Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #3
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Release Date: February 1st 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?
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
At the end of Traitor to the Throne Amani and her friends has been betrayed; Ahmed and Shazad were captured by the Sultan, and Iman was killed protecting the Rebel Prince. Now Amani and Jin are trying to keep the rebellion alive but the Sultan has more tricks to throw in their path. Using the spirit of one of his captured Djinn he’s created a wall of fire around Izman, trapping the remaining member of the rebellion in the city cut off from their allies outside.
Hero at the Fall seems to start with Amani and her friends at a low point. The rebellion has lost so much; they’ve been left without a leader and are struggling to work out what their plan is. Nothing in this trilogy has been easy, but it seems that point is really driven home in the opening chapters of Hero at the Fall. The story opens a little way in the future from where Traitor to the Throne ended, and it feels like every plan Amani has come up with has failed, leaving her desperate and weary.
To defeat the Sultan, to get the spirit of their rebellion back again, they need their captured friends back, and to get them back Amani and Jin need to find a way beyond the walls of the city to a place that they thought only existed in myths. But it soon turns out it’s not just the Sultan they need to face, and that the fire surrounding the city isn’t just to keep the rebellion trapped but the keep the invading forces marching on Izman out.
As the last book in what has been a fantastic trilogy I had high hopes for Hero at the Fall, and I loved it. This was definitely the darkest book of the three, but no rebellion is fought without losses even for the ‘heroes’. There was some character deaths that broke my heart but I think showing that loss, showing the darker side of the fight all the characters were facing, made the story more real. Hero of the Fall was definitely my favourite book of the trilogy, I was hooked from the first page until the last.
Amani has changed so much as a character. In the very first book all she wanted was to make it to Izman, and she wanted nothing to do with Jin or his brother’s rebellion, but now in the wake of what happened at the end of Traitor to the Throne she’s taken over the role of leader. It’s clear she struggles with the weight of that responsibility on her shoulders. She questions the plans she comes up with, knowing that the lives of her friends, both free and captured, rely on her making the right moves in this fight against the Sultan.
Throughout the trilogy Amani has never really been at the heart of the rebellion, but in this book she’s forced to take on that role. Amani wants to keep her friends and loved ones safe, she’s already lost a lot and wants to make sure everyone left survives what’s coming. Amani is ready to sacrifice herself for the greater good, and it’s the decisions she makes in this book that show how far she’s come over the course of the three books.
The development of Amani and Jin’s relationship hasn’t always been perfect. The two are very similar characters; at the beginning they were both out for themselves and both of them have a habit of running when things get too tough, but in this book neither of them have the luxury of fleeing. They work together in Ahmed’s absence, and Jin is there for Amani to lean on when the weight of leading the rebellion becomes too much for her.
Like Amani Jin is protective over the people he loves, and he wants to keep Amani safe especially when he learns her plan to end the power the Sultan has over Izman. However at the same time both Jin and Amani are ready to sacrifice for the rebellion, for the future Ahmed hopes to achieve for the desert, and again it’s a long way for each character to have come from who they were in the first book.
Even though we don’t see much of them in this book I loved Amani’s friendship with Shazad and Jin’s relationship with Ahmed. There’s no love triangle or girl-hate in this book and it was refreshing reading a female friendship which was built on mutual love and respect, and a sibling relationship that proves you don’t have to be blood related to be family as well.
Throughout the trilogy one aspect which has remained a constant favourite of mine has been the world building, and again in Hero at the Fall it was incredible. We travel further across the desert than we have before, and see places that before we and the characters thought were only legend. In the previous books the characters told stories of Djinn, Heroes and Princesses whose adventures have become more legend than truth, but in this book we got to see more of the truth behind those legends; instead of seeing these figures as legends we were able to see them more as humans.
Hero at the Fall has definitely been my favourite book of the series. There was so much that happened and we got to see what each of the characters was truly capable of, which in the case of Amani created one of the best scenes I’ve read in a book so far this year. Basically if you haven’t started this trilogy start it now, and if you haven’t read Hero at the Fall yet you’re in for a treat when you do pick it up.
What did you think of Hero at the Fall? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
Title: Tales from Sand and Sea
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #0.5
An exclusive short story collection from the world of Rebel of the Sands.
The Girl from the Sea
The Stolen Cargo
The Tale of the Hero Attalah & Princess Hawa
The Djinn and the Runaway
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
At the launch party for Hero at the Fall I received this book which is a collection of short stories from the Rebel of the Sands world told before the events of the first book.
In Tales from Sand and Sea Alwyn Hamilton expands on the myth of the Hero Attalah and the Princess Hawa, and tells us of the lives of Jin’s and Ahmed’s mothers in the Sultan’s harem. We get to see what Jin and Ahmed were up to before returning to the desert and what led Ahmed on the path of his rebellion, and we get to see how Amani’s mother met Bahadur.
This is a good addition to the series, and it was nice reading some of the background information that was glanced past in the main books, but it isn’t necessary to read this to understand the trilogy.