Info about Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton- the finale of Rebel of the Sands

RebeloftheSands TraitortotheThrone
I was completely swept away with Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne. I can no wait for the final book, Hero at the Fall! And that title! I have a bit about the upcoming book from Alwyn herself!

Book Description

The breathless finale to the New York Times bestselling Rebel of the Sands series will have you on the edge of your seat until the dust from the final battle clears!
When gunslinging Amani Al’Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she’d join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn’t have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

About Hero at the Fall from author Alwyn Hamilton

The rebellion has been betrayed. The Rebel Prince has been captured. And the remnants of the rebellion lie in hands more used to shooting a gun than managing an army: The Blue Eyed Bandit’s. Amani, to those who know her as the girl instead of the legend.

With the Sultan ruthlessly reclaiming the desert with his inhuman army, only a few know that the Rebel Prince is still alive, imprisoned. And if there’s any hope of resurrecting the country’s failing faith in the rebellion, Amani, Jin and their few remaining allies will have to rescue him from a prison deep in the mountains. A place which, until now, Amani thought was a only myth.

Now Amani must return to where she came from, confronting towering walls of fire, dangerous foreign armies, and legendary tricksters. Heading quickly down a road which Amani knows ends in an all out war, and her finding out just how much she can bring herself to sacrifice to save her whole country.

Be sure to add Hero at the Fall to your Goodreads! Click here to add it.

Author Bio:

AHamiltonAlwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and lived between Canada, France, and Italy until the was three, when her family settled in the small French town of Beaune. She studied History of Art at King’s College, Cambridge, graduated in 2009, and lives in London.

Blog Tour- Traitor to the Throne Review and Giveaway

Traitortothethronetourbanner

I am so excited to be sharing my review of Traitor to the Throne as well as this giveaway. These books are just so good! I love them so. Without further ado here’s my review…

Review:

Ttraitortothethroneraitor to the Throne
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Summary:
The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely adored Rebel of the Sands and this sequel was fabulous though it does have a much different feel than Rebel had. Rebel was all action, shooting and that fun dialog between Amani and Jin. Traitor separates these two (both on their own journeys) and there was more focus on the politics surrounding Miragi and the Sultan. I enjoyed seeing these aspects of the story and I feel that it gives us a different understanding of the world and characters.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I missed Jin. I love him so and he really wasn’t in this book nearly enough. I’m hoping that we’ll see much more in the next installment. I felt that it was necessary for the story to go in the direction it did and I still really love the world building and Amani. She’s such an amazing character and we really see some growth for her.

Go into this book expecting a bit of a slower story line than the first book. Rebel had me swept up and not able to put it down until I finished- this book I took more time to savor and enjoy the smaller details. Since we aren’t traveling the dessert in this book the setting takes place in a much smaller scale but this allows for the focus to be on other conflicts.

Hamilton has done such a great job with the mythology and magic in this world she’s created. I adore it and am constantly impressed with the side characters and the magic introduced.

Final Thoughts:
Traitor to the Throne has a different feel than Rebel did but I loved it. It was a slower read that was more focused more on politics and subtle character growth. Things have been set up wonderfully for the next installment which I need immediately.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) grand prize set of Alwyn Hamilton’s books, including a paperback copy of Rebel of the Sands and a hardcover of Traitor to the Throne, or to win one (1) of five (5) paperback copies of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 27, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 29, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
3/6 – The YA Book Traveler – Mood Board
3/7 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A
3/8 – Love is Not a Triangle – Review
3/9 – Mundie Moms – Review + Favorite Quotes
3/10 – Butter My Books – Guest Post
Week Two:
3/13 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
3/14 – The Eater of Books! – Favorite Quotes
3/15 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Q&A
3/16 – Lost in Lit – Review
3/17 – My Friends Are Fiction – Review
Week Three:
3/20 – The Yong Folks – Author Q&A
3/21 – The Book Addict’s Guide – Traitor Candle
3/22 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
3/23 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
3/24 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post

Blog Tour Rebel of the Sands Bookstagram How To + Giveaway

RebelHowTo1

You might have noticed that I’m in love with #Bookstagram. Two of my favorite things are books and photography so combining these together to create fun, bookish pictures hits all the right notes. I wanted to show you what my process looks like. I’m including my set-up, an attempt I scrapped later and the picture before and after editing. I hope you enjoy this and please leave any questions you have in the comments.

But first let’s talk about the book- Rebel of the Sands was one of my very favorite books last year! If you haven’t read it be sure to add it (and of course enter the giveaway at the end of this post).

About the Book

RebelnewcoverpngShe’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

My Set-Up

rebelsetup

I’ve had several different set-ups but for now this is working best. I use bead board as my base and that big white thing in back is actually a table top. I found the light bounces nicely off of it so it is now a bookstagram prop. I have collected lots of props from craft stores and also décor I have around my house. Once you start to bookstagram you’ll never look at artificial flowers or random nick knacks the same.

I use natural light for my photographs and recently I’ve started using my Canon DSLR. Until last week I was using my iPhone 6 and had really great results.

What Props to Use

rebel2

I try to match my props to the cover- for this one I pulled flowers that had a similar color as the cover and I had to use my hour glass because- sand- Rebel of the Sands. I move things around until I find a set up I like and start shooting. As I go I make adjustments to how things are arranged and I typically take waaaay too many pictures and have to sift through them to find the one I like the best.

Editing

 

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When I was using my iPhone I did a lot of editing in various apps. I’d use Aviary and Snapseed. I also use the editing in Instagram itself. I love how sensitive Instagrams warmth editing is so a lot of the time I use it rather than an apps.

Now that I’m using my camera my editing is much less. I usually just adjust the brightness and do cropping.

If you’ve not read Rebel of the Sands now is the perfect time! The sequel, Traitor to the Throne will be out March 7th from Viking Books.

Tour Schedule

Week One
2/13 – ButterMyBooks – Rebel Scents
2/14 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Reasons to Read Rebel
2/15 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guide to Bookstagram Featuring Rebel
2/16 – The Reader Bee – 5 Reasons to Look Forward to Traitor
2/17 – Fiction Fare – Rebel Recap Part 1
Week Two
2/20 – USA Today Happily Ever After – Excerpt
2/21 – The Eater of Books! – Rebel Mood Board
2/22 – The YA Book Traveler – Fan made Rebel Trailer
2/23 – Lost in Lit – Rebel Book Look
2/24 – Mundie Moms – Rebel Recap Part 2
Week Three
2/27 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Rebel Makeup Looks
2/28 – A Page with a View – Favorite Repackages List Featuring Rebel
3/1 – What Sarah Read – Top 5 Reasons to Love Amani
3/2 – A Book and a Cup of Coffee – Rebel Playlist
3/3 – Once Upon a Twilight – Rebel Recap Part 3

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of ten (10) paperback copies of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 13, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 6, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 8, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour- Rebel of the Sands Character Playlist

I am SO EXCITED to be involved with this tour for Rebel of the Sands. This is one of my favorite books of 2016 and I rated it 5 stars (you can see my review here). The mix of genres worked so well for me as well as the characters. Today I am honored to have Alywn Hamilton here on my blog with her play-list for Amani, the main character of the book.

About the Book

RebeloftheSandsRebel of the Sands
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Penguin

Summary:
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Rebel of the Sands is available NOW

Character Playlist  for Amani

1 – Chasing Twisters – Delta Rae

Everything in this song is Amani to me. From the reckless frantic beat to the idea of her chasing her dreams, trying to catch them like twisters that will sweet her up into something bigger sounds like her to me. She’s a girl born with lightening in her heels and with Dust and Devils on her conscience.

2 -Initials B.B –Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra

This song builds slow and tense, then at 0:44 breaks into the truly badass. It’s the soundtrack to rising to a challenge. It’s the soundtrack to the shooting contest in the first chapter of the book to me.

3 – Remember the Name – Fort Minor

If this is a song about earning a name that passes into infamy it definitely belongs to the girl who goes by the Blue Eyed Bandit.

4 – Gunpowder and Lead – Miranda Lambert
There are a fair few country songs about women getting their own against a world that would chew them up and spit them out. But this is the one for Amani to me.

5 – Paradise – Coldplay

If Amani had a Luke Skywalker moment, staring out across the dunes at the horizon, this would be the soundtrack to it. Dreaming of a better place, right there beyond her reach, half real, half imagined.

6 – Hit me with your best shot – Pat Benatar

This song is Amani at her toughest and cockiest for me. You want to come after her, she will take you on right back.

7 – I knew you were trouble – Taylor Swift

This song alternates between being about Amani from Jin’s point of view and about Jin from Amani’s point of view. And it fits in right when they meet in the first couple of chapters of the book.

8 Dust – Augustana

This is the part of Amani that Dustwalk. The part that’s a little bit dark and a little mistrustful and a little bit angry at the hand her town has dealt her.

9 – Paloma – Carbon Leaf 

This is a song about a girl running towards freedom. “The dreams you seek are straight ahead in every direction.” Is a line that sums up that secret vulnerable part of Amani that’s full of hope.

10 – American Girl – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Amani might not be an American girl, but she’s definitely raised on promises of a great big world with lots of places to run to. Besides, this song always reminds me of the scene in Scrubs where Dr. Elliot Reid turns herself into a badass.

11- Bang Bang – 3OH!3

This song has always sounded like the anthem of a truly badass girl to me. And if that doesn’t describe Amani I don’t know what does. So put your hands in the air, she’s gonna shoot.

12 You’re Gonna go Far, Kid – The offsprings

This song is about someone a little bit ruthless, willing to lie and claw their way to what they want. With a thousand lies, and a good disguise. And Amani is a Damn Good Liar.

13 – Alone Together – Fallout Boy

This song kind of sums up Amani and Jin’s relationship at the beginning of the book for me. Or at least when they meet and how they wind up on the road together.

14 – Bulletproof – LaRoux 

Besides the obvious bullet metaphor for the girl with the gun this is a song for a badass girl closing off her heart.

15 Run – Delta Rae 

Another Delta Rae song. This is a more hopeful song about running, and it belongs to the moment Amani breaks free of her dead end town and starts to tame the roads that can’t be tamed.

16 – You give love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi

If anyone is a loaded gun it’s Amani. There’s a ruthless side to the girl with the gun that fits with this song for me.

17 – Your Surrender – Neon Trees

There is an important part of Amani’s journey that is about letting her guard down. And that’s what this song is about.

18 – Angel with a Shotgun – The Cab

I have written more of REBEL to this song that I would care to admit. It always sounds like an inspiring song about finding a cause to fight and the moment something shifts inside Amani. And again, the shotgun metaphor doesn’t hurt with the Blue Eyed Bandit.

19 – Bad Girls – M.I.A

I wrote most of Chapter 23 to this. It’s a song for 2 badass girls ready to live fast and die young and Amani is half of that team.

20 – Born to run – Bruce Springsteen

If Amani lived on the modern age she would probably wear blue jeans with a red bandana sticking out of the back pocket because this song would be her anthem. She was indeed born to run.

Review of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

RebeloftheSandsRebel of the Sands
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: March 8th 2016
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Print ARC
Source: Friend

My Rating:
star

Summary:
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

My Thoughts:
Rebel of the Sands was crazy good. I sat down with it and thought I’d read a chapter but ended up reading about 3/4ths of the book in one sitting. It was captivating, action packed and had perfect moments of swoon. I adored the characters and their dialog and interactions were very well done.

I didn’t know exactly what I was getting when I started this one…I’d heard it was fantasy? But also the back and summary bring up desert and guns so I wasn’t sure of the genre or atmosphere. It turned out to be this incredible mix of classic Wild West and the Middle East. Not only do we have shoot-out gun fights and train chases we also get epic sand storms, desert treks, djinni myths and a rebel prince. Sign me up for ALL the things.

The main character, Amani, was trapped in her small, desert town. A town in the middle of the desert that viewed women as lesser than and incapable of doing much more than being a wife and mother. Amani’s own mother and step father were dead which left her living with an aunt and uncle who cared little for her welfare. Amani wasn’t having any of that though. She wasn’t going to allow anyone to map out her future or stop her from doing the things she was passionate about (like shooting). I immediately connected with Amani and really loved her spirit, fierce nature and sense of self. She had a goal and nothing was going to stop her.

Beyond Amani, all the other characters were well developed. I know for a fact Jin will be a crowd pleaser. I fell in love with his sharp wit, humor and generally everything about him. His chemistry with Amani was impeccably created and just *swoon* perfection. Jin was so much more than a love interest though. This character was just as thought out as Amani. I can’t go into his past in detail because spoilers but I adore him and need to read oh so much more about him in the next two books.

Even characters that played a very small role were capable of pulling at my heart- I was so impressed that Hamilton conveyed a friendship between Amani and a boy from her town so well that I was feeling emotional in certain parts of the story. I am usually fairly hard hearted especially with characters that aren’t on the page long but not so in this book. I felt some serious love and hate quickly and deeply.

Beyond the characters, the world was exquisite and so creative. Hamilton created so many myths and a depth to the world’s history that I was completely captivated. I honestly couldn’t tell what was created by the author and what might actually be true myths. The entire story was a brilliant concept and wonderfully executed. Hamilton’s writing was so well done I had no problem imagining all of her settings and the action sequences were epic. I could imagine it all playing out like a film (you have train chases, shoot-outs, desert treks, sand storms and more). I am really blown away with the scope of this novel.

Final Thoughts:
I am completely obsessed with Alywn Hamilton’s debut, Rebel of the Sands. This novel mixed a wild west aura, middle eastern culture along with original myth to create a fantasy world rich in depth and completely captivating. This was one of the strongest debuts I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to read more from Hamilton and this series. I am in love.