Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Where did I get it? I bought it
Summary: 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…
What a brilliant, brilliant debut! I immediately fell in love with the characters and the world-building was a masterpiece.
We followed the story of Amani a girl trapped in a sand-ridden land ruled by men. In this barren setting Amani knows she must seize any opportunity she can to escape. finally, when the chance to flee is presented, she takes it without hesitation and finds herself trekking across the desert with a foreign boy named Jin. As Amani slowly comes to terms with the world beyond her little town, she grows into a strong yet loyal and compassionate ally.
“I’m a girl who could’ve done just about anything if I’d been born a boy”
Of all the characters introduced however, the two that really caught my interest and kept it, were Ahmed (the rebel prince) and Shazad (the general’s daughter). I really wanted to learn more of their backstory and I can’t wait to see where the author takes them next. Shazad in particular was such complex character who showed the power females also held, and I hope that she and Amani become friends.
The whole premise of the story was fascinating, but I hope we get to learn more of the history of the Sultan’s empire as well as the Djinn and their children who inhabit it.