Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton

Amani is now in charge of the remains of rebellion and with an impossible mission to rescue some of the most important people in her life ahead of her, she must learn her own strength in order to make it out alive.

Fantasy, 463 pages, published in 2018

Amani is now in charge of the remains of rebellion and with an impossible mission to rescue some of the most important people in her life ahead of her, she must learn her own strength in order to make it out alive.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m still so emotional from this ending! I cried through the last hour or so of the audiobook!

This series took me by surprise, and while it definitely wasn’t perfect, I still enjoyed it so much! I read the second and third books in the trilogy back to back, which I almost never do, but I just could not get enough of this world and these characters.

I think all three books started off kind of slow for me, but the second half of the books are all so action-packed and emotional.

I really loved Amani’s internal struggle throughout this book. She is suddenly in charge of a rebellion, and she faces so many fears of not being good enough or as talented as her friends. She is constantly thinking of herself as only the girl from the end of the desert, when in reality, she is the girl from the end of the desert who also is very powerful and talented in her own right. A fair amount her problems are internal throughout the series, which I really like reading about

I do have to say, I was slightly disappointed by the ending. I just think it wrapped up a little too fast and I would have loved to see more of the aftermath of the final conflict. I do think it was a good ending, just a little too fast for my taste and the pace set by the rest of the series.

One thing that I was thinking throughout this last book was that this series would have actually made a really cool adult fantasy series. There was a lot more to explore with the world and magic, as well as the characters and what happens after the final battle. I honestly would have loved if this series was longer, when normally I feel like series could be shorter!

The stakes in this book are so high. Not only do you see multiple characters killed off, but you see them killed of in really tragic ways, so it was always in the back of my mind that no one was really safe.

I just really loved this series and it definitely among my favorites! It’s so hard for me to talk about the last book in a series without giving anything away, so that’s why this review is so short! I am definitely looking forward to whatever Alwyn Hamilton releases next.

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Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton

After joining the rebellion, Amani and her Demdji powers of controlling the desert are an integral part of the group, when she suddenly gets captured and brought to the place, home of the Sultan the rebellion is fighting against. While there, she tries to find out information to help the rebel, but doesn’t sense even bigger danger around the corner.

Fantasy, 518 pages, published in 2017

After joining the rebellion, Amani and her Demdji powers of controlling the desert are an integral part of the group, when she suddenly gets captured and brought to the place, home of the Sultan the rebellion is fighting against. While there, she tries to find out information to help the rebel, but doesn’t sense even bigger danger around the corner.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was once again so pleasantly surprised by this series! This book started a little iffy to me, but by the end I could not stop reading it and thinking about it when I wasn’t reading.

This book starts about six months after the first book, Rebel of the Sands, ends. I normally don’t have a problem with timeskips, but I feel like a lot happened between books, and it was constantly referred back to and large parts of the plot were based on that. I don’t think another book between these two would have been helpful necessarily, but it was kind of awkward to be hearing these events referred to all the time when we never actually got to see them happen.

Another addition to this book that I thought was a little weird was the chapters that were like stories or tales. These were third person chapters in a book otherwise told completely from Amani’s first person POV. I think they were a good way to show what was happening outside of Amani’s view, but since I don’t recall them happening in the first book, the inconsistency kind of threw me off.

I was also a little thrown off by the plot of this book. I thought it was going to be a continuation of the rebel activity that we get a glimpse of in the first book, by a good portion of the book takes place in the palace, where Amani is trapped away from the rebellion and it’s members. It definitely took some time for me to adjust my mindset.

Although it took me some time to warm up to the idea of Amani being stuck in the palace, I loved reading about the complicated feelings she goes through while there. She begins getting to talk to the Sultan, and he seems like such a reasonable guy who would do anything for his country. He is the type of man that is very persuasive and makes you want his approval. It was interesting to see her feelings while being influenced by the Sultan, and also how much he makes her question what she is doing.

I love how Demdji can’t tell lies. The book elaborates on this in multiple ways. Amani always checks to see if people are alive by trying to say it out loud. Anything said in a promise will become a self-fulfilling truth, even if it doesn’t turn out how it is intended. I really loved this element of the story! It adds another layer and another dimension to the Demdji’s powers.

I also really appreciate that the stakes are so high in this book. No one’s life is safe, and many have already died along the way. Nothing really feels like it’s an easy way out, because everything that happens has a price.

The romance in this book is definitely less than in the first one, but the yearning in this one was so good! I definitely enjoyed and I love the relationship. I’m hoping it has more room to develop in the third book!

Amani has definitely grown since she left her end of desert town in the first book, but I think that based on how this book ended, she’s going to have a lot more growing to do in this last book.

I loved the end of this book and I already started the last one, Hero at the Fall! This series is becoming one of my favorites and I am very excited to see how it ends!

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Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton

Amani Al-Hiza is stuck in the dead-end town where she’s lived all her life. She is desperate to get away from the town who hates her and the family that resents her, so when a foreigner named Jin arrives, she sees him as the perfect way to escape. Using her skills with a gun, she and Jin flee, but encounter many strange and immortal creatures along the way.

Fantasy, published in 2016, 314 pages

Amani Al-Hiza is stuck in the dead-end town where she’s lived all her life. She is desperate to get away from the town who hates her and the family that resents her, so when a foreigner named Jin arrives, she sees him as the perfect way to escape. Using her skills with a gun, she and Jin flee, but encounter many strange and immortal creatures along the way.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! Not to say that I expected it to be bad, but it was really just was such a pleasant read.

Amani’s initial situation was actually really hard to read about. She is living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins after her mother was executed for the murder of Amani’s father. Her relationship with her family is not good, and everyone looks down on her for her mother’s actions, so it’s super easy to understand why she is so desperate to get out of that town. I loved seeing her figure out what was important to her after she left, because she had never really thought that far ahead.

I was worried that the romance would be insta-love, but I actually really liked the way it was done. There was definitely an initial attraction, but it was built on really nicely throughout the book. The tension between Amani and Jin was so good! I wrote in my notes that it was delicious 😂.

The magic in this book was also really cool. It definitely drew inspiration from Arabic mythology, but I still felt like it was pretty unique. It kind of felt like this book gave us just a taste of the magic, so I am very much looking forward to seeing more in the rest of the series! I also thought it was interesting that this was set in a kind of industrial period of time, meaning that there are guns and trains. That combined with how magic works was really cool.

My only real issue with this book is that some of the phrasing was a little odd to me. One example I have written down is “you’re not near worth dying for”. This happened often enough for me to notice, but not enough to really bother me that much.

I just really enjoyed this book overall! It was super quick and exciting. I can’t wait to read more of the series! I’m so excited to learn more about the magic and see more of the characters and plot.

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Series I Hope to Start in 2020!

I’ve been putting off starting new series until I have caught up with other series that I’m reading, and 2020 happens to be that time! I’m only going to be listing series that have at least two books out.

I’ve been putting off starting new series until I have caught up with other series that I’m reading, and 2020 happens to be that time! I’m only going to be listing series that have at least two books out.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (currently 3 books, 7 books planned)

After reading and loving The Priory of the Orange Tree last year, I decided I wanted to check out other works by Samantha Shannon! The three books in The Bone Season series are the only thing that she has written.

The Broken Earth Series by N.K. Jemisin (completed at 3 books)

I have heard such amazing things about this series! I always want to start getting into adult fantasy more, but most of my experience so far has been limited to Brandon Sanderson.

The Iskari Series by Kristen Ciccarelli (3 books currently, ? planned)

My best friend recommended this series to me and the more I look into it, the more intrigued I get. It seems that the books can be read in any order. I’m not sure if there are more books planned in this series.

The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks (completed at 5 books)

This is another adult fantasy series that I have heard great things about. I attempted to read Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows, but I could barely make it 10 pages. I have heard that this one is better though.

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (completed at 3 books)

I have not heard a ton about what this series is actually about, but I’ve heard plenty of good things about it. I think it fits into a larger series, but for now, I just want to see if I enjoy this trilogy. Also, these covers have turned me off of reading this series, but I do want to read them.

The Rebel of the Sands Trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton (completed at 3 books)

This was another recommendation from my best friend! It seems right up my alley and I trust her judgement in books and her knowledge of what I like.

What series do you want to start this year?

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