Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
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.
Sign me up for all Middle Eastern fantasy books featuring djinn, mythical horses and Western gun-slinging female leads. Recommended for fantasy lovers looking for a bit of a mashup between Middle Eastern mythology and old West kind of vibes.
I didn’t love this as much as I thought I would. Amani was a great character for the first half, until she falls to my least favorite trope of the young adult literature era – romance. I was hoping she would remain a regular character, and not fall to that trope as well but I already had a feeling it would go in that direction.
I loved the “twist” in the end. I only call it a twist because it was the one part I didn’t really expect. This book is slow paced. Nothing happens in the first three-quarters of the book, and then the last quarter includes some major developments, conflict and enough of a cliffhanger to make me want to pick up the second book (out this month).