Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton
Published: March 8, 2016
Rating: 4/5 Goodreads
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
I honestly enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I picked it up from the library because I saw the third book in the series is being released in March and figured, “why not read about an awesome desert-gunslinging girl?” The writing was entrancing, and I was genuinely surprised by a major plot twist, which hasn’t really been happening to me lately.
The world building was nearly seamless, with a rich history that I would love to explore more, and and is hopefully expanded upon in the next book. The magic system was intricate enough to keep my interest, and the monsters of the desert were awesome. I just wish that they had played a larger roll. A few days after reading this, and I still find myself sometimes thinking about the amazing creatures in this desert!
I absolutely adored the characters Jin and Amani, and can’t wait to see them develop (and hopefully become more romantically involved ;)) throughout the series. All of the characters were awesome, but I just felt like there wasn’t enough development with some of the minor players, which is the main reason why I rounded down in my rating – I know, I’m picky. This book wasn’t very long though, and I’m sure many details will be fleshed out further in the following installments.
Overall, I liked this book a lot and will definitely be picking up the others in the series.