“Tell me how you want your story to go, he says, and we’ll write it straight across the sand.”
Amani is from the Last County. Knowing that she is the deadliest shot in Dustwalk, she ventures into the Pistol Pit, disguised as a boy to win enough to flee Dustwalk forever. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) The Blue-Eyed Bandit comes across a foreigner that seems to be causing enough trouble that the obnoxious Commander Naguib is in hot pursuit of. Jin the foreigner soon becomes the only escape for Amani.
This is the debut novel of Alwyn Hamilton and it is simply amazing. While it is aimed for young adult readers, it is well worth the read by adults alike. I had seen so much positive feedback on this book on Instagram that when I saw it in the local library, I snagged it up.
Rebel of the Sands is absolutely refreshing. It addresses many important issues that need to be understood, such as what happens when a town is built around an industry that fails. Dustwalk was built around iron mines so when the mines slow down, the town sinks further into poverty. Unfortunately there is many a place this applies to in the real world, where people cannot afford food but manage to have a surplus of alcohol because the town is too poor and food is in short supply. There is the issue of women being treated second rate to men. This is still a very relevant issue in some societies and ideologies today. Amani is more talented with a gun than any other man in her town, but as she is a female, she is to be married off.
I must applaud Hamilton for making Amani a role model. She is fierce and independent, selfless, talented and witty, and she doesn’t need a male. I find that in most novels there is still that undertone of the female needing a male. If Amani ends up with a partner, it would be more her choice. Not because she feels that she cannot live without a man.
This story also has a beautiful mythology throughout it. The supernatural theme of Djinni is intriguing and Hamilton has done a great job of building this world. She is informative enough that it makes sense but doesn’t overload you with useless facts.
I have nothing negative to say about this book. When I finished it, it felt like that wasn’t the end of it, so I did a little research and I am so pleased to have discovered this is the first in a trilogy. I cannot wait for the second. Both will be added to my wish list.
My recommendation: If you like an Arabian Nights theme, you will love this story.
TITLE: Rebel of the Sands
AUTHOR: Alwyn Hamilton
SERIES: Rebel of the Sands #1
GENRE: Young Adult, Supernatural
PLATFORM: I borrowed this book from our local library.
CATEGORY: Library Books, NBRC Book of the Month
GOODREADS CHALLENGE: 276/150
You can purchase Rebel of the Sands at any of these sites below: