Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton
Published: February 1st 2018 by Faber & Faber
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Rating: 3/5 stars – ★★★
I won’t provide a synopsis for this book as it is the third and final book in the series. If you want to read the synopsis, you can click on the title above to go to the Goodreads page.
I have reviewed the second book, Traitor to the Throne, as well. You can find that review here.
This is a spoiler-free review even if you haven’t read the previous two books.
I’m going to be honest, this is my least favorite book in the series. In fact, the more I think about it, the more issues I have with it. I still gave it three stars because I was interested in the ending of the series and it was still a fast-paced read. I enjoyed it, but I do think it’s the weak link in the trilogy.
So what did I enjoy? I was already invested in this story. I loved some of the characters and wanted the Rebellion to win and the Sultan to be overthrown. That didn’t change here. I still adored the same characters and wanted the Rebellion to win.
Another aspect of this book I really enjoyed was the Djinn themselves. I was really intrigued by Zaahir! The really short myths and legends that are woven through this story are incredibly interesting.
The last thing I really loved was the fact that this is another fast-paced fantasy that you just speed through. I wanted to keep reading, even though I had some issues with it.
Like I said, there were quite some things I didn’t like too.
Maybe it’s because I read the second and third book immediately after one another, but I grew really annoyed with the things that were constantly repeated. I read the phrase “I kissed the corner of his lips” multiple times (started rolling my eyes after a while, because why the corner??), and I grew irritated with Amani constantly putting herself down. Yes, there was a good reason for that but still. Every few pages she would think: “Who am I to make these decisions? I’m just a girl from the desert, a girl from nowhere, etc.”. Again and again and again. If you don’t believe in yourself at all, then why should I?
Another aspect that bothered me is Amani’s impulsive behavior. I realize that sometimes you have to make decisions quickly. But she’d make a (horrible) decision, and then realize it was a horrible decision 2 pages later. Again and again and again. I was so irritated after a while! For example, she has a wound that nearly makes her faint from pain when she uses her powers. Using her powers is essential to the rebellion. Yet she doesn’t say anything about it to anyone. And she doesn’t let anyone check it out! I MEAN, WHAT THE HELL?
I also think a lot of convenient things happened in this book. Stuck in this city? No problem, this person/immortal being just appears! I also don’t like that Izz and Maz were basically used as escape shapeshifters all the time and didn’t actually get any dialogue? You don’t really know them any better than you do after the first book which to me is a shame.
And then there’s the ending. I really enjoyed the actual ending/sort of epilogue you get on how the country fares in the next 10 to 20 years. I didn’t enjoy the last part of the battle. Some of it was so weird I found myself rolling my eyes.
I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book after discussing all those negatives with you but I did! I still think it’s an enjoyable YA fantasy book that’s quite fast-paced. Yes, to me it is the weakest book in the trilogy. But according to the Goodreads reviews, most people really loved this one. Overall, I would definitely recommend the series. They are fun, quick reads and managed to get me out of a reading slump.