PUBLISHER: Penguin || PUBLICATION DATE: March 8th 2016 || GENRE: Fantasy
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. -goodreads"SHE'S MORE GUNPOWDER THAN GIRL."
Coarse sand rubbing against your skin, the cold, hard barrel of a gun pressed against your face; a pulsing noise reverberating in your ears, the wavering focus of bulls-eye. Amani''s world pushes its way into your mind and body, complete with scorching hot weather, sharpshooting and a desert sea rolling beneath your feet. Hamilton's debut holds a sensual world of fantasy, power and adventure within its pages, and a captivating cast of characters in its heart. REBEL OF THE SANDS is masterfully told, and encompasses a range of details that I always crave for in a book: strong female leads, unconventional and unique plots, and a nice chunk of action, complete with daring escapades and a gun. Something I appreciated most was the writing style: fantasies can quite often become over-written and flamboyant, while many action-packed books focus too much on the logistics and not enough on making the character's voices authentic and readable, while still keeping enough of the rich writing. Hamilton however, has managed to perfectly bridge the gap between beautiful writing and sharp-paced action scenes, while creating a host of characters you can feel a connection towards. Riveting, compelling and enticing, REBEL OF THE SANDS is one of the most inventive novels I have read this year.
(FUN FACT: my cousin is called Amani. still waiting on the day an MC has my name..)
*many thanks to the publishers for sending me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.