A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hero at the Fall is the final installment in the Rebel of the Sands fantasy trilogy. Reading the first two books isn't strictly necessary to follow the story, but it'll deepen understanding of the characters and their journeys. Fantasy violence involves magical creatures such as shape-shifters, genies, and automatons with magical abilities. There are some large-scale battles and some individual fighting with both magic and real-world weapons, including swords, knives, and guns. Sex is clearly implied once, without mentioning specifics beyond kissing, caressing, and bare skin. Otherwise there are a few kisses (one is intense and mentions tasting blood) and some light making out. Strong language is rare and includes "hell," "bitch," and some verbal hostility. A couple of bars and taverns are settings, but there's no excessive use of alcohol.
What's the story?
In HERO AT THE FALL: REBEL OF THE SANDS, BOOK 3, Amani's now in full command of the rebellion. But it's a rebellion in tatters, with few fighters remaining and Prince Ahmed, the actual rebel leader, being held prisoner in an unknown location. Meanwhile, the Sultan tightens his iron grip on the land and his atrocities continue. To find Ahmed and take down the Sultan once and for all, Amani will travel the length and breadth of the land, make a deal with a djinni, meet her father, free the Sin Maker, face down her past, and, oh yeah, just happen to grow up at the same time.
Is it any good?
Author Alwyn Hamilton really comes into her own in this exciting finale to her Rebel of the Sands trilogy. She seamlessly blends catching the reader up on past events with almost nonstop action that keeps the pages turning. Keeping track of Hero at the Fall's large cast of characters is easier than in the second book, thanks to an overall improved structure to the story and a handy character guide in the front.
Teens who are fantasy fans will relate to Amani as she comes to terms with her past, her magical abilities, and even her mortality. They'll also enjoy the vivid fantasy world's exotic, Arabian Nights vibe that's rich with its own folklore and that also cleverly illustrates how real people and events become part of folklore, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Hero at the Fall. How much is too much? Is reading a violent story different from seeing it on TV, or in movies or video games? How?
Did you read the first two books in the series? How does this one compare? Is it a satisfying ending to a series? Why or why not?
Why are so many fantasy stories told over multiple books, especially trilogies? What are some of your favorite fantasy series? What do you like about them?
- Author: Alwyn Hamilton
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking
- Publication date: March 6, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 480
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 01, 2018
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