Reader Reviewed Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

Written by Alwyn Hamilton

YA readers   Debuts of the Month   13+ readers   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

February 2016 Debut of the Month Smart-talking, sharpshooting Amani Al’Hiza is desperate to flee dead-end Dustwalk to make a better life for herself. While her prospects seem pretty much limited to being married off, the arrival of an enigmatic stranger presents Amani with an opportunity to escape. But their journey across the desert plains is fraught with multiple perils, from the ruthless Sultan’s army, to the menace of mystical beasts.

This rollicking romp of a debut, the first in a trilogy, is an intoxicating blend of steam punk-esque Western and Arabian epic. It’s a richly-evoked, action-packed tale of rebellion, revolution, romance and djinni magic, driven by drama and a cast of vividly realised characters. Saddle up and prepare for an unforgettably entertaining ride. ~ Joanne Owen

A Piece of Passion from Alice Swan, Commissioning Editor Dear reader, You have in your hands the hottest YA debut of 2016. Imagine the scene: the Faber office was winding down for Christmas. I was mostly eating mince pies and desk tidying and finishing off those last bits and pieces before the break. And then I read Rebel of the Sands. Suddenly I was bursting with energy. We had to publish this book! The team read it, and then word spread and suddenly the whole company were demanding a look and I was getting glowing feedback, from the Managing Director to the Finance Director! We were whisked into the frenzy of a fiercely contested worldwide auction. We were determined that we would win. We would do anything it took . . .
So what makes Rebel of the Sands so exceptional? Part Western, part Arabian Nights, this is the most original, genre-busting YA novel I have ever read. The writing is so compelling, the action so edge-of-your-seat exciting that you are swept deeply into a world of sharpshooters, train robberies, festivals under the stars and dazzling djinni magic. It’s a story so rich in plot, character and description that it feels like a feast.
Read, enjoy and then join me in spreading the word about a sensational new author and a phenomenal story. JOIN THE REBELLION!

Tell us what you think: #rebelsands @faberchildrens

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Charnell Vevers - 'I truly loved this book from beginning to end...The perfect blend of myth, magic, romance, fantasy and adventure.'
  • Emer O'Brien - 'Rebel of the Sands is an engaging and romantic read, perfect for all young adult readers.'
  • Celeste Phelan, age 14 - 'A gripping and moving story making you believe the impossible and extraordinary. A thrilling tale about courage, bravery and strength.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 17 - 'It’s fast paced, hard to put down and a downright awesome read... READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD AND YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!'
  • Esmé.N.Molloy, age 15 - 'READ THIS BOOK. IMMEDIATELY! ... I don't often become infatuated with the entirety of a book but Rebel of the Sands has done it.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Wow! What a story! It was amazing...Just blew me away, cannot wait for the sequel...'
  • Alex McCalla, age 15 - 'So intriguing and couldn't put it down! Keeps you so into the story and read it all in a few days!'
  • Izzy Read, age 15 - 'I cannot wait for the sequel for this, it is enchanting, exciting and strangely real, in a world that is so immersive it leaves you on the edge of your seat.'
  • Millie, age 15 - 'I absolutely loved Rebel of the Sands. It was so amazingly gripping I got to half way, could not put it down and read it in just five days!'
  • Emma Hughes - 'The characters in this book are developed really well, however I didn't find the plot very capturing. Overall, it was a nice read.'
  • Heidi, age 15 - 'Overall this book was very good and it was an “unputdownable” read that excited me and left me wanting more.'
  • Lauren Coffman, age 15 - 'It was intriguing, with some of the most vivid and colourful imagery I have ever read, which created the most clear view of this far off, magical world.'
  • Dahabo Wacays, age 17 - 'Enthralling, action packed and purely amazing! Everything I wanted and more! This book was so unique and I can't wait for the sequel. P.S. Amani is such a badass female, how could you not love her?'


Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Tell me that and we'll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that's how you want your story to go and we'll write it straight across the sand. Dustwalk is Amani's home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need... Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan's enemies are on the rise.

Sold immediately at auction across the world, this phenomenal novel is the first in a trilogy packed with shooting contests, train robberies, festivals under the stars, powerful Djinni magic and an electrifying love story. This promises to be a global super lead.


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. Highly recommended. Rae Carson, author of Girl of Fire and Thorns

About the Author

Alwyn Hamilton

Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her early years bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King's College, focusing in on painting in the French Revolution. She then moved to London where she now lives and put her degree to use working for an auction house. REBEL OF THE SANDS is her first novel.

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Book Info


368 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Alwyn Hamilton
More books by Alwyn Hamilton

Author's Website


Faber Children's Books an imprint of Faber & Faber

Publication date

4th February 2016




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