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.
I don’t really know what it was that made me feel a little ‘meh’ when I finished this book but it ended with me not feeling anything in particular and a 3 star rating.
Rebel of the Sands tells us the story of Amani. She’s a young girl living in Dustwalk, in the home of her uncle and several aunts and dozens of cousins. Dustwalk is literally at the end of the world in Amani’s opinion. Everything in the town is covered in sand, iron and exhaust fumes from the huge weapons factory nearby. But apart from everything being dull and dusty, there’s still some magic in Miraji. Magic in the form of mythical beasts like the Buraqi (horses made from the land) or the Rocs (birds that resemble rocks).
Every once in a while some of these beasts turn up in town and catching one means getting rich unless you’re born a woman. Being born a girl makes Amani -and everything she owns- the property of her father’s but since he’s dead she belongs to her uncle who wants to make her his wife.
So Amani plans to run.
In order to get some money to buy her way out of Dustwalk, she enters a shooting competition disguised as a guy. This is where she meets a strange foreign looking boy who is almost as good a shot as she is. So when Amani accidentily becomes the center of attention by using her big mouth, the foreigner helps her escape while the building catches fire and everything turns to chaos.
When Amani meets the foreigner again she discovers he’s wanted by the royal army. Without asking why or how she lets him hide in her store. She realizes that the foreigner is her only way out of town after the shooting competition plan failed, and she’s right. Jin, the foreigner, gets her out of Dustwalk but he refuses to take her to Izman.
So Amani -knowing how to take care of her own after her mother’s untimely death a couple of years ago- drugs Jin, and slips away from his grasp with a few of his belongings but fate seems to have another plan. On her way to Izman, Amani will have to face angry royal guards, an upset cousin and some kickass new abilities that’ll turn her whole world upside down.
Okay… I have to admit that the storyline was pretty killer. I enjoyed it very much and it did draw me in. The dialogues between characters were on point and witty, and made me laugh so much. To top that all of, the chemistry between Jin and Amani is AJFIREHFORVJBOWEVUEBEIOBVRJEIGBJRIBV *jumps up and down*
But the actual writing…. I don’t know. It felt so weird at times. Like when the author tried to describe certain colors. The metaphors she used were a little excessive and she kept using the same ones throughout the story. It bothered me a lot… BUT, that said, I think it just needs some time to mature since this is her debut novel in her first trilogy series.
I’m really looking forward to the second novel and I will definitely read it because this series has so much potential. The characters are great, the setting is amazing which is Miraji -a country containing 90% desert and a few cities/villages- and its legends and myths. I love the magical elements to the story such as the Djinn and the First Beings. They add a mysterious note to an already secretive story.