Hello happy readers! I hope you had a better weekend than me. We have swapped to a new system at work and it is NOT user friendly and keeps crashing so lots of frustration to be had. Still trying to keep a positive attitude because I did get some reading time in and oh yeah Game of Thrones started last night!!! Something I did this year is also finally get to a book that had been on my TBR since last year, Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alywn Hamilton. I listened to the audiobook narration which I found quick and easy listening.
So the story follows Amani, a girl who grew up in the gunpowder city in the desert of Dustwalk. She'd taught herself to shoot with the best of guys in secret feeling herself with a pistol in her hands. The world is rules by mortals but Gene used to roam free with their magical off spring, djinni, and other magical creatures roaming around the desert. There are millions of stories about them and the past and Amani knows them all. Stuck under her Uncles care after her mother was hung she is bound and determined to escape and make it to her mothers home, the place she talked about so often. She meets Jin, a handsome foreigner who is also pretty good with a gun in a contest she is trying to win to secure funds for her travel. Things change and she is forced to adjust her plans. Jin seems like a better means of escape, fleeing from the Sultan's army with a treasonous fugitive who will help her figure out her place and who she really is.
I liked the idea of this story from the start giving me an Aladdin vibe. While I'm not a huge fan of deserts in person as I don't like the heat, sun, or sand I like reading about them. Following Amani and Jin on this journey was full of exciting moments. The scenery was well described with the different towns and the methods of travel. I really found myself captivated as it felt like the desert. Despite the magic it felt realistic, the fact that they were in the desert and the strain that puts on a person was never forgotten and that is always a plus.
Still like many books for me I fell in love with the characters. Amani was bad ass. She wasn't happy with her situation and what was to happen to her so she changed things. She took charge and wasn't going to let anyone made decisions about her life for her just because she is a SHE. Even as she starts to develop feelings for Jin she doesn't let that cloud her judgment completely but simply a factor to be considered along with all the other options. I respected her for that. Jin, I had my ups and downs with him at times but far more ups to be sure. I liked his attitude form the beginning and most important is he doesn't underestimate her simply for being a female. He never considers her weak but instead expects more of her knowing her grit. I also adored some of the others as we got to meet them as the story progressed.
The story morphs from one of escape to one of rebellion and I love it. I enjoyed how the story had lots of twists and turns and always kept the pace moving. It walked a line of real and magical well as there would be times when you don't realize the world has magic until you are faced with a magical sand horse or a djinni who can use their powers. It's like a world within a world and I love it. The political aspect of the Sultan and the Rebel Prince, the foreigner soldiers that practically rule nation taking what they are allowed and more.
It was fascinating and I can't wait to read the sequel, which thankfully as I waited so long to get to this is already out. I just have to wait for my next credit to kick in and I will be able to start on the sequel which has me equal parts excited and nervous given where things are.
Until next time…