So, for my first review I have decided to give you guys (and girls) a review of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. This book is an absolute must-read. It’s got everything you want in a ya novel: suspense, a little bit of romance, magic, bad guys and a whole of a lot of attitude ;).
Amani desperately wants to leave her hometown of Dustwalk, a dead-end deserttown where folks love to shoot things and drink a lot. Even more important Amani’s family is not what you would call loving. Her aunt abuses her and her uncle wants to marry her.
One night Amani decides to go to the pistol pit to earn enough money to get out of Dustwalk. Her foolproof plan of defeating all the shooters and winning the prize money seriously goes awry when the shooting contest turns out to be rigged and Amani, with a little help of a handsome foreigner, manages to cause a bar brawl. Instead of earning money she looses what she already saved.
Down on her luck Amani returns home. The very next day the foreigner turns up wounded in the store of Amani’s aunt where she is working and asks Amani for help. As if that wasn’t trouble enough the Sultan’s army rides into town looking for him and a magical horse makes an appearance. This is where the story of Jin, the handsome foreigner, and Amani begins. Leading them across the desert, into numerous troubles and wondrous and terrible adventures.
If this description doesn’t convince you to read the story than maybe this will. Amani is a very likeable character; she is tough, kind, funny, and knows how to handle any situation (especially when there’s shooting involved). Jin is handsome, amusing, nice and loves to tease. The connection between the two is perfect.
The worldbuilding in this series is awesome. Figures and beasts from Eastern fairytales are brought to live in a fantastic setting. The world in this book also resembles bits and pieces of pre-modern history with multiple empires and countries with different cultures and customs warring with eachother. In this first installment we see only little pieces of the larger story world but I’m certain that we will see more of this intriguing world in the books to come.
And then the magic <3. Some of the characters in this book have earthbound magic, inherited from Djinni or First Beings. They have powers like shapeshifting, fire throwing, illusions etc.
Besides likeable characters, great worldbuilding and awesome magic this book also has a lot of suspense. Gun and magic fights, chase scenes, torture and murder. There’s a little bit of everything for everybody. And there are multiple antagonists to keep the story interesting.
And last but not least, the cover of this book is gorgeous!!! This is definitely a must-buy and a must-read ;).