in a completely different way which I loved every single time. I was impressed with how much to managed to fit into this book, with it being a normally 300 page size, but at no point did it feel rushed or crammed in.
For her debut book Hamilton has done amazingly well and I am totally in awe of the world and the story that she has created for us. Every aspect of this book, in my opinion, has been done to perfection and it would be very difficult to find a bad word to say about it, except that we now have to wait for book 2!
“The world makes things for each place. Fish for the sea, Rocs for the mountain skies, and girls with sun in their skin and perfect aim for a desert that doesn’t let weakness live.”
When I picked up this book I was not looking for a new fantasy series, but boy did I find one! An incredible debut from Hamilton and one that she should be very proud of. The world building had me tummy turning in envy and I cannot wait to get my desperate hands on the second book in this trilogy as soon as possible!
Re-Readability: Hell Yes!
I would recommend this book to fans of: fantasy world, stories with rebellions, kick ass female characters, slow burn romances, characters with magic