Boy was this book a surprise and a pleasure! Rebel of the Sands is like 1,001 Arabian Nights, An Ember in the Ashes, and the Wild West had a badass little baby. It reminds me of Hidalgo with the Middle Eastern setting for a gun-shooting, horse-riding, desert tale.
I instantly loved Amani. The old shoot out scene at the beginning was the *perfect* place to get to know her. I loved that she faced really hard decisions and made the hard choice. She didn't just say 'I'd do anything to leave this town', she literally did *everything* she could to get out, even if it gutted her. It was so much fun to see a character stick to their guns that way (pun intended?).
The world building of Djinni and Demdji was really fun and interesting. I loved all the old tales and how they affected the current cast of characters. Jin was also a pleasure--an interesting romantic lead without being all dickhead or all soft sweetheart all the time. He was dynamic and fun and kept us on our toes.
All in all, I have no complaints about this book, except that I wish it wasn't over. I'm going to buy Traitor to the Throne right now!
In the meantime, I'm finally getting back into the Throne of Glass series with Heir of Fire. I hope I remember who everyone is! It's been a while!