I could not escape Rebel in the Sand by Alwyn Hamilton, just by going to RT I managed to collect five different copies of the preview. Even my international Aussie friend Booknut101 from 21st Century Once Upon A Time [http://t.co/zwfvEf1m07], managed to haunting my with this luscious book cover on her Instagram. We all know the phrase, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but let’s be real, if covers didn’t play a major role in the leering quality of wanting to read a book, an entire creative book artistry would be lost to us. This cover is lush, the mysterious dark green only helps great the mysterious leering feeling that we are selves are in the dessert. It wasn’t until I bought the book I realize that their is a palace in the background with a horse rider crossing the dessert. When you open the book, their are little dots all over the pages that are suppose to be sand. it think this book is top to bottom a worthy buy to anyones collection! I just love when the concept of a book is well detailed through the mental as well as physically aspect of the literature experiences. Now off to the review.
I have read many Jinn inspired novels. I am a book lover of all books that are connected to the epic story of Arabian Nights by Sir Richard Burton. I’m happy to say that, The Rebel of the Sand is to a retelling but an actual new story that takes places in the same mysterious lands of the dessert that we have all come to enjoy. This book creates amazing moments that you will be quoting for forever.
What I really loved about this book is that we are automatically introduced to the strong female protagonist in which this story surrounds. Readers meet their protagonist while she cross dressed as a man in order to attend a shooting competition, in order to obtain enough money to buy her freedom. She’s not a slave, she’s just a young woman who is horrible interested to fleeting kindness of her Aunt and Uncle (by marriage). It seems that the only way she can truly gain her freedom is by marrying someone. Our protagonist refuses to accept the exchanging terms of having no freedom to limited freedom through marriage, thus the Blue Eyed Bandit was created. As she competing in the Pits, she meets a foreigner, and that my friend is where all the adventure begins.
The Rebel of the Sand is very reminiscing of Walk On Earth A Strangers, both novels take place in a Western setting, with a young female booming suddenly orphaned by the strange events that surround their parents that then resulted in their running for their freedom from other relatives. Ironically, both novels also have a magical element, even though Rebel in the Sand has a setting that mixes Western gun slinging adventure with the Middle-Eastern. To me that real differences between these two characters is Amani is a downright bad ass.
“Being born doesn’t make a single soul important. But you were important when I met you, that girl who dressed as a boy, who taught herself to shoot true, who dreamed and saved and wanted so badly. That girl was someone who had made herself matter. She was someone I liked. What the hell has happened since you came here that she is so worthless to you? What’s happened that only my brother’s approval and some power you never needed before can make you important? That’s why I didn’t want to bring you into this revolution, Amani. Because I didn’t want to watch the Blue-Eyed Bandit get unmade by a prince without a kingdom.”
What I love about Amani is that she will do what she has to do to makes sure she gets what she wants. Unfortunately sometimes what she needs to do can be a tad bit heartless.
View Spoiler »OMG I can’t believe that she left her best friend on the ground bleeding, possible to death, as she ran away to the dessert. I really hoped her guilt from leaving her best friend would have also created building forced that encouraged her to never leave someone else behind, but that seem to only be applied towards the not so surprising Rebel Prince’s brother « Hide Spoiler
Amani is a strong character, that I truly enjoy watching her unravel during the course of this novel. She’s not irritating that I usually find when reading about strong heroine characters, instead she seems to find sass in everything, and I can appreciate that style of wit. Amani is really sassy. I really love the fact that the author allowed Amani create mistakes. Lord have mercy does that girl make MISTAKES! But what would a character be if did not see them grow through trials and tribulations? I really enjoyed her character development.
“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.”
The item that truly makes Amani a great character is the fact that she was able to develop her own self confidences during the course of the adventurous experiences. She truly put aside her false sense of confidence with an incredible strength. There is romance in this book, I really enjoy the fact that the developing romance between the characters it taking it’s time verses becoming instantly overwhelming. Let’s remember love at first sight is not love, it’s an infatuation.
My favorite element about the books it the fact that the magical ability do not take control over the characters ability to rely on their own trained/developed set skills. Sometimes when magical elements are put into a book, there are chapters put in place where by the end of the set chapters the characters have mastered their magical ability in Olympic award wining time. This novel truly has placed a lot of curious markers. I think the biggest weakness about the book is the fact that the plot point is really rinse and repeat for a YA novel, however with that being said I believe it was done this way because IT IS a trilogy. In my reading heart I believe the author, Alwyn Hamilton is going to have a big plot point that is going to blow us away.
This book is really amazing, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the next installment of the series. I predict that there is going to be a huge plot twist in our reading future.
I’ll also admit that the sudden addition to characters towards the end of the novel felt a bit rush. But I really love the variety of different characters that are going to meet me in the second book of Rebel in the Sand. The journey of Amani maturing from being a heart broken angry orphan that watched her mother lifeless body swing with the push of the dessert wind, to transforming into her true self. I will say the blurb about Amani being a sharpshooter is extremely misleading. I thought Amani would be taking out people, shooting them before they ever get a chance to ever see her coming but that’s not exactly what happens. Although that is misleading Amani is an amazing shot, I truly hope her shooting ability becomes more a main feature in the next book.
All in all this book is just AMAZING! Amani is a strong female character in a Western Middle Eastern fantasy adventure where the roles of women are extremely sexist, and this protagonist is kicking the expectations of submissive women right in the mouth. This book has adventure, romance, adventure, suspenses, as well as great character relation, along with character development that I can’t wait o see in the next book. Alwyn Hamilton has created a world that I really do not what to leave and I really need the second book to come out!