Going in to this book, I was excited but apprehensive. Though the plot sounded like a really unique fantastical idea, it also sounded quite complicated. There were so many fictional names of places and people, and on top of that, there’s this world’s own magical history; it all got a little bit overwhelming at times. I’m also really unsure as to when this book was set. I understand that it’s set in Miraji, which is like a Middle-Eastern/Wild-West inspired country with a whole lot of desert, but I have still have no idea of a time period?!
I loved that you’re thrown straight into the action. The first couple of chapters really do get you hooked, and they set up the rest of the book really well. You can’t help but anticipate the thrilling adventures Jin and Amani will go on.
About half way through the book, more about the country’s history is mentioned through old tales. Though at times it probably would’ve been easier to be straight-forward and just read it as facts, the stories did help instill the fact that this is a book set in a country where your belief is a huge part of who you are. The culture and the way people live is so unusual to me and I’m intrigued to learn about how this world works. Also, there are some beautiful descriptions of places in this book. It really made the world easier to picture.
The romance between Amani and Jin is subtle and definitely not a major part of this book, but still very sweet and a nice break from reading about their struggles sometimes. I’m so happy that Jin knew Amani was the Blue-Eyed Bandit when he saw her, and it wasn’t a dragged-out secret that would eventually cause unnecessary drama. I’m excited to see what comes of their complicated relationship.
There are so many shocks in this novel but my favourite by far is the huuuge plot twist towards the end of the book. I was about 100 pages away from being done, and then BAM. It was then that I knew the book wasn’t going to leave my hands until I read the very last page.
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Title: Rebel of the Sands
Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
Published: March 2016
Star Rating: ★★★★☆