Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.
The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.
Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…
In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?
The Rebel of the Sands trilogy has been one of my favorite reads of the past few years–a first book that was a random bookstore buy but was unexpectedly excellent, a second book that met all of my earlier expectations and then some, and now this book. I will genuinely mourn the ending of this series (and already am), but I did deeply adore Hero at the Fall, and am so happy that this series exists.
PSA, I was extra and bought the UK version (the cover is SOOOO MUCH better). It also came out a month and a half earlier, so there’s that. But the US edition, with its slightly less lovely cover, came out yesterday, so happy book birthday Alwyn and Amani!
Hero at the Fall again takes a very different approach from either of the first two–we start with Amani stepping up and trying to lead a very ragged band of rebels, after the main pillars of the uprising have been sent off to a prison camp. She has only a few other Demdji, including her love Jin, following her, and is determined to try and find Ahmed, the Rebel Prince, before death (or worse) finds him.
It did take me a little while to get into this book–partially because of the disjointed, dejected place that we start in. But once Amani commenced her mission, to get her people back, I was hooked. I happily followed her and the gang across the desert back to Dustwalk, and then all the way back again. I admit that there were times when I got exasperated with her choices, and wanted to shake her and yell ‘that is OBVIOUSLY a stupid move’–but even this was realistic, considering that Amani was trying to play a role she had absolutely no experience with. And I was impressed when she still managed to accomplish her goals despite all of this.
I also really, REALLY liked that Amani had to travel back to her roots–back to Dustwalk–in order to move forward. It was a really nice way of tying back to the first book, and I enjoyed her grappling with her demons as well as saving the world.
I don’t want to get too spoiler-y–but I will also say that once Amani accomplishes her goal and the Rebellion gets resurrected, there are SO MANY amazing, kickass scenes that I almost couldn’t keep track. I mean, sand ships? YES. Tricky Djinni? YESSSS. Impossible life or death choices? *Sigh*. I mean, not that I’m going to say the ending didn’t almost kill me–but I enjoyed every minute of it, which is as good an endorsement as you can get out of a book lover.
And I also liked how the epilogue didn’t pretend that everything was rosy from here on out–that everything was going to go perfectly. But I also loved the hope that was still there, how no one stopped striving for a better world even after they had one. So yes, please go read Hero at the Fall.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.