REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton

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.


Title : Rebel in the Sands
Author : Alwyn Hamilton
Series : Rebel of the Sands (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 321
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Viking Books for Young Readers
Release Date : March 8, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 4 star review

Here’s another reread of book one in a series that I never finished. I read this over five years ago and sadly books two and three fell by the wayside and, despite how much I enjoyed this all those years ago, I never chased after them. But I tapped this series as part of my Five Series to Finish in 2021 pledge and so here we are.

Spoiler : I’m stealing a bit of this re-review from my original bit on GR. Because it sums my feelings, to this day, too well not to.

I wasn’t expecting Rebel of the Sands to work. The whole western theme crossed with a fantasy setting inspired by the myths and tales ala Arabian Nights? In theory you might think it could work, that the bare bones of it all could fit together, but there were so many ways it could go wrong. But this was a fast paced exciting adventure with enough magic to make it mystical but not detract from the very real and human conflict and struggle with identity. 

Whereas the first time I read this I apparently didn’t connect to the main characters, and I might still kind of agree on that, this time it didn’t bother me. I was too swept up in the action (I read this very quickly in one sitting) to be bothered. Could the romance be more fleshed out? Absolutely. But, again, because I like them, I’m not too fussed. I’m feeling really easy going about the whole experience, to be honest. I did not expect to be as satisfied by this on a second go around, especially all these years later, but here we are.

That said, now that we’ve established a lot of elements to this world, as well as some key players, I would definitely hope that they get more page time, and everything, including said romance, feels a little more.. well, more.

Diving right into book two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s