Late last year I read The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, a reimagining of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. I immediately fell in love with the three dimensional characters, rich setting, sweeping romance, and meticulous detail to Arabic culture. And while I can’t wait to see how Ahdieh sets things up in The Rose and the Dagger for the already much anticipated conclusion to be released in 2017, in the meantime I’m content to await the release of Rebel of the Sands on March 8th. As one could imagine from my lead in, the premise is heavily flavored by Persian folklore and mythology, while also retaining elements of actual history. The story follows Amani, a teenage girl who, as the plot blurb describes her, is more gunpowder than girl. She’s desperate to free herself from the confines of the withdrawn, desert town Dustwalk and is counting on her sharpshooting skills for a ticket to freedom. What she doesn’t expect is a devastatingly handsome (her words) foreigner named Jin to appear, presenting the perfect escape route. Now she’s fleeing the nation of Miraji on a mythical beast, being chased by the Sultan army for harboring a fugitive accused of committing treason. In a not so shocking twist, Amani finds herself falling in love with the boy who holds the key to discovering the “powerful truth” of who she really is. While I know I didn’t mince sarcasm in summing up the storyline, rest assured that I truly am super excited to read this one in a few weeks. For starters the plot itself raises a lot of questions I’m already very curious to read about, such as what is the powerful truth? Or the djinni who supposedly still practice magic out in the wastelands of Miraji? Besides those burning questions, I also appreciate the fact that Alwyn Hamilton is a debut author as I’m always looking for a potential favorite author to check out. Apparently she’s already fit that bill to a tee for a lot of other readers and reviewers, as some of my most trusted bloggers have given it extremely favorable ratings. One of the things fellow book connoisseurs have been mentioning in their posts is what good chemistry the two romantic leads have, really tying the book together and bringing in an extra measure of delectability. I’m always glad to hear that any element of a book is well-written, but I was exceptionally thrilled to hear that news seeing as I was concerned that the love story would take precedent over any actual plot proceedings based on the synopsis provided.The key to any good ship worthy relationship is an appreciation for the characters, and while I can’t say much for Jin quite yet Amani seems entirely fabulous and spunky. I may have been spoiled recently in reading a lot of great books from the POV of a kick butt protagonist, but let me just say that a strong female lead is just the icing on the cake for the recipe to success. With her sharp shooting skills (crazy cool), aspirations for life (always a plus), and clear determination for the taste of success, I would have a hard time describing Amani any other way than with the phrases I mentioned above. So me+Rebels of the Sand=hype. But can this new release published by Penguin live up to the lofty expectations me and other readers have placed on it? Fingers crossed! I’d love to know in the comments if this exciting book just got added to your to be read, or what you’re waiting on this Wednesday.
-Keep Calm and Read On