Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Rebel Of The Sands #1
Published by Viking Books on March 8, 2016
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it´s an unforgiving place, especially if you´re poor, orphaned, or female. Amani Al´Hiza is all three. She´s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can´t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she´s destined to wind up wed or dead. Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she´s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she´d gallop away on mythical horse – or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
If you like fantasy combined with a hint of the orient, some far away legends and a young woman who has a great ability to show the unthinkable, then you will find in this book a very entertaining story.
Yes, Rebel of the Sands sums it pretty much up, what this book is all about.
Amani wants to go away from the house everyone except her calls her home. With the death of her mother, she had to move into the house of her aunt and uncle. The first sees her as a thread, the later as a new wife. Both is not good in Amani´s eyes and so she starts to plan when and how to leave this place of thread. And when she meets this stranger one night at a shooting club, she knows that her time has come. A time she´d never thought would turn out the way it did and who brings her new things she never knew would be possible.
From the beginning, the reader is catapulted in a mixture of oriental ambience, magic and the hard and very strict world girls live in. They are not allowed to do many things besides cleaning the house and find a man, get married and start their own family away from the one they came.
Amani is a sixteen-year-old teenager, who wants to leave this tiny world and go to a town where she believes that everything is better - has to be better. From her personal point of view, the reader starts to see what it looks like to want things that seem out of reach, to be treated as if you´d have no brain and as if you were nothing but weak and a burden.
Alwyn Hamilton uses a soft but very poetic language. She allows her figures to speak open in a way that lets you listen that makes you look closer to what happens. There is action, yes, and some scenes are actually filled with it. But in a way that you can´t take your eye off. It is as if Amani dances a beautiful but deadly dance when she fights against the creatures that come out during a desert night.
This novel contains a very strong main figure, who can and does things you wouldn´t expect her to do. You are taken into a world where some things better stay hidden to give you the chance to survive and where girls mean less than a cat in the street.
Alwyn Hamilton created with Amani a young, strong girl who wants more; way more than she will ever be able to have in her hometown. Amani is a figure and character who is willing to fight for what she wants, to fight if she has to, to prevent herself from being part in plans that aren´t her plans. And she knows what to say and when.
I was impressed and had a beauty before my inner eyes that were so breathtaking and shaken, that I can´t wait to read the next book. There has to be something more, that Amani is looking for and I want to know what that is. So this first book is one I recommend for everyone who looks for some fantasy, magic, and oriental ambience in one place.
I read the German edition new release by cbt on August 22, 2016.
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King´s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.