Monday, 11 January 2016

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton: Arabian Nights + Western = PERFECTION

Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Penguin
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands. Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.
Quite honestly I would have to describe Rebel of the Sands as absolute perfection. I loved this book from beginning to end, and finishing it made me sad because I didn't want to leave the world or the characters. I will eagerly be awaiting the next book in the series, but also know that I will read whatever Alwyn Hamilton writes in the future. That woman really knows how to weave a story, and she definitely knows how to write the perfect slow build romance - my favourite kind. If this book isn't on your radar yet then it really needs to be.


Rebel of the Sands is a book that takes place in the desert nation of Miraji. It's a world of myth and magic, where mythical creatures still roam and legend has it the djinni are still very much alive. It has an Arabian Nights/Aladdin feel to it in one way, but then has a very Western feel to it as well. Our lead character, Amani, a sharp shooter who is amazing with a pistol, has big dreams of leaving the town of Dustwalk behind and making a life for herself somewhere (anywhere) else. It's during a pistol shooting competition that she meets Jin, a mysterious stranger who is wanted for treason. Together they go on a journey through the desert, fighting immortal creatures and slowly falling for one another.

Characters are important to a story, they are especially important to how much I love a story. I fell so in love with the characters in this book and didn't want to leave them once I had completed the book. I thought Amani was such a positive female character, she was smart, strong, determined and amazing with a pistol. She could do her fair share of kicking ass, but wasn't so unbelievably strong that she didn't feel realistic. Jin was a strong character too, but in his own way and they complimented each other very well and worked as a team. I have a soft spot for so many secondary characters too, who each had something unique to add to the story. I am so excited to continue the series and be reunited with these characters.

Most popular tags for this image include: horse, dress, black and white and sandI was especially thrilled with the world building in this book. I have commented many times on how hard I can struggle to visualise a world. It takes a special kind of writer to really bring a world to life for me, but Hamilton completely managed it here. I could imagine the whole world perfectly, even all of the mythical creatures we meet. I was completely fascinated by the Buraqi, a magical horse that can only be made mortal and captured by a woman.


I have to comment on the romance.... I ADORED IT! (Can you tell I loved this book?!?) I just couldn't get enough of the relationship between Jin and Amani. There is not one bit on insta love here, thank god. It is a romance that builds very slowly and actually requires our characters to get to know one another. It is the kind of slow burn romance that I adore, those are always my favourite in any book. The romance here just felt so believable and I was shipping these two so hard.


5/5 Butterflies

Do you know that feeling where you finish a book and just want to hug it because it was so awesome? But then you also want to cry because it's over and you want more? And then go sit in a corner, rocking back and forth like a mad person, waiting for the next book to come out? Do you know it? DO YOU!?!? If you don't, just read Rebel of the Sands and you soon will. I am beyond desperate for book two and I don't know how I am actually expected to hold out for it. If you only pre-order one book this year then I would definitely make it this one. If this is Hamilton's debut novel then, I truly can't wait to see what she accomplishes in future books. 



* I received a copy of this book through LoveReading4Kids in exchange for an honest review. 

31 comments:

  1. Such a great review! I can't wait to read this book, it looks amazing.

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    1. It's one of my new favourites! I could gush about it for soooo long!!! :)

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  2. OMG I'M EVEN MORE EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK NOW!!! And I can't thank you enough for pre-ordering a copy for me!!!! YOU ARE SERIOUSLY THE NICEST PERSON EVER. *hugs you tightly*
    But eeeep, everything about this book sounds amazing! Magic! Monsters! Slow burn romance! Ahhh, I can't wait! :')

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    1. You are very welcome!!! :) I hope you LOVE it when it finally arrives :) :) :) I'm not sure what Book Depository shipping times to AUS are like, but hopefully it won't take too long.

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  3. I adore books like this but it is so hard to pick up another one after. ;) Glad you loved this so well, wonderful review. I need to add this to my pile.

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    1. I KNOW!!! They are the kind of books that put you in a slump!

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  4. I'm going to have to add this one to my TBR. I actually hadn't heard of it until now and I don't think I'd seen it around before either - this book is all new to me! I love the sound of the perfect kind of build up romance as well, and the world building seems to be handled perfectly. Can't wait to see more about this one :3

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  5. This book is high up my TBR and I think your review bumped it up even further! Ah, it seems so good. Awesome review! :)

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  6. So glad you enjoyed this one. I'm definitely hoping that I can get my hands on a copy of this one. It sounds really interesting. I'm loving the trends in YA lately for both Arabian Nights inspired books and Westerns so it's very cool that this one combines both. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. It was sooooo good! I highly recommend it, obviouly ;)

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  7. I sort of feel tempted by this book, but you have a way of making everything sound fabulous even if it's not my thing, which isn't always a great thing.. Hm, maybe I shall consider requesting it, maybe I shall, I don't know, but still, thanks for putting it on my radar Charnell! :)

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    1. I really do ;) I'm sorry. Well, unless I don't like the book. But I will rave about this one till I am blue in the face.

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  8. I love the cover of this book, which is admittedly why I added it to my TBR initially, but your review really captures what a reader can expect from the story, which is exciting and reassuring. I am a very character-focused reader, so I'm happy to hear that the characters are well-written and relateable, and most of all, that there's no insta-love! I'm convinced: I'll give this book a read :-)

    Katie @ ShelfishlyAddicted

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  9. Great review. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!! :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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  10. AHHH I'M SO SO RELIEVED!! This is like one of my top highly most ever anticipated reads of the year and I sooo needed it to be good. AND IT WILL BE SO AHFADSKJAFLD I AM SO HAPPY AND EXCITED. It sounds amazing. *dashes off to make sure it's on my insta to-buy list* XDXD

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    1. YAY!!! I hope when you read it you love it as much as I do :) :) :)

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  11. oh I am so glad to see you liked this book. Everything you mentioned just makes me want to read it more. Sounds like it has everything it should for a good fantasy read. I love to hear about books that have an amazing romance. It has to be amazing or none at all for me.

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  12. THIS BOOK LOOKS AMAZING. I NED IT IN MY LIFE. Lovely review!

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  13. Here I am on NetGalley, finger hovering over the Request button on this title. I read the synopsis. I re-read the synopsis. I think of the good stuff. I think of the potentially bad stuff. I can't decide.

    Then I decide to just head over to mah trusted blogs instead.

    Anyway, I requested it. (Thrilling tale, I KNOW. Not even a plot twist to be had! FOR SHAME!) But the fact is, THIS ENTIRE REVIEW JUST SOLD ME ON IT! I can't decide if I love the review or the (notion of the) book more now!

    - Lexie

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    1. AWWWW! THANK YOU!!! I hope you love it when you read it :) :) :)

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  14. This book is on my radar. The cover alone pulled me in months ago. But now I know how much you love it I will most definitely try and get my hands on an early copy. And if that fails BUY it on release day.
    Characters are the most important part of my reading experience. With a good romance a close second. So you're saying this book has both than I will more than likely be fangirling with you in a few weeks.

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    1. I HOPE YOU DO! And that you love it when you do get to read it.

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  15. Ooooh you have just made my day! This is one of my most anticipated books, and you saying it was perfect? Yep, SO excited!! Great characters, great romance, and I didn't even know it was a series (which is good, I LOVE series)!! I want to request it on NG but... nope. I need to have the prettiness of the cover in my life. I definitely need to pre-order this one! Fabulous review, I am SO happy you loved it so much!

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    1. I HOPE YOU LOVE IT. It is def my new favourite right now.

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  16. Okay. This is going on the pile asap.

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