Welcome to our stop on the Rebel Creative tour for Alwyn Hamilton. This tour is hosted by Penguin Teen.
Rebel Of The Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: March 8, 2016
Review Source: Viking Books
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.
There are some MAJOR Amani and Jin feels within this chapter. Or at least there were for me. Amani has to try and heal Jin, while Jin is slowly slipping from reality. The worry that Amani has for Jin makes you feel as though you are the one losing him! When Amani finally gets them to the Rebel Prince's camp we're unsure what will happen when a skin walker comes to attack them. Amani has found the secret door for the camp but hasn't been able to figure out the password. When she realizes that Jin has been telling her the password throughout their whole trip she finally says it, making the door open.
We find out that Jin hasn't been completely honest about who he is. He's a lot more linked to the rebellion than we had originally though. We find out that the Rebel Prince is actually his brother. When Amani wakes up safe and sound she realizes that this camp is vibrant and full of life and hope. She then meets Ahmed, and then she informs him about the Sultan's 'weapon' and how they need to be proactive to find out what the weapon is and how to stop it.
Ahmed becomes a character who we know and love. He tells Amani all about his and Jin's past and how closely linked he and Jin are. Amani has grown up hearing about the fairy tale of the Rebel Prince, this chapter is dedicated to Amani learning about the actual story - including the bits and pieces that everyone doesn't pass onto one another. Through Amani learning Ahmed's backstory she has now formed a trust in him that she hadn't had before. A trust that he is the one who is suppose to be Sultan, and that he could actually rule the lands.
Amani has been trying to get a grasp on reality. The fact that the stories she had heard as a child are actually right in front of her has been difficult to realize. She then realizes how big the rebellion is as well. Shazad becomes a character who is close to Amani, in that she's the one who describes just what everyone does to aid in the rebellion. This chapter ends with Jin waking up, and with Amani becoming very upset with him for hiding his true self from her.
Amani has always been special to us. We've also known that her eyes are an unhuman like shade of blue. This would be because she is a Demdji. Amani has been blindsided by this fact, after living her whole life not knowing she was a Demdji. With this realization Amani feels hurt, which then makes us readers feel hurt as well because Jin has known this since he saw her eyes. Now Amani believes that he only saved her because he knew his brother would want her Demdji powers on his side. Now we realize that Amani will also be a great asset to the rebellion - we're just unsure how.
Amani is having a difficult time at realizing what her Demdji powers are. This then makes her tired and frustrated because she wants to be able to be an asset to the rebellion right away. She's getting stir-crazy and wants Ahmed to use her for missions. But he won't until she knows what she is capable of. She wants to be the best that she can be and yet she can't figure out what her powers are just yet. Amani and Jin have tension over the lies and the love that they have for one another. They realize that the Sultan's weapon is on the move and Ahmed needs people to go find this weapon. So Jin and Amani decided to go with a group to stop the weapon.
My favorite part of the book happens in this chapter. Amani is talking with Delila - Jin's little sister - and she implies that Amani and Jin love one another. Because Amani is a Demdji and cannot tell lies she is unable to say that they don't love one another. And this makes me love this chapter even more.
Jin and Amani have a group of people waiting for the Sultan's train with the weapon on it to come. They're at a camp with Bahi, Shazad and the twins. They're enjoying the night because they're realizing that this might be their last. Because of this Jin and Amani kiss, a kiss that makes readers swoon. Honestly....JIN AND AMANI FEELS. Then a train comes earlier then expected and they realize that this is the train that the Sultan sent with his weapon on it. So now there is a rush to get to this train on time. They get on the train and split up. Amani with Shazad, and when they're on the train they're jumping from car to car. When the Sultan's soldiers see Amani and Shazad they try to deter them and Shazad starts to fall to her death.
Amani has saved Shazad, but the soldiers have captured them as well as the rest of their group. While trying to find a way out of this situation alive, they realize what the weapon is. Noorsham - the boy that Amani left in Fahali earlier in the story. The one who had previously helped Amani...and now he kills Bahi.
Noorsham, amidst the drama that is going on between the rebels and the soldiers, wants to talk to Amani alone. Somehow Noorsham knew that Amani was like him and wanted to have a conversation with her. While conversing with him Amani notices that Izz is flying by outside, and so she tries to find a way to alarm him of what is going on. She is able to fling her sheema out the window so that Izz can help the rebels escape. Amani wants to bring Noorsham because she has realized that there is something familiar about him, but she's unable to because he's the Sultan's weapon.
Chapter 25, 26, 27:
Chapter 25 we find out that Amani is the Demdji of sand. This chapter is solely about that. Chapter 26 they have now figured out how to fight the Sultan. Amani has realized that Noorsham is her half brother and she doesn't want him to die. Chapter 27 is all about the start of the war between the rebels and the Sultan. The stress is so real for the characters that we can feel it while we're reading.
Amani starts using her Demdji powers against the Sultan's people during the war. Then she realizes that the gun is inhibiting her Demdji powers. She feels how strong her Demdji powers can be because she controls the sand - which is basically the whole entire landscape around them.
Noorsham and Amani have a Demdji face-off without wanting to harm their half-sibling. Noorsham then gets orders to kill the whole town they're near and he signals to Amani to stop him. So Amani uses her Demdji powers to stop him.
The end is here. The battle has been won and Ahmed has taken control of Fahali. In this we see that Ahmed will make a great Sultan, and we see that Amani is proud to be a part of the rebellion.
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often. Follow her at @AlwynFJH.
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