book review

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Rebel of the SandsTitle: Rebel of the Sands

            ( Rebel of the Sands #1 )

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

First published: 4. February 2016.

Edition: Faber & Faber

                 Kindle Edition, 322 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Magic

Summary: “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 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.

Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►


One of the things that I adore about fantasy, as a genre, is the world that’s created inside the novel, or series. I just love exploring new and fantastic worlds when reading!

Now with that being said I absolutely adored the world of Rebel of the Sands. I have never actually read a story that’s set in a desert, so I found the whole concept very unique and refreshing. It also has Middle Eastern influences, which I found to be an amazing addition to the story – especially since it’s not something that I’m very familiar with, I loved reading and learning more about it.

As we progress throughout the story we find out more and more about the magic elements of this world and the mythology. I’m a big fan of both in general, and in this book they were wonderfully written and were told as folk tales, which is a medium I enjoy a lot. Sometimes it did feel as if the information was dumped on us, but I could deal with that and it didn’t bother me that much.


Amani is freaking amazing! She is the female protagonist and the one who we follow throughout the whole story. I absolutely loved her! She is a “tough girl” who is an amazing shot, she is also very resourceful and can take care of herself. Sometimes with “tough heroines” they can be annoying, but Amani wasn’t like that – not even close! She is also very flawed and made a lot of mistakes, and I loved her for it. Plus she has some major character development that made me VERY happy!

Jin, the main male protagonist, is wonderful as well! He is also very “tough” and resourceful plus he is very sassy (which is always a plus in my book). It was a pleasure reading about him. He is also a flawed character, which I appreciated greatly. The interactions between him and Amani are freaking amazing – I found myself grinning and laughing a lot. They are just sooo cute together!

There were many interesting side-characters as well. I was interested in most of them and their stories, which doesn’t often happen with me. Plus the sass throughout this book was simply wonderful. (Just thought I would mention that as well.) Side note – I loved the names of the characters that the author choose. They were quiet unique!


The story is seriously fast paced and filled with action. And I enjoyed nearly all of it. Here lies the reason for taking a half star of the rating for this book. I predicted the major revelation/plot twist (don’t worry I won’t mention it), for me it was quiet obvious. Though there were also a few twists that I didn’t see coming. I can’t go much into detail about this without spoiling it. I’ll only say that the action was amazing, the ending left me wanting to read the next book right away! (Which is sadly not possible.)


I simply adored this book! It was a very refreshing read for me. I loved the characters, the world was wonderful and the magic and mythology just added to it.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone!

Thank you for reading my review! And a big thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you want to read it? Let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful day!



12 thoughts on “Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton || ARC Review

  1. Great review Anna!
    I really loved this book so I am so glad you really enjoy it as well. The world-building and the setting were my favourite aspects of Rebel of the Sands just because the magic, mythology and Middle-Eastern influences were amazingly done.
    And of course Amani was an amazing character. The twist that was revealled about her completely threw me, I didn’t see it coming but it was a brilliant addition to her character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      It was seriously amazingly done! It was my favourite part of the book as well. I’m seriously exited to see where the next book is going to go and what new mythology/magic elements will be introduced.
      She really was, I adored her. YES! I didn’t see it coming at all and it was a brilliant addition. I also loved the way it was revealed and explained why she didn’t know that about herself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! 😀
        Oh yes I am completely the same, some of my favourite books are those with amazing settings and Rebel of the Sands is definitely the same, I can’t wait to see more of the world in the second book!
        I was so shocked because I didn’t see it coming, normally I do with certain twists but this one was completely out of the blue and it just made me love the book even more!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Amazing world building just makes the book more wonderful!
          Same! I usually see the twist coming (well most of them). I saw the one with Jin coming a mile away but the one with Amani seriously surprised me! And it also made me love the book more! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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