REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #1)

Rebel of the SandsTitle: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Pages: 358
Published by: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 4th February 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Amazon UK – Waterstones


Tell me how you want your story to go, he says, and we’ll write it straight across the sand.

Dustwalk is an unforgiving, dead-end town. It’s not the place to be poor or orphaned or female. And yet Amani Al’Hiza must call it ‘home’.

Amani wants to escape and see the world she’s heard about in campfire stories.

Then a foreigner with no name turns up, and with him she has the chance to run.

But the desert plains are full of dangerous magic. The Sultan’s army is on the rise and Amani is soon caught at the heart of a fearless rebellion…

An epic story of swirling desert sands, love, magic and revolution.

My review:

Whilst I thought the plot of this book was super interesting, mainly because I had never encountered a book with a storyline like this, it sadly didn’t capture my attention as I first thought it would. I really struggled with this book and I thought it had a lot of issues. I noticed a lot of errors and mistakes early on but I was determined to give it a chance and finish it.

The start of the book really grabbed my attention and managed to hold it for the first few chapters but then I felt my interest start to fizzle out. I felt like Amani escaped from Dustwalk too quickly and too easily. I was disappointed because I felt like we should have spent more time in Dustwalk. Every event that happens in the book lasts maybe a few paragraphs at most and I just think it all ends too quickly. A lot of the book felt really rushed because of this and I had to step away from it for a day or two before coming back to it.

I found that it was really hard to follow and it threw me off how much the story switches between the past and the present. I felt that you were given too much all at once and it was hard to digest what was happening because then you were literally thrown another piece of the puzzle and it became very confusing for me, personally. A lot of the book is built from stories and past events and Amani constantly tries to keep you in the loop. It frustrated me so much how she would randomly start talking about something that happened in the past and then with a jolt you would come back to the present matter at hand. Time and time again I had to put the book down to try and digest the story but it was too confusing for me to follow. I did manage to finish the book but I’m still not entirely sure what I have read and if I even understand it all.

The end of the book gets really interesting and I finally felt myself being pulled back to it. I didn’t expect the plot twist at the end and it points you towards all the little foreshadowings at the start which I was really pleased about. I love when an author has the ability to do that and gets you noticing things you thought nothing of previously. I also love how Amani finally feels like she belongs somewhere after being alone for so long. I did enjoy reading about her relationship with Jin but I felt like the romance between them appeared out of nowhere even though I was expecting it since the beginning.

I do think that this book is a really unique idea for a trilogy and I think it has the potential to be great. I just don’t think this book is for me and at this current time I have no desire to read the next book when it comes out.

Favourite quotes:

“Tell me how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand to the sea.”

“You can’t judge me for wanting to be more than just another worthless grain in this desert. Not when you were born so much more than this. Not when you were born powerful and important.”

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