Dual Book Review: Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne

In Review:

Content Warning: Some mild language

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton 

Official Blurb: 

"Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew."

I thought the story location/world was interesting (and semi confusing) because it's based off of the American Old West, but yet...also the Middle East? It was kind of weird at first, but Alwyn Hamilton made it work.

I really liked the character voice. The book is told in first person narrative and you can really feel Amani's personality in the writing.

 “I wasn’t up to no good. Then again, I wasn’t exactly up to no bad neither.”

Amani also isn't a "let's save" everyone kind of person. She's more of a "I would totally run in the middle of the night with everything we have and leave you to die" kind of person and, as horrible as that sounds, it was also super refreshing. And amusing.

Because I'm a horrible person, apparently.

And of course we have Jin.

“I don't mean to worry you and all," I said, trying to keep my voice calm, "but have you noticed that you've been shot?"
"Ah." Looking at him closer now, I could see he was clutching the counter to stay upright. "I'd almost forgotten about that.”

And Shazad, who is the coolest girl ever. (But we shan't get into that.)

My biggest problem with this book was the fact that as I read, I felt this overhanging cloud of doom looming above...It was a pretty cool book.

But there are some books that you read and you love and even if they has a horrible sequel you'd continue to love them. (And probably pretend the sequel didn't exist...)

And then you have the books that you read and they're ok, but you know that the sequel is everything. If the sequel is horrible and cliche, then you'll hate them both. The second will ruin the first for you.
Or the sequel might be amazing and make the first book even better!

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton 
I spent the entire time reading Rebel of the Sands worrying about the next book...but I didn't have to.
Traitor to the Throne is the sequel to Rebel of the Sand and I. LOVED. IT.

The characters were amazing and the new ones introduced were just as good as the old. And then they made me (MADE ME!) like characters I'd hated when I was introduced to them and they made me despise characters I'd liked when I first met them...

The snark continues...

 I wouldn't point fingers if I were you. You know what they say: those who point fingers wind up with them broken so badly they point straight back at them

And the emotion!

(Pain is an emotion, right?)

I won't go into it (spoilers, m'dears) but this book was an emotional roller coaster.

 Emotions ranged from giddy joy (over the cuteness of the ships) to snickering at something snarky (from Amani's inner dialog) to shocked horror to rage! RAGE! *ahem* to exasperation to goofy grins (from shipping side characters) to SCREAMING IN ABSOLUTE PAIN!!!*

I'm kidding.


Of course I'm kidding. Would I lie to you?

-Mary Kate

*Please note: There was no actual screaming. I am a silent reader! (It was also 2 am)


  1. These sound really good... and fun. I love books that make you feel emotion while you read them and so far have found very few. Hopefully our library has them!

    1. Have you read the Illuminae Files? Because those are pretty crazy to your emotions. (The content isn't always the best though if that bugs you...)

  2. I keep seeing Rebel of the Sands. Need to check these out, I live for sass.

  3. I was actually just going to start reading the first book......CAN YOU READ MY MIND OR SOMETHING!!!

  4. I realize that my content warning sounds like its for the post instead of the books...whoops?

    1. I got the original meaning at least. And I do like the sound of these books...