Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | Book Review


Image result for rebel of the sands coverTitle: Rebel of the Sands
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #1
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Published: 03/08/16
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
Pages: 320
My Rating: 3.5 / 5
Goodreads page

There are no spoilers in this review.



Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)



This story takes place in the desert. My first thought when I started reading was how the heck do these people survive in such a place? It would take some crazy strength in order to live where there’s basically nothing but sand and metal. I wouldn’t be able to handle all the heat and sand. Plus, my skin would burn and break out like crazy.

My heart hurts whenever I read books where the protagonist is dealt bad luck blow after blow. It’s so sad how cruel the world is to them and I can’t stand it. Amani is probably one of the unluckiest characters I’ve read about because she cannot catch a break. There was never a time she wasn’t either running or fighting. That takes a toll on a person, and my heart ached for her.

Also, I easily get super emotional over fictional characters so… yeah.

The reason I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars is because a lot of the story was the same throughout: running. All the characters were doing was running away from their enemies most of the time and there wasn’t much action. The action only came in the last couple chapters where everything explosive happened.

With all the hype that was surrounding this story when it came out and all the raving reviews I’ve read, I expected more from this. Maybe it’s because I’ve reading nothing but YA fantasy lately, but I found the story kind of boring because the premise of a girl dressing up as a boy to survive and trying to escape a small town is pretty common in the young adult fantasy genre. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, though. Am I even making sense? I don’t know… it’s hard to explain.

I don’t hate this novel, but I don’t absolutely adore it like a lot of other people do. To me, this is your average YA fantasy novel. If you’re looking for one, this won’t disappoint.



Amani Al’Hiza

It’s so sad that in a lot of fantasy worlds, many female protagonist has to start off dressing up like a boy in order to survive. Kind of says something about the real world, too.

Ajinahd “Jin” Al’Oman Bin Izman

The romantic in me loves this guy so much.


He’s one of my favorite characters just because he’s the little kernel of kindness in a town filled with desperation and dread.


She has the attitude of a stepsister in Cinderella. Have some heart, geez.

Fazim Al’Motem

He’s like the other ugly stepsister in Cinderella because everything he does is for self-gain. It’s kind of sad.

the uncle and aunt

And while we’re talking about family, the aunt and uncle that raises Amani are like the evil stepmother in Cinderella, hating on Amani because of her mother (aka the aunt’s sister) and making her do almost all the work. Among other things….


Not sure whether or not to like this guy just yet.

Commander Naguib

Family drama is always so lovely, isn’t it?



I give this book 3.5 / 5 BBC Sherlock heads.



Until next time….


12 thoughts on “Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | Book Review

  1. RibbonReviews 08/07/2017 / 1:44 pm

    Hey!😄 Tha ks for the honest review! I was thinking about reading Rebel of Sands too because so many people loved it but as Inread your review, I was thinking twice. After all, I don’t like it when everything happens in the end. Do you really think that the premise is so common in YA fantasy? I’ve never read a book like that !😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 08/07/2017 / 2:43 pm

      As an avid YA fantasy reader, I’ve come across some books with the same premise. Maybe it’s because I read all those books with the same storyline recently, but I was a bit bored while I was reading Rebel of the Sands. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have interesting elements to it, though! I especially liked the element of folklore/mythology the author included.


        • Jessica 08/07/2017 / 3:03 pm

          I really enjoyed A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (it’s the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series) and Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (which has the same-girl-dressed-up-as-boy-escaping-something story) recently. What are some books that you’ve enjoyed recently? I’ve been trying to find new books to add to my TBR 😀


          • RibbonReviews 08/07/2017 / 3:17 pm

            I really loved Blackwing by Ed McDonald and the Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner. The book I was most torn about recently was The Fith Ward which I actually wrote a post about 😂 I can also recommend the Red Winter series by Anette Marie. I read the ACOTAR series too though i never understood which fairy tale it was supposed to retell 😂

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jessica 08/07/2017 / 3:21 pm

              I’ll make sure to go check those out! The first book in the ACOTAR series is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast while the second is of Hades and Persephone. I’m not sure what the third book was retelling, though. 😂


            • RibbonReviews 08/07/2017 / 3:22 pm

              I really wouldn’t have been able to tell, really.. do you think there is a resemblance, except for superficial ones?

              Liked by 1 person

            • Jessica 08/07/2017 / 3:29 pm

              Not really. I think the author only meant to base the story loosely around the fairy tales. Who knows?


            • RibbonReviews 08/07/2017 / 3:32 pm

              True. Maybe it was just a marketing strategy 😂😂 eho knows? 😉

              Liked by 1 person

  2. gumersindo 09/28/2017 / 6:46 am

    . I’ve never register a ledger like that !


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