Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published by Viking (3.8.2016)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 314 pages
Source: I own it
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 liked what life felt like with him in the desert. Like we were equals. Like we fit together. Too tangled to pull apart so easily.
This book has a very western/Arabian feel to it – it’s kind of like Walk on Earth a Stranger meets The Fire Wish. (Loved WoEaS, didn’t care for FW.) I lovelovelove the girl-disguised-as-a-boy stories! This book wasn’t really Historical, but kind of had that feel to it when it came to women’s rights. Life is hard for a female, and the story really drove that point home with the way Amani was treated. Women are a possession, something to be owned and married off and bred.
So this really was where the stories came to life. Heroes and monsters come to fight and die for the Rebel Prince.
The magic in this book was awesome! Nightmares, Djinni, Demdji (half Djinni). So cool! I loved all the Demdji and their powers – shapeshifting, mind control, the ability to control elements. How awesome is that?! I can’t wait to see more of them in the second book!
I liked Amani a lot! She was full of fire; very stubborn and headstrong. She reminded me of me! I also loved Shazad! She was awesome! I would love to get more backstory on her. (Maybe a Shazad novella? Please Alwyn??) Jin was just kind of there for me, though. The romance between Amani and Jin didn’t really do anything for me I’m afraid, but thankfully it wasn’t overpowering.
This book kept me on my toes! There were a lot of things I didn’t see coming, and unpredictability is important to me in a novel. View Spoiler » I totally thought Jin was the Rebel Prince. I was wrong, actually, but close! I also wasn’t expecting Amani to be Demdji. Usually the super-speshul-snowflake stories irritate me, but this one works! It was a nice little twist that the weapon is her brother, too! « Hide Spoiler
“When everyone seems so very sure, it’s hard to figure anyone is right.”
“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.”
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5