[620]: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton


This book was like a bag of chips. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. It was so easy to read with a story so addictive that you’d want to savor all its sandy glory. Prior to reading this book, I was worried that it would not be for me because my experience with this type of trope was limited to The Wrath and the Dawn. And I’m not going to lie I haven’t been able to finish that since I tried months and months ago. The story was as dry as the desert heat and I had a hard time following the story. But Rebel of the Sands surprised me. I liked it. I liked it a lot.


This is a story about one girl’s hopes and desire to find her place in the world; a world so unlike the one she knows. Where food is as abundant as the kindness she seeks. And where girls are respected and valued. She longed to be free from the shackles of her aunt’s cruelty and the sickening desire of her uncle to make her one of his wives. In her town, there are only two possibilities for a girl like her: to wed or end up dead. Forever a slave to the men of her family. She’s a self-taught sharpshooter, skilled and precise. So when she finally makes her escape, she’ll be sure to carry a gun with her.  When she meets the equally skilled foreigner at a shooting game, she saw her chance at freedom. But the foreigner had ulterior motives.

Through him, the adventure that she sought was more than she could ever bargain for. Fleeing on a mythical horse, she’ll find out that the foreigner is wanted for treason by the Sultan’s Army. But that doesn’t stop her from falling in love. What she doesn’t know is that Jin has the key to figuring out who she truly is and the role she must play in a war Jin and the Rebel Prince has been waging against the Sultan and his sons.


This book far exceeded my expectations. I never thought it was anything about magical, powerful shifters, or humans with extraordinary powers. It’s about a kingdom torn by an ambitious ruler who would sell his country to the foreigners if only to gain more power. It’s about a girl who believed in herself and her worth. Who would unselfishly risk her life to save others. Amani is an empowered, inspiring character. Nothing held her back on her quest to seek her own freedom. And she was not boy-crazy – which is refreshing considering how many heroines have been allowed to be distracted by the easy, charming smiles of their counterparts. Nope. While all she wanted is to be free in the beginning, she found a greater calling once she was at the rebel camp. She knew in her heart that she had to help out the people that she left behind because not helping would mean more death for her countrymen. Unlike her trust in Jin, she didn’t dare doubt her allegiance to the rebels. She stayed true even though she couldn’t grasp the truth about who she is at first.

The author was very skilled in giving us a bit of everything. She combined magic, fantasy, and romance into one engrossing story. Great debut, Ms. Hamilton. I for one, can’t wait for the next saga. There’s still so much to know about Amani. So much to know about where her relationship with Jin would go.

GOODREADS SUMMARY | Viking Books for YR | March 8th, 2016



  • This sounds like a great read Joy. I like the sound of Amani and this world that Hamilton created.

  • Not sure if this would be one for me but I am glad it’s such a good read for you! Excellent review!

  • This is so great to hear! I was actually really hesitant to read this because I have also only read The Wrath and the Dawn, and therefore have little experience with that trope. But also, I was just hearing so much about this book, that I didn’t want to let the hype get to me. But I’m glad you loved it Joy! Amani sounds fantastic!

  • Yay 😀 Gorgeous review Joy. <3 This was a four star for me too. I'm so glad you liked it so much 🙂 YAY. And yay for enjoying the romance. <3 I liked it so much, hih. I also cannot wait to read the sequel 🙂 I hope we will both love it. <3 Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts about this one 🙂

  • NEED. I’ve been interested in this one for awhile and now your review makes me even more excited. So many of the elements in this seem absolutely awesome. Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

  • So glad you hear you enjoyed this one! I have this on my bookshelf waiting to be read and I’ve heard such amazing things about this book and your review has me wanting to read it even more now! 😀

  • Reviews for this one have been overall positive, which is great, since I have pretty much hated all the YA fantasy that’s been released so far this year, and I’m starting to lose hope, haha. Lovely review!

  • I’ve just added this to my Goodreads and ohhhh it sounds glorious Joy! You had me at Amani wanting nothing more than her freedom, not a romance. I couldn’t agree more, so many YA heroines nowadays are made to be damsels in distress or sword wielding fighters, so its so refreshing to see that quiet determination and intelligence for once. I can’t wait to grab a copy now. Brilliant review Joy and thrilled that you enjoyed it so much <3

  • I have been drooling over this book ever since I saw the cover, so I’m glad the story is just as great! I’m sad to hear The Wrath and the Dawn was dry for you 🙁 I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve been wanting too!

  • I’m almost done with Rebel of the Sands and I’m loving it! Amani is such a great heroine – I love the fact she’s a sharp shooter.
    Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

    • Yay! Love her. Also, Ms. Hamilton is so in her elements!

  • I love a Pringles book! And I am liking the exotic feel of the myth.

    • Very exotic. I did have a tough time pronouncing some of the Arbic-esque points of reference, but all in all, it was a really good read. 🙂

  • Ever since I saw this book cover I have wanted to read it. Now I know I NEED to read it. Amani sounds like a great character.

    • Amani was a kick ass character! Especially when she realized what she can do. 🙂

  • It isn’t really my type of book but sometimes the characters are so great, the story just works even if you’re not into the setting or that particular genre.


    • It’s not mine either, but this was a well-written, well-conceptualized story. I hope you’ll give it a go, Stephanie. 🙂

  • You take such awesome pics

  • Definitely not my usual thing, but it sounds really good!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I feel like I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this one–either readers who really liked it or just didn’t enjoy it at all–so I’ll have to pick it up and try it out myself, it looks like. I’m excited to dive into the work of a new author and am glad this has your seal of approval. Wonderful review!

    • I was told this book is in the same vein as The Wrath and the Dawn, but I would disagree. This was better than that, I thought. I do hope you’ll give it a chance someday!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to hear you really enjoyed this one, since you didn’t enjoy your last foray into a similar novel. I’m so happy to hear the MC isn’t boy crazy!


  • I couldn’t get into The Wrath and the Dawn either so the fact that you liked this gives me hope that I’ll enjoy it too. I have it in my TBR pile, but am glad to know that the heroine isn’t boy-crazy.

    • I don’t know whether it’s the narration or what. But reading The Wrath was such a drag!

  • The hype around this book has been crazy lately. I don’t think I have seen a single negative review! And I sort of like it this way. I have it on my TBR and am currently still not regretting the decision of having put it there. I can’t wait to read this one or myself.

    • I do believe you’ll enjoy this one, Olivia. 😀

  • kindlemom1

    Oo I was going to try Wrath soon but now you have me worried about it. Maybe I should try this one instead? Glad you liked it and I love your analogy at the beginning. 😛

    • I don’t know. Maybe I’ll have a better experience if I read the book instead of listening to the audio? It’s so slow and the heroine just wasn’t floating my boat. Lol.

  • Jazmen

    I didn’t think I was going to be interested in reading this one but it sounds great. I’ll be adding this one to my TBR. I always need to read something great!

    • I hope you’ll get out of your reading rut soon, Jaz. <3

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    Awesome review! I must make time to read this one now…it sounds fantastic.

  • I hope to read this one soon. The characters in this book sound amazing! I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Great review!

    • Thanks, Carole. It’s an awesome book with fantastic characters. 🙂

  • I thought this was a great debut too! Actually, out of all the debut books this year, this one is the only one I had fun reading. The rest were very mediocre.
    There were some aspects I wanted more of like the romance (I bet you could have guessed that!), but I loved it for the most part and I think this is me being selfish.
    I’m happy you enjoyed it so much, Joy! 🙂
    Wonderful review!

    • Hopefully there’ll be more in the second instalment? *fingers crossed*

  • Melliane

    it’s great that it was even better than what you were expected! It looks really good and interesting there! thanks for the discovery!