I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn HamiltonRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published by Faber & Faber on February 4th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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"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.

What I thought

Rebel of the Sands is MAGICAL. As one of my most anticipated releases it is always a bit scary to start reading it, because what if you don’t enjoy it, at all?! Crisis averted, because it lived up to every single expectation I had and smashed the ones I didn’t know I had! It was awesome.

Amani is the embodiment of a tough woman

The main character, Amani, managed to surprise me from the very beginning of the story. Amani is the embodiment of a tough woman. We all know how I like my heroines to be kickass, well, Amani takes kickass to a whole new level. She’s mouthy (she’s got a serious case of speak first and think later going on, and that smart mouth of hers lands her in quite some trouble every now and then), she’s got heart, and has a beautiful wild spirit. Her amazing personality and sheer determination not to bow down to society will have you rooting for her in no time. Her character development throughout Rebel of the Sands is such a big part of the book, I loved how much she changed and matured after leaving Dustwalk behind.

Full of action and adventure

Combine great characters with a FANTASTIC plot, and you’ve got me hooked. Rebel of the Sands is fast paced; full of action and adventure throughout the whole book. There was always something going on, and this will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you’re reading. An extraordinary setting with vivid descriptions of the Maraji and their traditions, filled with folklore (I LOVE FOLKLORE) that will teach you the stories of the Djinni, ghouls, and magic. I am in love, this story is so incredibly authentic that you won’t be able to do anything else but fall in love.

Sweet and subtle romance

Mysterious foreigner? Check, and boy do I like him! Jin and Amani’s fun banter are a big part of why I enjoyed Rebel of the Sands so much. A slow-building romance, yes that’s right a slow-burner peeps! No insta-love, just a relationship that slowly builds, has bumps along the way, and evolves into something beautiful. The romance isn’t the whole story; it’s not hot and heavy that it becomes the center of the book; it’s subtle and sweet, slowly creeping up on you (I’m getting all the feels again just thinking back to it!).

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

Rebel of the Sands is a GREAT debut. It has everything you need and more: a strong heroine, a FANTASTIC plot, great world-building, and a sweet and slow-burning romance! It’s an amazing start to a series and so so promising for the books that will follow after it. Only thing I have left to say is: READ THIS!