What I Liked the Most About Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

Posted August 11, 2016 by Pamela Nicole in Discussions, Reviews / 4 Comments

What I Liked the Most About Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn HamiltonRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on March 8th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Legends, Myths, Fables, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased


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.



A very popular book in #bookstagram, and the bookworm world in genera for its gorgeous cover, I decided to give it a go by asking my mom to get it for me. She sent it to me recently and from the three that this faboulous woman got me, this was the one I read first.

There were many things that I liked, even loved about Rebel of the Sands, but what I liked the most was definitely the mythology aspect.


Persian Folklore?

I wouldn’t know for sure, since I don’t know a lot about persian culture, though I have always found what little I do know about it quite fascinating! But whatever it is, the culture of the characters plays a really big part in the story since it ultimately all boils down to the legends and myths that they believe in.


But come on, this isn’t the first book ever to use mythology heavily in their plot. No, but I do feel it was very, very nicely done in this one, and specially because it’s a mythology we don’t see often.


Why I loved this mythology in particular

  • It’s not common in YA literature
  • It got me really interested in knowing more about it
  • The blend in the story was simply magical


Of course mythology isn’t but a part of a larger very important aspect of any fantasy story: World-building.


Amani’s culture

Amani’s culture sucks. Women are not worth a lot and well, the jobs suck for everyone too. And I love it! I love it because it creates the perfect backdrop for someone to rise against these circumstances and try to have a better life.

Besides, this scenario is very real in some places, and while there are a ton of things that are at play there, I have to say that I’ll never agree with the men supremacy thing a lot of cultures have going on. Guys are awesome, cute smart bookworm guys are better, but I’ll never stand for anyone treating women like interchangeable accesories.




You should read Rebel of the Sands if

  • You read Six of Crows and loved Jesper
  • Like vivid desert imagery
  • You’re a mysterious powerful desert spirit
  • You’ve read the Scorpio Races and loved those cute killer horsies
  • Like badass ships


What are your favorite mythologies to see represented in fantasy books?




Hi, I’m Pamela, your curly-haired bookdragon friend, here to talk about books, writing, introversion, and everything creativity! I also teach creative writing through workshops and online courses to spanish-speaking writers.

Liked this content? Get instant updates

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

4 responses to “What I Liked the Most About Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

  1. Oh wow, this novel sounds really, really good. I heard mostly good things about it, but I still took it off my tbr shelf for some reason??? I tend to go too far with deleting novels from my tbr sometimes. lol Anyhow, I LOVE novels that heavily feature mythology – especially, if it’s completely new to me, something I’ve barely heard of before.
    Glad you enjoyed this one!
    Veronika Éles recently posted this awesome thing…My Thoughts On The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Spoiler Free)My Profile

    • NOO If it’s about the mythology, then this one is really amazing in that aspect. Not that everything else is poop. It’s great too, but the fantasy part was what stood out the most for me.