Challenge Criteria: A book recommended by someone you’ve just met.
A few weeks ago, when I went to An Evening With Garth Nix, I was chatting to the girls sitting around me as we waited for the evening to start. One of them (I can’t even remember which) commented that Rebel of the Sands was an enjoyable and unpredictable middle-grade fantasy which I might enjoy.
Now, one might say that you’re likely to get a recommendation for a book at an event where the author is there to promote the aforementioned book, but I’m still counting this as a recommendation by someone I’ve just met, as she could easily have recommended instead one of the books by the other authors there.
And so! I purchased it (and got it signed) that evening, but didn’t actually pick it up until I was on my way home from my weekend in Ireland. I read the entire thing over the course of a single day (largely because I spent a lot of it on a plane/trains/etc) and actually really enjoyed it.
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.
This was also one of the books that I’ve been meaning to read anyways, as mentioned in my to-do list, so two birds, one stone!
I really quite enjoyed this desert fantasy novel, inspired by a fusion of 1001 nights and the cowboy western. Although at times a little clunky, and interesting main character and a love interest who, okay, was set up really early and obviously, but still had some surprises, made for some good chemistry which pulled me through the rollicking ride of the book.
There was a fair amount in the book which stretched the imagination, or seemed entirely predictable – who’s going to run away with a stranger they’ve only met once before? – but there were also a few moments in the book which made me go ‘huh’ and surprised me.
So although the recommendation I got wasn’t all that enthusiastic, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, and am certainly looking forward to getting the sequel, Traitor to the Throne, when it publishes next year.