Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical 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. Excerpt taken from author’s website.
Derogatory terms etc-
Son of a whore
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
A man comes out of a bar drunk.
Men are drunk at a contest. Spectators and players. One man drinks many bottles.
A father was very drunk most days after work.
A young woman uses liquor to clean a wound.
A young man sneaks pain pills to a friend.
Liquor flowed freely at a celebration.
A sixteen year old says she drinks because of where she grew up. She needs a drink now. Or five. Her second drink didn’t help with the ache inside her. A man with her buys a bottle. They drink for quite a while. She later crushes up pills and puts it in his drink.
A town is broken down and everyone is drinking before noon.
A young woman drinks arak (very strong spirit) with her meal.
A man drinks liquor at a fight.
On a drunken night, two brothers get matching tattoos.
A young man gets very drunk and tries to sing to his love outside her father’s house. He later joked about it and called for a drink so he could do it again.
At a celebration, sweet wine is served to all. Many are drunk and carefree.
A story claims a man doesn’t finish his Holy Father training because he drank too much one night and puked on the High Father.
A man claims to have multiple bottles of liquor on a journey for medical purposes. But he’s drinking them and so is everyone else. They play a drinking game.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
A man spends time at a house “….trying to get his hands under my cousin’s clothes.”
While discussing marriage for his niece with his wife, a man suggests that he marry her. Another of his wives was the same age.
A man says his wife is, “nothing but a used-up foreigner’s whore.”
Stories tell of Djinn seducing women, making them leave their families.
A young woman makes a joke that most men are looking for women not men.
A young woman is hung when a soldier, “took a bit too much of a shine to her.” Townswomen said it was for the best because she wasn’t good to anyone now. (Rape implied.)
A young woman assumes her mother was raped then pretends that the baby is another man’s.
A soldier says to watch out for a foreigner because he would rape her then kill her.
A man’s shirt is cut off to help with a wound. A young woman admires and touches tattoos then stares at his chest.
“I don’t have to marry you…I can make you worthless (rape) then you’d have no choice.”
A young woman tugs down a man’s collar to see his tattoo then realizes she wants to undress him.
Muffled sounds behind door imply sex. Then a young woman comes out and buttons her top button.
A young woman kisses a man to hide in the shadows away from people. She feels heat, want and need. He holds her face in his hands. Someone asks how much the young woman is charging.
A woman with a small child (vaguely) agrees to sex with a soldier for her family to have water. Other women yell that she is a whore.
A boy shape-shifts into animals so when a young woman pets a cat, the cat turned into a boy who was naked. She tries not to look at any part of him. Her brother shape-shifts too so both are naked.
A man doesn’t finish his Holy Father training. He says no one can prove the baby is his.
A man kisses a young woman hard and desperately. She feels the heat of his hands on her skin.
Young women were taken by soldiers and raped (implied.) Then when the soldiers left, the townspeople stoned them to death. One of their sisters was then sold to the same men who stoned the young women so they could afford food.
A man kisses a young woman.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A young man has two black eyes.
Two men beat on a man who has a bloody nose.
A man carries a scimitar and gun.
Shooting contests with guns are common. Youth can participate.
After stealing a horse to leave the city, a young woman is beaten by her aunts.
A young woman wishes a gun would backfire on a man to wipe a grin off his face.
Sometimes children get burned fingers and need to get them sawed off
Players in a contest knock each other over. Each are shooting guns. It turns into a scuffle then a young man is brought in with blood pouring off his face. He is then placed with the bottle on his head for people to shoot.
An uncle says his niece needs to be married so she can get some sense beat into her.
It is rumored that a prince challenges his father for the throne and wins but the Sultan tries to have him killed.
A father liked to get out his gun and shoot at his wife and kid when drunk. He missed.
A man grabs a young man and shoved him against the wall with a knife and threatens to, “gut you from navel to nose…”. A man interferes and snaps his bone. Chaos erupts, the building is on fire. Outside, someone shoots at them.
A young girl was “slapped silly” for bringing home a pet mouse. A young woman gets smacked in the head for being slow.
A wife shoots her abusive husband in the stomach then lights their house on fire.
Soldiers carry swords and guns.
Stories tell of faceless Skinwalkers who eat men’s flesh then take his shape to feast on his family. Nightmares sink their teeth into men’s chests and feed off fear until their soul is sucked out. You have to kill them with iron. It’s best through the skull or ribs.
A young woman grabs a gun to shoot an intruder.
A man has been shot. His shirt is covered in blood. A young woman uses a knife to get the bullet then blood gushes. She stitches it with thread and needle while he flinches.
Stories say a man beats his wife to death for supposedly bearing a child for a Djinn (supernatural creature).
A man tries to kill his brother with a sword but is stopped with magic.
A horse hits a man in the head with a crunch. Blood splatters.
A soldier slaps a young woman making her feel pain in her bones. He threatens to shoot her. She tries to choke someone. She is slapped again. Her friend has a gun to his head. Soldiers shoot him in the knee. The butt of a gun smashes across her head and blood erupts. A building explodes. A man shoots a man. Later the man says her friend is either dead or alive but suffering.
There is a bar fight. There are overturned tables and a bloody nose.
A young woman carries a gun. She points it at another young woman.
A man and young woman jump out of a train. She punches for his face but he grabs her wrist. She punches his gut instead.
A young woman and man get out a knife and gun.
A man punches another man in a fighting contest. He breaks his nose. He punches again, sending him to the ground.
A young woman shoots a liquor bottle out of a man’s hand. His hand is covered in blood.
A huge bomb is rumored to have been made. A leader supposedly allowed them to test it on one of his own cities and people.
A mother shot her husband and set the house on fire but the daughter feels relief he is gone. Then she screams when her mother is taken and hanged.
After finding contraband, a man is taken by soldiers and made to kneel, as if to be shot. His daughter steps between them.
A holy building is turned into a prison of sorts where a young woman is chained and bloody. A man is chained also. Soldiers come to kill the girl, unlocking her and grabbing her hair. She is shot. Her body slumped, blood pooling. Her body is later burned.
A young woman is given to a leader who is known for beating a woman to death that he loved.
When a wife bears a demon child, a husband binds her in iron and throws her in the sea. The baby was buried alive.
A soldier admits to killing three men to earn rank. He’s tasked with killing another.
A man is trampled by a horse.
A Nightmare (tries to suck your soul) jumps to attack but is shot, black guts splatter. They hear a hundred more shriek. People shoot them as they would fling their bodies at them. This happened many times. One jumps on a man and sinks his teeth in his heart. The man is alive but delirious and having hallucinations.
A skinwalker (feed on men then take their shape) finds two people alone and hurt in the desert. It shows the face of its last kill and taunts them. It says it will eat her and listen to her scream. He has fangs and claws and claws 5 long marks on her arm. It then sinks it’s teeth in her neck as agony rips through her. A young woman comes with scimitars and stabs one into its stomach and another in its neck.
A young woman finds a medical knife for a weapon. She walks in an unfamiliar place seeing young boys doing fighting drills and two learning about a bomb. A young woman places a gun to the young woman’s head and asks her to drop the knife.
People who have abilities (shape-shifting etc) have to hide or they’re killed.
Three men were put in the stocks for saying that women should be able to oppose a marriage.
A young woman asks for help from a medical person for some burns she received from an explosion.
A young woman slaps a man.
A woman sleeps with her hand on a knife.
Two young women have a blade and gun. They leap across train cars, one almost falling, one attacking a soldier with a blade and then almost falling. They are taken hostage with others, some having guns to their heads or beaten. One is kicked in the ribs. One captive says a soldier will burn if a woman is harmed. A man burns another man to death.
A man blows up/burns men that raped his sister. It was a large explosion.
A man grabs a young woman’s wrist and a shot of pain explodes in her. She jumps out of a train carriage and hits a canyon wall, hearing her ribs break. She cries out in agony. A gun goes off. A young woman hits a man in the throat then stabs a knife in his gut. A man points a gun but is covered in sand.
A group of people make plans to kill a man. He burns some soldiers with magic. He then briefly burns a boy. A young woman shoots him so he sends his fire at her. She loses consciousness briefly. More bullets are fired. Someone cries out in pain. Glass rains down on a young woman, cutting her. A bullet grazes her leg. A large bird digs its talons in a man’s eye. Many were fighting, some with swords. A gun is pointed at the young woman’s head. A man burns another man. Soldiers try shooting him but they are thrown to the ground and he burns them. Fire is creeping toward a town then flung onto soldiers. Shots are fired. Soldiers scream. A woman has blood smeared on her skin.
Potentially Intense Themes
Women and their belongings belong to their husband or father etc. One young woman feels for her cousin because she doesn’t realize that being born a girl is terrible.
Many fathers work with gunpowder and get killed from explosions or working drunk. Injuries are common, one young man got burned and lost a month of work but was lucky it wasn’t worse.
Some mines exploded and collapsed, killing many. Sabotage is rumored.
Something reminds a young woman of her dad being pulled out of their burning house, his skin still smoldering.
An entire city is burned. No bodies.