Review: Rebel of the Sands


Rebel of the Sands
By Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Source: Netgalley
Format: e-ARC
Published: 4th February 2016 by Faber & Faber
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance,

"Tell me that and we'll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that's how you want your story to go and we'll write it straight across the sand."

Dustwalk is Amani's home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need.

Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan's enemies are on the rise...

**I received a free e-book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does in no way alter my opinions**

I’ve been wanting this book for so long, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I was so excited to read it!! I’d heard pretty much only good things before reading, so my expectations were pretty high. It did disappoint me a bit, but I still enjoyed the book, just not as much as I hoped I would. It was extremely well written, but some things let it down (for me).

The main fault I had was the pacing. I really liked the opening - it was fast and very exciting, but after that, it dipped for a bit. There were lots of exciting action scenes, which were written so well, but there was also a lot of world-building at the start which took a long time. This book took me ages to get into, and it never had me completely hooked. There were just some really slow points that let it down. 

I really loved the protagonist, Amani. Right from the start, I was rooting for her - she was so badass, and amazing at fighting, right from the first page. I loved how she was really emotionally strong as well; even when going through really tough circumstances, she didn’t crack or become irritating to read about. I liked the way she was flawed too! Amani wasn’t perfect, but that’s what made her feel more real, and made me care about her even more. 

The romance was executed very well too. I liked the way it was slow-burning throughout novel - the love interest had an instant connection with Amani, but they weren’t involved romantically straight away too. There was no insta-love at all!

The love interest was a really interesting character. I liked him, and liked him with Amani, because he was so caring and selfless. He genuinely cared for Amani and put her first, but didn’t try to hinder her when she was being such a badass. He was a strong character too, and I enjoyed reading about him!

I loved the setting. Although at the start the world building became a bit info-dumpy, I found it so interesting, because the culture is so different to what we have in modern society. Most dystopian settings have some resemblance to today, but I found it much harder to see in this book. I liked the beautiful descriptions of the deserts, and the rich language and specialist terminology made the book so much more unique. 

Overall, I’d really recommend this if you’re prepared to sit through lengthy descriptions, to get to a stunning setting. The characters are so likeable, and the plot is so original, so even if you get bored with the slow pacing, it’s still a really interesting book. It’s a really unique and diverse read!

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