Friday, March 2, 2018

Book Review | HERO AT THE FALL by Alwyn Hamilton

March 6th, 2018
 Viking Books for Young Readers

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.

I fall into a habit of reading sequels so far apart. The longest on record was eight years before I read the sequel. REBEL OF THE SANDS (Book #1) was one of the best books I read in April of last year. That’s why I was so happy that TFG’s genre for February was Fantasy, allowing me to finish the next two books in the trilogy in quick succession. (Yay, self!)

HERO AT THE FALL started where TRAITOR TO THE THRONE left off. Like the first two books, there is no downtime or slacking moments here, everything moved along fluidly. It’s my heart, actually, that needed keeping up. Highlights and action sequences were both given ample emphasis. I really admire how Amani and Jin’s relationship, incredible as it is, never overshadowed the storyline.

Since we are in the subject of relationship, I like how the characters meld together, while holding on to their identities and intended purpose. They were all developed nicely, good or bad, they were very convincing. Amani, indeed, came a long way – a rebellious young girl who wanted to escape out, into a fully-realized rebel fighting for the survival of her world.

And yes, heroes do fall along the way. I knew that I was really deep into the series, when I held onto every page of the book, fearing that the next page may be another goodbye for a character. Miss Hamilton is no fickle in killing off characters. Maybe, she’s related to GRRM? It made this series even more compelling because I held onto the notion that their death will not be for naught... that there will be a very rewarding ending. Overly dramatic? Of course, this series can turn any reader into one. We are speaking of Djinn and Demdji powers here.

And lastly, I am in awe of the worldbuilding. The seamless mapping of the place was so vivid. I never imagined falling for an imagined world, but I did fell for Miraji and its people. I even fell for Dustwalk, that remote town at the end of the desert. Did I mention Djinn and Demdji powers?

Stories. Some stories turn into legends. In some, details were impregnated as they were told along, down generations. But that is how stories endure. These stories will remain with me for a long time. Someday, I may have to reread them.

Congratulations, Alwyn Hamilton. Job well done.

*BTW, Is it just me? 'Cause I really want to see a graphic version of this series. I want to see all the characters in their various glorious colors.

Book details:
Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publication: March 6th, 2018
                       Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: ★★★★★

Rebel of the Sands series:
#1 Rebel of the Sands
#2 Traitor to the Throne
#3 Hero at the Fall


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