Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton

rebel

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.

This- this is the kind of fantasy I love- don’t get me wrong, I love romance and everything, but sometimes there are books you read that make you sink into the world completely, so you think you are walking the same path as the characters, sat around a fire listening to the same stories. (this has a bit of romance, but its not the in-your-face ‘making out while the world is ending’ type you often seem to get in fantasy YA)

It kinda feels slow paced at some points- not for lack of fighting or anything- but the way its written is wonderfully descriptive and almost poetic so it makes you read slower. But that also makes me love this book, because I wanted to savour it more.

The characters are wonderful, from  Amani, the girl with amazing aim, who has to dress as a boy just to be taken seriously- and to escape the life she doesnt want, to Jin, the stranger who ends up rescuing her.

The twists and turns in this book are perfection (No really, the big one honestly had me looking up from the book in an ‘oh my god’ kinda of way) and honestly makes you want to go back and reread to find the clues and hints for them all.

I don’t normally agree with ‘this book is THIS and THAT’ type things, or the ‘hotter than the BIG NAME BOOK’ things, so when I first saw this was dubbed as ‘ ARABIAN NIGHTS MEETS THE WILD WEST’ I was a bit unsure as to what I was really putting myself in for, but actually- I agree with this. Honestly. Its got the stories and magicalness that you expect from the first part, but then its got guns and fights and everything you want from the latter.

Looking at a few other reviews on this, it looks like it’s a translated book- which means, between this book, The Storyteller, and a few others I’ve read, I’ve realised there are som truly amazing books out there that are slowly coming out in English…maybe I need to learn another language.

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