Y’all. Let us discuss this whirlwind. It wasn’t completely unique and the “twist” wasn’t too big of a shock, but it was so enjoyable. It definitely felt like the plot was formulaic, and the sequel’s synopsis doesn’t really intrigue me, but this was definitely such a great read that I may reread one day!
Rebel of the Sands is about Amani, a young girl in an fictional Middle Eastern country who is the best shot in all the land. She attends an illegal shooting competition and soon ends up escaping the small town she’s always hated and learning that the desert has so much more to hide than she ever thought possible.
The plot was really a 2-3 star plot, but that last star comes in because AMANI IS MY QUEEN. She’s such a feminist icon, and I can’t help but love her so much. Jin is great, he’s still kind of cookie cutter, but with more energy and mischief. Their relationship evolves very well and it didn’t annoy me in the least, but I could see how some people would find it not the best, if you know what I mean.
There’s also a good bit of mythology that really contributed to the higher rating, because I found it so damn intriguing. You’ve got djinns and other magical, mythical creatures, including giant, wicked-fast horses and people who can turn into animals. The mythology interwoven into the culture of the book was done very well and I would definitely read more books about this whole world.
Like I said, the plot is your fairly basic “normal girl finds out she’s special and joins a larger movement” template, but the characters and world building make it one of the better ones out there, for sure. While I don’t necessarily plan on continuing the series anytime soon, it’s definitely not on my shit list and should I find the sequel, I may just get it because jumping back into the world is very tempting.
Let me know if you’ve read Rebel of the Sands and what you thought of it!