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Rebel of the Sands Series, Book 1
Cover of Rebel of the Sands Series, Book 1
Rebel of the Sands Series, Book 1
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The New York Times bestselling novel by the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Author of 2016, published in 15 countries! Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the...
The New York Times bestselling novel by the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Author of 2016, published in 15 countries! Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the...
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  • The New York Times bestselling novel by the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Author of 2016, published in 15 countries!

    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.
    This startlingly original Middle-East-meets-Wild-West fantasy reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally embracing her power.

Excerpts-

  • From the book ONE

    They said the only folks who belonged in Deadshot after dark were the ones who were up to no good. I wasn't up to no good. Then again, I wasn't exactly up to no bad neither.

    I slid from Blue's saddle and tethered her to a post behind some bar called the Dusty Mouth. The kid sitting against the fence was sizing me up suspiciously. Or maybe that was just his two black eyes. I tugged the wide brim of my hat lower as I stepped out of the yard. I'd stolen the hat from my uncle, along with the horse. Well, borrowed, more like. Everything I owned belonged to my uncle anyway, according to law, down to the clothes on my back.

    The doors of the bar banged open, spilling out light and noise and a fat drunk with his arm around a pretty girl. My hand snapped to my sheema before I could think better of it, checking it was still tightly fastened so the better part of my face was covered. I was wrapped up to my eyes, and even hours after sunset I was sweating under the padding like a sinner at prayers. I figured I looked more like some lost nomad than a real sharpshooter, but so long as I didn't look like a girl it didn't much matter. Tonight I was getting out of here with at least my life. All the better if I got out with a few coins in my pocket, too.

    It wasn't hard to spot the pistol pit on the other side of Deadshot. It was the noisiest building in town, and that wasn't saying nothing. A great big gutted-out barn at the end of the dusty street, it was swarming with bodies and blazing with light, propped up against a half-collapsed prayer house with a boarded-up door. Might be that once upon a time the barn had served some honest horse trader, but that was years ago by the looks of things.

    The crowd thickened the closer I got. Like buzzards swarming to a fresh carcass.

    A man with a bloody nose was pinned up against a wall by two others while another drove his fist into the man's face over and over. A girl called out from a window with words that'd make an iron dragger blush. A group of factory workers still in their uniforms huddled around a nomad in a busted-up wagon who was shouting about selling Djinni blood that'd grant good folks their hearts' desires. His wide grin looked desperate in the oily lamplight, and no wonder. It'd been years since anyone round these parts had seen a real live First Being, let alone a Djinni. Besides, he should've known better than to think desert dwellers would believe Djinn bled anything other than pure fire—or that anyone in Deadshot would believe themselves good folk. Everybody in the Last County went to prayers enough to know better on both counts.

    I tried to keep my eyes forward, like I'd seen it all before.

    If I climbed past the buildings, I'd be able to look across the sand and scrub all the way home to Dustwalk, though there'd be nothing but dark houses. Dustwalk got up and went down with the sun. Good honest behavior didn't belong to the dark hours of the night. If it were possible to die of boredom, everyone in Dustwalk would be corpses in the sand.

    But Deadshot was alive and kicking.

    No one paid me much mind as I slid into the barn. A big crowd was already gathered in the pistol pit. Lines of huge oil lamps hung from the eaves, giving the gawkers' faces a greasy glow. Scrawny kids were setting up targets and dodging a big man's blows as he shouted at them to move faster. Orphans, by the looks of them. Likely kids whose fathers had worked in the hulking weapons factory on the outskirts of Dustwalk until they'd gotten blown to bits by faulty machinery. Or until the day they'd gone to work drunk and burned themselves too badly to live. Gunpowder wasn't...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books hi - honestly the best book i ever read
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 21, 2015
    Still mourning the hanging of her mother for killing her father, 16-year-old Amani Al’Hiza seeks to escape the quiet, oppressive town of Dustwalk before her uncle takes her as one of his brides. With unusual blue eyes, sharpshooter skills, and no shortage of daring, Amani joins up with Jin, a lawless adventurer. Disguised as a boy, Amani travels with Jin across the desert and the Sand Seas, defending herself against “Nightmares,” “Skinwalkers,” and the pursuit of the Sultan of Miraji’s army and allies. Debut author Hamilton combines elements of Western and Middle Eastern civilization and lore with her own mythology, crafting an enticing, full-bodied story. Upon meeting the Rebel Prince, one of the sultan’s sons who promises leadership founded on equality and justice, Amani discovers her true identity and must choose between striking out on her own or defending the prince and his followers against a dangerous weapon. Through some of the metaphors can feel forced (“The rails were as empty as a drunk’s liquor bottle on prayer day”), Hamilton successfully mingles romance with thrilling stakes, and hints at a welcome sequel. Ages 12–up. Agent: Molly Ker Hawn, Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 15, 2015
    A sassy desert sharpshooter swashbuckles through a six-gun Arabian Nights in this fantasy debut. Once upon a time in Miraji, fiery Djinn bartered for wishes and heroes rode immortal steeds of wind and sand; now the hardscrabble folk of Dustwalk make weapons for the Sultan's foreign allies and trade whispered rumors about the Rebel Prince. Orphaned, barely tolerated, and stifled in a culture that considers females worthless, Amani is so desperate to get out of the Last County that she dresses as a boy and enters a shooting contest. But that's before she meets the charming foreign scoundrel Jin, and then the barn burns down, and the factory blows up, and the army arrives....From the irresistible opening paragraph, this rollicking caper expertly mashes up a gritty Middle East with a steampunk Old West, succeeding through the infectious voice of its heroine: brash, witty, cynical, and fierce, with an aching, vulnerable core and a suppressed streak of idealism. The secondary characters are just as memorable, from snarky, secretive Jin to their various foes, who range from cartoonish to terrifying to darkly tragic. Amani's adventures through this immersive alternative landscape continually veer off into unpredictable detours, looping back to an almost overstuffed climax that manages to deliciously satisfy while dangling tempting hints for a sequel. Romantic, thrilling, hilarious, and just plain great fun. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2016

    Gr 8 Up-In a setting three-quarters Middle East and one quarter Wild West (if the Wild West had djinnis and magical beasts), Amani Al'Hiza has cast aside female convention and trained herself as a crack pistol shot. Her mother's death and her father's absence put her under her uncle's control, and he doesn't have this independent 16-year-old's best interests at heart. Her plans for escape to the capital city are cut short, and she finds herself on the run through the desert, accompanied by Jin, a mysterious young man her own age. Debut author Hamilton includes classic elements (such as iron weakening magical First Beings) along with factors unique to this story. Amani and Jin join a caravan to cross the desert but are left behind when Jin is injured. Near death, they are saved by a band of rebels, and Amani sees that she can no longer be a bystander in her country's political upheaval. The rebels must find and disable "the weapon" and unseat the cruel Sultan and end the Gallan army's violent rule. The ending points toward a sequel. The desert setting is unusual, while the character types have been seen before. Suggest to readers who enjoyed Alexandra Bracken's "The Darkest Minds" series (Disney-Hyperion) and Stacey Jay's stand-alone Princess of Thorns (Delacorte, 2014). VERDICT A readable, middle-of-the-pack "teens save the world" story. Consider for large collections.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews "Romantic, thrilling, hilarious, and just plain great fun."
  • Starred Review, Booklist "This atmospheric fantasy combines magic, mythology, and the Wild West to create a riveting tale...an exciting, romantic adventure that is unique and all its own."
  • Starred Review, BCCB "If the best of the Old West and the coolest parts of Arabian Nights had a baby who then rebelled by going steampunk, the result would be this gem of a book."
  • Starred Review, School Library Connections "Readers will be drawn into the story and won't want to put this book down."
  • The New York Times Book Review "Rebel of the Sands is a winning bit of storytelling, as well as a homage to storytelling itself. It evokes such disparate influences -- 1,001 Arabian Nights, Hindu lore and Navajo myth, as well as, inevitably, the triumvirate of Tolkien, Lucas and Rowling -- that at times you wonder whether Hamilton can pull it all off. She can. She has circled a spot on the map and claimed it for her own."
  • Publishers Weekly "Debut author Hamilton combines elements of Western and Middle Eastern civilization and lore with her own mythology, crafting an enticing, full-bodied story . . . successfully mingles romance with thrilling stakes, and hints at a welcome sequel."
  • VOYA "A perfect combination of American Westerns and Arabian myths . . . Fans of Sarah Maas and Victoria Aveyard should give this one a try."
  • Rae Carson, bestselling author of the Fire & Thorns trilogy "Rebel of the Sands is vivid, romantic, and wildly entertaining. You will cheer for Amani the whole way as she escapes the bonds of oppression and finds her own power, and you will mark your calendar for the sequel."
  • Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona "Buckle up for a wild ride! Rebel of the Sands is a stunning debut full of irresistible energy, heart-stopping action, and a new voice that sings."

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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