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Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Monday, August 29, 2016
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Goodreads Summary

Amani depends on her shooting skills to get her out of her small town. She enters a contest as a boy and ends up leaving suddenly when the chance turns up. Jin, a mysterious foreigner, provided her with an escape plan...and more danger. Amani and Jin strike up a sort-of friendship and later, a romance. 

I liked how the author kept Amani's and Jin's relationship realistic. They did not always get along and did not always like each other. It wasn't a sudden romance, but a slow burn. Amani was smart, fun, and cocky. I think I would have liked her in real life. Jin was charismatic, gruff (at times), and devastatingly handsome. I did like that the author didn't focus the entire book on the romance; there was plenty scenes with just Amani or focused on only Amani. At times, I felt the plot could have been a little tighter. I loved the mythical world-building, but I wouldn't have minded a little more background. Overall, this would be a fun read for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

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