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Alwyn Hamilton Books In Order

Publication Order of Rebel of the Sands Books

Rebel of the Sands (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Traitor to the Throne (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hero at the Fall (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alwyn Hamilton is a bestselling Canadian author of Fiction, Young Adult and Fantasy novels. She is famously known for her bestselling Young Adult novel, Rebel of the Sands. Hamilton was born in Toronto and had lived in Canada and Europe before her folks decided to settle in France finally. The author spent her childhood in Beaune, a small town in France before moving to England to study History of Art at King’s College at Cambridge University.

Hamilton later relocated to France where she worked after graduation. Rebel of the Sands is the author’s first novel in a trilogy by the same name. Other books in the trilogy include Traitor to the Throne (2017) and Hero at the Fall (2018). The three novels are targeted for young adults and form a part of the fantasy genre. In the series debut book, the main character, Amani leaves town, Dustwalk and relocates through a magical countryside to reach a fictional town known as Miraji to avoid an arranged marriage to her uncle. Other two books in the series continue the story of Amani who has elemental powers and is a half Djinn.

In 2016, Alwyn Hamilton won the Goodreads Choice Awards for category Best Debut Goodreads Author. Subsequently, in 2017, Willow Smith bought film rights to the trilogy with Smith playing the leading role in the film’s project. The first book in the series received a YALSA nomination for the Teen’s Top 10 list in 2017.

Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands is the debut novel in a trilogy by the same name. The story kicks off with a shooting competition and introduces readers to a girl by the name Amani who is disguised as a boy. Amani needs to win this tournament so that she could finally have enough cash to flee to Dustwalk so that she can travel to Izman, the place where her mom always told stories about.
Izman is a place where a girl could finally be free and make her own decisions and choices. It is revealed that her mother had died the previous year, forcing Amani to live with her uncle and aunt- and the two are awful.

Amani’s uncle wants to marry her off so that he no longer has to claim any responsibilities towards her- but surprisingly, the man wants Amani for himself. Dustwalk is a certain dead-end town for a teenage girl, and it makes sense that she would rather die while trying to flee the town. In this small village, Amani gets a chance to meet with a mysterious foreigner who seems to bring her the perfect opportunity for her to leave finally- but she has no clue that world is bend to changing forever.

The first book in Rebel of the Sands trilogy is a brilliant series opener. Alwyn Hamilton has done a fantastic job in weaving a genuinely intriguing young adult story. What you will love about this first book is the world-building, characterization and a story of valor- a young girl who rises from being an ordinary girl to the courageous heroine.

The world building in Rebel of the Sands is incredibly done. For example desert fantasies are a regular thing in Young Adult; however, this desert fantasy in this debut novel is entirely different. The trains, guns and other technologies totally exist but in addition to this, ghouls, Djinni and magic also exist. What you will also note is that this fictional world Alwyn Hamilton has created is highly patriarchal, and polygamy is very common. For example, Amani’s uncle has many wives and children. The author makes use of sarcasm- for instance, at one point she refers to Sultan having more children than there are hours in the day.

The hero in the story is Jin, a foreigner. He is funny, handsome and adept in a fight. He is muscular, charming and knowledgeable but much about this man is not revealed in this first book. Alwyn Hamilton has also made use of secondary characters to spice up the storyline and let the readers get an insight into the main characters- (Amani and Jin).

Then there is the heroine of the story, Amani. She is beautiful, a tough badass chick. She is a woman with an attitude, a smart-mouthed lady, determined strong and compassionate. She is also skilled with a gun- a quite the sharpshooter. However, she is naïve about the outside world of her small town. The author uses, Amani’s naivety about the outside world to enable the readers to discover alongside the fantasies of the outside world. Through Amani’s eyes, we get to see gun slinging competitions, desert battles, train heist, mythical sand horses and many other thrilling adventures.

Upon its release, Rebel of the Sands received positive critical acclaims. For example, Jeff Giles wrote in a New York Times reviews the story itself it is an homage to storytelling, one that evokes disparate influences. A review posted in Publishers Weekly remarked Alwyn Hamilton exception mingling of romance and thrilling stakes, while a review published in Kirkus described the novel as exciting, romantic, hilarious and fun.

Traitor to the Throne

In Traitor to the Throne, gunslinger Amani has already fled her birthplace on the back of a mysterious horse with Jin in search of her freedom. In this second book in Rebel of the Sands series, we find Amani fighting to save an entire desert kingdom of Miraji from the ferocious, homicidal sultan who killed his father to take over the throne.

When Amani is tossed into the core of the throne- the sultan’s kingdom- she is focused on bringing the dictatorial regime down. Craving to expose the sultan’s dark secrets by surveying on his court, she tries to get over the fact that Jin vanished as she was learning to know him and that she is a captive of the enemy.

The longer she remains, the more questions arise- and soon Amani finds herself questioning if the Sultan is indeed the villain she has been told or is there a traitor to the throne hiding from within? The second novel in Rebel of the Sands series in a brilliant read- the general plot is entertaining, fast paced, action packed, with fascinating romantic subplots.

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