Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
⭐️ 5 / 5
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?
I loved the first two books in the Rebel of the Sands series so I was really excited to jump into the concluding novel as soon as I could get my hands on it. The novel picks up almost immediately after Traitor to the Throne finishes so we are thrown straight back into the action. One of my favourite things about this series has been the pacing. It’s been great fun from the start of book one to the end of book three and Alwyn always seems to perfectly balance the fast paced action sequences with well timed rest periods which usually let us explore the world she has created for us. This leads me nicely to the world building. I mentioned in my review for Traitor to the Throne how much I enjoyed the step up in world building and how we got to see further reaches of the Sultan’s realm. This continues into Hero at the Fall and the details allow me to feel that these cities are tangible places that I could visit, although I’m not sure I’d want to what with wars and battles going on in the streets. I’ve always loved Alwyn’s writing style and her descriptions make it so easy for me to ‘direct the cast’ in my imagination. I cannot wait to see where she takes us after this smash-hit debut series.
As with the previous books in the series, the characters in Hero at the Fall are just brilliant, kickass, wonderful people who we all would want as friends. However, as you would probably expect from the last in a series where the battle to end all battles is right around the corner, I had to savour every character just in case they fell victim to the mighty pen sword. No spoilers, but we lose a couple of beautiful characters that contribute to a very poignant ending to this series. On the flip side, we see Amani really come into her own as she has to find her place in the rebellion. She’s as resourceful, strong willed and determined as we have grown used to however I found she was more independent in this book and much less reliant in those around her as she has grown to understand herself and her fellow Demji. The characters are well representative of all different backgrounds which is a massive strength of this series. There really is someone for everyone to relate to here. Gender doesn’t seem to work the same way in the world of Rebel of the Sands as it does in our own so there are gender-fluid and non-binary characters as well as other areas of the LGBTQIA+ community represented.
There were so many twists and turns in this final plot that my head was almost spinning with the onslaught of emotions. I get very invested in the books that I’m reading and the last fifty or so pages were heart-stopping which produced some interesting reactions for London’s tube passengers to roll their eyes at. I really need to learn not to read such exciting books on the underground network. In terms of a finale, Hero at the Fall really delivered. It wrapped up any loose ends and questions we had carried forward for answers from further back in the series. Alwyn’s excellent planning was really illustrated throughout as old and new details flowed seamlessly to give the reader what they needed. This really has been a beautiful and enjoyable series and this final book was everything I could have hoped for.
Let me know if you’ve read this series, or are just starting, and what you think of it!