The first 200 pages were not written well. I was bored and felt growing discomfort with the mangled Middle Eastern culture this fantasy book was premised on. At least the next 150 odd pages picked up a little in terms of plot and also storytelling, so I didn’t end up thoroughly hating Rebel of the Sands. Still, this book has so many problems, I’m relieved I didn’t order the sequels before finishing this one first.
The year has just begun and I’ve only finished three books so far, The Cruel Prince being the first, but I think I’m ready to declare it among my top 10 of 2018. Hah. I mean, only two books I read last year exceeded my rating of 4.883 that I gave The Cruel Prince, so yes I’m confident this book will be among my favourites. In other words, the hype pulled through for me, and I think it’s absolutely justified!
STAGS isn’t a conventional “whodunnit” mystery novel. It’s clear from the opening sentence that someone died. But who? Now, that’s the question! Sadly, I figured that out way too early, so the mystery aspect didn’t grip me quite as much as I’d have liked. Thankfully, there still was more to the book than meets the eye — some really twisted events and towards the end, some sinister foreshadowing of the future.