I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley
Amani disguises herself as a boy in order to compete in a shooting competition to win enough money to escape Dustwalk – away from her aunt and uncle who want to marry her off. She wants to travel to Izman, a place her mother used to tell her of, and when a foreigner makes his way into town, Amani may have finally found her escape.
Overall, I really did enjoy Rebel of the Sands but I do think I had too high expectations due to all the hype and, unfortunately, it did not WOW me like I expected. However, this was a pretty impressive debut novel and I am sure I will probably read more of Alwyn Hamilton. Rebel of the Sands was an engaging and magical read, just lacking something – i’m just not sure what.
The world building was OK – it was a mix between a cowboy/wild wild west and a middle eastern setting, but again, it was lacking. However, I did really enjoy the characters. Amani was very tough, niave in a sense, and put herself first a lot but you really saw her develop throughout the novel. The romance was good as well and while there were numerous cliches it was a really cute relationship between Amani and Jin with some really witty dialogue.
Overall, a magical and entertaining read but a bit of a let down considering the hype that was surrounding this book.
MY RATING: ★★★★☆ (3.5)