A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rebel of the Sands is the start of a planned fantasy trilogy with a strong, resourceful female role model who starts to come into her own at the end. Fantasy violence mentions blood a lot but otherwise isn't gory. Nighttime in the desert is very scary; fantasy creatures jump out at you from the dark. Sexual content is mild, with a few kisses described vaguely. Women have no rights in the rigid, frontier-like town, and bad guys exercise their power through marriage and vague, inexplicit threats of sexual violence.
What's the story?
With nothing better to look forward to out of life than an arranged marriage in a tiny backwater town, 16-year-old Amani dreams of brushing the sand off and heading to the big city her mother always talked about. She manages to escape the town with Jin, a mysterious young man they say is a traitor, only to face the hardships of a deadly desert. Can they elude the military hot on their trail and cross the desert safely? And whose side will they join when they meet THE REBEL OF THE SANDS?
Is it any good?
Fantasy lovers will enjoy this exciting kickoff to a planned trilogy that combines the dusty, ramshackle grit of the Wild West with the magic and folklore of the Arabian desert. Teens and tweens will relate to Amani as she chafes against her rigid society's rules and root for the brave, smart-alecky, stubborn teen as she escapes into the adventurous unknown.
Ever-present danger and excitement keep the pages turning, except when, as often happens in the middle of fantasy novels, the story bogs down with overlong exposition. The last third of the book adds a colorful band of rebels, and the ending leaves plenty of room for further adventures.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why fantasy novels are so popular. Why do we love them so much? What does the element of magic add to a story?
Does Rebel of the Sands glamorize drinking? Why, and how much, do the teen characters drink? What might be some negative consequences of drinking alcohol in this fantasy world?
What do you admire about Amani? What makes her an interesting character? Do you wish you could be like her?
- Author: Alwyn Hamilton
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking
- Publication date: March 8, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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