Review Blog

Mar 14 2016

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

cover image

Rebel of the Sands bk 1. Faber and Faber, 2016. ISBN 9780571325252
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Fantasy. Desert. Western. Amani lives in the desolate town of Dustwalk and she loves the desert sands. She is convinced that there is more to life than the stifling attitudes to women and marriage that her family practises and decides to enter a shooting contest, disguised as a young man. When the contest falls into chaos, she has the chance to run with a foreigner, but life is full of danger and the Sultan's soldiers are on the prowl.
Hamilton has used an intriguing combination of the Western genre, with its sharp shooting and wild frontier and desert life, where nomads struggle to bring camel laden supplies across the desert. Add mythical half human and half magic people with amazing powers, a rebel prince who is trying to bring peace and prosperity to his people and some amazing adventures and the book is a winner.
Amani is a wonderful protagonist. Told in the first person she brings a wry commentary and vivid descriptions of the landscape and the main characters. Her wry sense of humour is very engaging and her amazing skill as a sharpshooter grabs the reader as she struggles to better her life, while engaging in thrilling adventures - including a battle on a moving train and fights against a magical creature. Jin, the foreigner, is also very appealing, and the slow burning romance is sure to be popular.
Rebel of the sands ends with a satisfying conclusion, but there is plenty of scope left for more in the series, and I look forward to reading them.
Pat Pledger

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Books for boys