★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Date: 4th March 2016
Synopsis from GoodReads:
“Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.”
Dustwalk is an unforgiving, dead-end town. It’s not the place to be poor or orphaned or female. And yet Amani Al’Hiza must call it ‘home’.
Amani wants to escape and see the world she’s heard about in campfire stories.
Then a foreigner with no name turns up, and with him she has the chance to run.
But the desert plains are full of dangerous m
agic. The Sultan’s army is on the rise and Amani is soon caught at the heart of a fearless rebellion…
An epic story of swirling desert sands, love, magic and revolution.
I think fate was telling me to read this book, as I pre-ordered it (who wouldn’t have), received an e-copy on NetGalley, AND I was sent one as part of the February YA Chronicles box. When I finally got around to picking it up, I just couldn’t put it down… which is hard with uni and work commitments trying to get in the way.
Upon reading this book, you wouldn’t know that it is Alwyn Hamilton’s debut novel; the writing, and the story flowed so well that I couldn’t get enough of it. So congratulations to Alwyn for writing such a fantastic novel that surpassed my expectations, which were already high.
All of the characters in this book are well fleshed-out, developed and realistic, and their relationships really enhanced the story’s progression. The story is written from Amani’s point of view, which is fantastic for a multitude of reasons; she is strong-willed, quick-witted and intelligent; she has a rich back story which is cleverly weaved throughout; and her sometimes limited perspective made the plot twist completely unpredictable.
The plot twist went completely the opposite way to what I was expecting, and I think that Alwyn has done a wonderful job of steering her story away from the typical YA tropes we have come to expect. The entire time I was reading this book I HAD to know what was going to happen… I fell in love with the main two characters, and wanted to make sure that they would be okay.
I typically find it hard to relate to characters, but the way in which this book is written really encourages you to be immersed in the world, and to become easily attached to the main characters. I liked the fact that Alwyn included an almost anti-hero in the story.. where you can’t decide if the character is going to do the right thing or the wrong thing, but you can’t help but feel sympathetic to them.
Overall, the story was enchanting, action-packed and had a fantastic plot twist (or three). I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy, action, kick-ass female characters and a hint of romance.
Like I said, I’m trying really hard to avoid spoilers, so I’ll leave you with one more thing…..READ THIS BOOK!! You won’t regret it one bit (aside from the whole wait-a-year-for-the-next-book problem).
If you wish to have a chat about spoilery-things, feel free to send me a tumblr message, you’ll find the link on my homepage.
Also, how STUNNING is this cover?! Its shiny, it represents the story perfectly, plus it has two of my favourite colours!