I received this book for free from bought in-store, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.
Amani is tied to her Uncle and his family. Having lost her parents, they’re the only family she has left. But she wants better so with her incredible way with a gun she enters a contest with a bounty that will sure help her start a better and new life on her own. Then she meets a strange and mysterious foreigner who will turn her life inside out.
At first, it’s starts out as a Western gun slinging story but then it slowly morphs into this fantastic and magical world. I love how extensive the world was built. So many stories about people and their faiths. It was so lovely to read about something new and not rewritten. I can easily imagine the sheema she would wear and the horses that were descended from the Jinni. Loved the writing! There was so much action and not a lot of romance, just the type to be a slow-burn because even though you know she was trying to distract her love interest, it made me laugh because it was so out of the blue and in the weirdest part.
One thing I pretty much hate about this world though was how sexist the men were to the woman. I just wanted to throw something when I read this quote:
Though I’m pretty sure Amani proved how wrong they were! And there were lots of other male characters who didn’t believe in such atrocity so I happily ignored those bits. I really liked how it starts off as one genre but changes into another. I was eagerly waiting for it to happen! The only thing that I was sad about was that it ended too sudden. I could have read another fifty more pages, but maybe I’m just used to long drawn out books.
Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands will sure appeal to any reader for she brings a fresh take to the fantasy and gun-slinging genres. I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel for more Amani, Jin and Ahmed!