Adventure (Teen), Fantasy (Teen), YA Fiction

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Lately, there have been a lot of YA fiction that has caught my eye. There are times when I go through a phase where all I read are YA novels, or only adult fiction. I’ve tried to stay away from that and read some of everything, but this also means that I don’t always get to the newest and hottest books in time. This novel has been getting a lot of attention but I’ve been putting it off for a while now, and I’ve just made time for it. All I can say is that I wish I had read it sooner!

Mortals may rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wasteland that surrounds it. There are even rumors that djinni still practice their ancient and powrful magic. But the town of Dustwalk, where Amani lives, is as ordinary as life can be – and Amani can’t wait to leave it. In a world where the fate of a woman is to wind up “wed or dead”, Amani is counting on her skills with a gun to gain her passage out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious foreigner, in a shooting contest, she had no idea that he would provide her with the perfect chance to escape. But it is only when she leaves on a mythical horse, with the murderous Sultan’s army chasing her and Jin, that she realizes that the desert she thought she knew is not all it seems.

This novel had me spellbound from the start. I loved the mythical world that this story is set in. I recognized many of the elements from Arabian stories that I grew up hearing as a child, so it was wonderful to see it incorporated so well here. Amani is a force to be reckoned with, and she is a heroine that I was proud of. She never got caught up in the romance, and she followed her heart throughout the journey. My only wish was for the novel to be longer so I could continue to enjoy the story! This novel also had a Western element, with its shooting game and saloons and there was a bit of a cowboy vibe during the journey. My interest in Western novels is just beginning to grow so  I quite enjoyed that aspect. All in all, I can see why this book has generated so much of a buzz! I am excited to say that there is a sequel and I cannot wait to read it!

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