Rebel of the Sands

Alwyn Hamilton. Viking, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-47753-8
Still mourning the hanging of her mother for killing her father, 16-year-old Amani Al’Hiza seeks to escape the quiet, oppressive town of Dustwalk before her uncle takes her as one of his brides. With unusual blue eyes, sharpshooter skills, and no shortage of daring, Amani joins up with Jin, a lawless adventurer. Disguised as a boy, Amani travels with Jin across the desert and the Sand Seas, defending herself against “Nightmares,” “Skinwalkers,” and the pursuit of the Sultan of Miraji’s army and allies. Debut author Hamilton combines elements of Western and Middle Eastern civilization and lore with her own mythology, crafting an enticing, full-bodied story. Upon meeting the Rebel Prince, one of the sultan’s sons who promises leadership founded on equality and justice, Amani discovers her true identity and must choose between striking out on her own or defending the prince and his followers against a dangerous weapon. Through some of the metaphors can feel forced (“The rails were as empty as a drunk’s liquor bottle on prayer day”), Hamilton successfully mingles romance with thrilling stakes, and hints at a welcome sequel. Ages 12–up. Agent: Molly Ker Hawn, Bent Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 03/08/2016
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 336 pages
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