RELEASE DATE: March 8th 2016
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.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ⅘ STARS
Wow! Okay….the cover first intrigued me because 1.)YASSS I judge on covers and 2.)it's stunning!! It looks so beautiful does it not?
Then I read the synopsis and I was like...Okay this is a must read. It's all Arabian nights meets western?!? And speaking as an AZ girl I love western anything really...but in this kind of crazy mash up I am allllll over it. Le pièce de résistance was discovering this was a debut novel for author Alwyn Hamilton…..I love catching fresh meat! Who doesn't, honestly? It kind of gives you this weird sense of bonding? Maybe it's just me? Whatever….let's break down this story
- I love strong female leads. Honestly what YA fan doesn't. It's empowering to see these girls being fiercely independent, driven, brave and striving for…..something. It's admirable and inspiring.
- Amani is my kind of girl. She's a smart ass. She's a badass. And she knows she wants more out of life than what she's facing...at any costs. She is smart but naive to real word….and she can be selfish. And you know what? At first that really BUGGED me but I grew to really respect it. It's honest and real. How many of you would go back and risk your life to save others….it's easy in word but probably not in practice. I respected her immensely.
- She’s born in a dead end desert town with her life already mapped out and it’s not the life she would choose for herself. So against the odds and the rules she is determined to break out...at any costs. I like that.
- Back to my word on her being “selfish”...again it SUCKS...I’m like girl what is wrong with you!? but after reading the story in it’s entirety I can appreciate they WHY and relate to it….it's rough but it honest. And she goes through a lot of self changes when there is a cause.
- I like that this story takes place in the grimy hot desert. It's a "rebellion" movement but not within some fancy kingdom with fancy things. It takes place in the heart of where it matters most.
- She meets up with Jin a handsome foreigner and kindred spirit….they get into all kinds of sticky situations and always end up back together and narrowly escaping danger and death. I LIKE HIM. He has a smart mouth and knows how to banter with Amani while also trying to be the voice of reason for her…..what started out as a journey to escape to a new life turns into something with much stronger and more powerful. A rebel cause.
- There is a love story there but it’s subtle and doesn’t take away from the bigger picture. I wouldn’t call this a “romance fantasy”, but there was enough there to keep me pinning...
- There is a lot of power plays in this world, with dictating Sultans allying with dangerous people, and rebel princes looking to overthrow the throne and offer a better life to the county’s people. It’s all very epic fantasy but still unique enough to not fall into something I feel I’ve read before.
- All of the secondary characters are amazing and so well choreographed in the story. They have depth and completely stand off the page.
- This WORLD. It has depth and history and I LOVE THAT. I love good back stories and legends. It's just so DEEP and detailed that it really sucks you in.
- Again...the whole Arabian/western vibe is REALLY WORKING FOR ME.
- THE ENDING! I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger exactly, but I mean...it ENDS where the real meat is just BEGINNING...it’s very obvious that this story is not over and I cannot wait to see where it takes me next. I have a feeling we will be in the desert for awhile but I would LOVE to get some glimpses of the other countries, like Jin’s home land maybe.
- Overall it was a really fun read, it was paced really well so our world building information was spread out gradually and in great time with the stories happenings. It has great plot, great people and enough rebellion to have me screaming for BLOOD of the villains! Just the way I like it. A fabulous debut for Alwyn Hamilton! KUDOS!
- If you into fantasy’s from far away lands, with strong female with a smart mouth..this is for YOU!