I first picked up Rebel of Sands because it just seemed like such a unique story. Deserts, Magic, and wild west/eastern elements totally captivated my attention! Amani lives with her horrible aunt and uncle and dreams of the day when she can escape the awful town of Dustwalk. Her mother has passed away, but Amani still dreams of the stories she left her with. Earning money in shooting contests, Amani plans on running away to Izman, a city where she can finally be free. She is so close earning enough money to getting away, when she runs into Jin at a shooting contest. They end up escaping together to the dessert on a Buraqi, a magical horse. As they travel, Amani begins to discover more about the dessert she thought she knew so well.
When I first saw the synopsis I was skeptical because I thought the wild west and eastern stories would be really weird together, however, once I picked up the book I was constantly flipping to try to figure out what was going to happen next. It was such a different story, that I had a hard time figuring out what would happen next. First off, Amani is a completely lovable character! She is witty, fierce, and really good with a gun! Although she starts off in a rags to riches situation, she totally is capable of pulling herself out of it. Now on to Jin, I LOVED how he interacted with Amani and how he challenged her beliefs. They had wild chemistry and it made me so anxious to get to the end to figure out what the heck happens to them.
Overall, I would 100% recommend this story if you are into magic, romance, and your not-so-typical YA fantasy. The 3rd book in the series, Hero at the Fall, comes out March 6th so you have plenty of time to binge read the first two books! Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for sending me a copy for review! I absolutely loved EVERY SECOND.