Wow! What a beautiful debut novel. Absolutely stunning description and story telling.
Alwyn has created a whole world full of cultures, beliefs and history that are so well embedded throughout REBEL OF THE SANDS that it is hard to believe they are not fact.
The book follows the story of Amani, a young woman desperate to escape her tough life in a desert town. As an orphaned girl she is worthless and her uncle wants to marry her off quickly. Disguising herself as a boy she enters a shooting competition to raise funds to aid her escape. At this event she meets Jin, and her life changes.
Amani’s eyes are opened to a world beyond her small dusty town and political issues that had never concerned her before. Jin, a rather gorgeous young man, and Armani find themselves unavoidably drawn together.
She never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing a murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason.
As I have already mentioned, Alwyn has created this whole world which is socially diverse with beliefs that thread in and out of Amani’s story sometimes controlling her, sometimes limiting her, sometimes releasing her.
The whole character arc is so well paced and natural. The relationships Amani builds are wonderfully developed as time goes on. I couldn’t read it fast enough and, in fact, had to force myself to slow down and enjoy it. The description is spectacular with lines that had me ‘ooohing’, wishing I had the same lyrical talent in my writing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
There is so much more I could say about the plot but I just don’t want to include any spoilers.
Quite simply, I can’t believe I’m going to have to wait for the sequel.
5 stars, without a doubt. *****