Published: March 8th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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.
I have had this book on my TBR for AGES now! I literally had it on my kindle for the longest time before deciding to actually buy a physical copy. I cannot even believe that it took me this long to get to it, because I absolutely loved it! It was such a fun and fast paced book!
I think my favourite thing about this book was the ease between Jin and Amani. The relationship between them was easy going and natural even before they really started to help each other out and started to go on the same path. They had their issues and difficulties, but the relationship was never really extremely awkward and was always reparable. I don’t feel like things were rushed between them and I loved watching the relationship between them develop.
What I also enjoyed about this story was the way that the desert stories had truths and exaggerations within them and the way that the truths started showing up throughout the story and the way that the exaggerations started making themselves shown as the book carried on. I enjoyed watching the magic weave itself into the story and felt like I was actually there. The world building was rich and descriptive and I also liked the way that the author took in various aspects of the culture and wove them in as well.
The plot itself was fast paced and easy to follow, whilst still keeping the reader on their toes. I didn’t feel like either the plot or character development suffered for the other, rather that they went hand in hand – one thing affected the other. I loved some of the plot twists that came around and I cannot wait to see how these are explored further in book 2. I felt like the plot developed naturally and the events made the book fast paced.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the next book. I would have liked to have gotten to know some of the other characters better, but I am hoping that this happens in book 2! This was a fast paced, action filled book with fun and sassy characters! I gave this 4/5 stars.