Rebel of the Sands

Book review by Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Rebel of the Sands Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Wild West meets Arabian Nights in exciting fantasy kickoff.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 6 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for .

Community Reviews

age 13+

Parental discretion advised

I work in a primary school library and one of my 10 year old readers asked me to look at this series because he didn’t think it was appropriate for his age range. He was right. I really enjoyed this book and story line. The author crafts a detailed and exciting world that younger readers would enjoy but the mature themes pitch this book squarely for teens and up. Use of words such as “whore”, the sale of young women to men and allusions to rape by soldiers and other men are frequent throughout the story. The are several scenes of excessive drinking an the budding feelings between the two main characters lead to loaded moments, looks lingering on bodies, a few steamy kisses etc All in all I enjoyed this book but I’ll be removing the series from our primary school library!
age 16+

Under 12 but Over 15....

I gave this book 4 stars because I thought it was very creative in its world-building and the build up to its bigger plot twists. CommonSense Media asks for an age and up, so I chose 15. To be honest, thought I would say an 11 or 12 year old could read it, but then skip kids age 13 - 15 who will understand a lot more of the unspoken subtext of how the women are being treated and leared at. As an Orthodox Jewish mother who pre-reads a lot of YA fantasy before handing them over to my 15 year old son, I wouldn't run to give this to him because there is a lot of that very exciting sensual sense of something almost, which I think is possibly more of a challenge for kids then mentioning a kiss outright. As far as plot, I really did like the story. I will say that I felt, toward the end, that the fantasy side took over a bit too much and I would have liked it to have managed a little more of a "mixed cast" so to speak, but I would still pick up the sequel at the library.

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon magic wand on orange background
    Magic and Fantasy
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of luggage and a map
    Adventures
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a girl
    Great Girl Role Models
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a ghost and vampire
    Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate