Book Review: Rebel of the Sands (Alwyn Hamilton)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Faber and Faber

Pages: 368

Release Date: February 4th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.”

Dustwalk is Amani’s home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need.

Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan’s enemies are on the rise.


I was lucky enough to have this granted as a wish on NetGalley (first time it’s ever happened to me), so big thanks to them for the opportunity to read it.

I really, really enjoyed this book. It has a real feel of Arabian Nights about it – the sense of magic, the stories, and the vivid desert setting. It was just as easy to lose yourself in that world as it is in Shahrazad’s tales.

Amani is a brilliant protagonist, one of the best I’ve read of late. You can feel her desperation to get out of Dustwalk and carve a new life for herself, and really sympathise with her life and every terrible thing that’s been thrown at her. Despite all that, she doesn’t wallow in self pity and there’s very little ‘woe is me’ about her: she’s just focussed on getting that better life, and doing whatever she can to get there. She’s smart and cunning and I could read about her adventures all day.

The plot doesn’t disappoint either. It jumps from action to action and place to exotic place and you just cant help but read another chapter, and another until it’s all gone and you’re left desperate for the sequel. The twists caught me completely by surprise: I thought I had it all figured out but this book just continually throws out surprises.

While this is the first book in a series, I appreciated that it rounded things off quite nicely at the end. While it still left me wanting more, I liked that the main events of this book were concluded for the most part, without any horrific cliffhanger to keep me dangling for a year.

This is a fantastic debut and quite unlike anything I’ve read before. I just know it’s going to be a great hit and I can’t wait to read the next book.


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