Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fantasy Romance Adventure Pick: Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands
by Alwyn Hamilton
Viking
2016
314 pages
ISBN: 9780451477538


Editorial Reviews

Review

Raves for REBEL OF THE SANDS:* “Romantic, thrilling, hilarious, and just plain great fun.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “This atmospheric fantasy combines magic, mythology, and the Wild West to create a riveting tale...an exciting, romantic adventure that is unique and all its own.”—Booklist, starred review

* “If the best of the Old West and the coolest parts of Arabian Nights had a baby who then rebelled by going steampunk, the result would be this gem of a book.”—BCCB, starred review

* “Readers will be drawn into the story and won’t want to put this book down.”—School Library Connections, starred review

Rebel of the Sands is a winning bit of storytelling, as well as a homage to storytelling itself. It evokes such disparate influences — 1,001 Arabian Nights, Hindu lore and Navajo myth, as well as, inevitably, the triumvirate of Tolkien, Lucas and Rowling — that at times you wonder whether Hamilton can pull it all off. She can. She has circled a spot on the map and claimed it for her own.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Debut author Hamilton combines elements of Western and Middle Eastern civilization and lore with her own mythology, crafting an enticing, full-bodied story . . .  successfully mingles romance with thrilling stakes, and hints at a welcome sequel.”—Publishers Weekly“A perfect combination of American Westerns and Arabian myths . . . Fans of Sarah Maas and Victoria Aveyard should give this one a try.” —VOYA

Rebel of the Sands is vivid, romantic, and wildly entertaining. You will cheer for Amani the whole way as she escapes the bonds of oppression and finds her own power, and you will mark your calendar for the sequel.”—Rae Carson, bestselling author of the Fire & Thorns trilogy

“Buckle up for a wild ride! Rebel of the Sands is a stunning debut full of irresistible energy, heart-stopping action, and a new voice that sings.”—Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona

As sweeping as the sands of time, the epic story of Amani Al'Hiza and the kingdom of Miraji, will excite and delight scores of readers. Amani refuses to be pigeon holed as just a lowly girl in this male dominated  kingdom. Amani can shoot a gun better than any man. She is fierce and a fighter, competitive in every aspect of her being. She longs for escape from the small and backward desert outpost of Dustwalk. Its sad shops and even sadder people are stifling.

Hoping to win a shooting match, Amani disguises herself as a boy and enters (I think, give a girl a gun, and I'm in). It is soon clear that even if she wins, the crowd of betters and thugs will never let her escape with her winnings. It's down to three competitors. The blue eyed Bandit (Amani), a handsome foreigner, and a very drunk, very loud behemoth. Amani and the newcomer make a deal to throw the game and the house will still pay them and the drunk will win. An epic brawl breaks out with Amani and the man fleeing.

Now penniless, Amani doesn't know what to do. The gods are smiling upon her when a Buraqi enters her village. If she is able to catch the magic beast, she can use it to escape and later sell it at a huge profit. Amani and Jin escape the town and the Sultan's forces by train, This is the first leg of their journey which will test their strength and spirit.

Secrets will be revealed and old magic will come alive as Amani and Jin manage to keep each other alive and on the move. Vivid world building and breakneck action will keep readers turning the pages. Think Arabian Nights and  epic western. Some may find the foreign names a bit of a mouthful, but like Russian novels, if you can get past the names, the story is intense.

Highly recommended grade 8-up. Mature situations.

FTC Required Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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