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Race the Sands

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,079 ratings  ·  551 reviews
In this epic standalone fantasy, the acclaimed author of the Queens of Renthia series introduces an imaginative new world in which a pair of strong and determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quest to become monster racing champions.

Life, death, and rebirth -- in Becar, everyone knows that who you are in this life will
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Harper Voyager
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Punxsutawney It's filthy. Sand gets everywhere... even your private parts!…moreIt's filthy. Sand gets everywhere... even your private parts!(less)
Zaba Cita Novine I think adults will enjoy it more than YA, but it can pass as YA book as well.

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  2,079 ratings  ·  551 reviews

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Emily May
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, fantasy
Call it what it is: monster racing.
Forget that, and you die.

This book was everything I wanted. Ever since I read Durst's The Queen of Blood in 2016, I've been saying that she's a seriously underrated author... but this book? Wow, she just took it to a whole new level.

And the silly thing is-- I'd been putting it off. Monster racing sounds kinda badass, but it also doesn't quite grab me in a "need to read" way. I love character drama and emotional investment. I love relationships and political
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
An exciting and enjoyable standalone fantasy for both adult and young adult audience.

The Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst is a series that I occasionally saw but, as usual, I’ve never gotten around to reading it due to out-of-control TBR pile. Race the Sands is a recently published book that suddenly and immediately shot up to the top of my TBR after several trusted friends review; all of them claimed it’s Durst’s best work so far, and the novel would be included in their best book
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
I loved everything about Race the Sands! Hooked from the very first page, the interesting character profiles is what struck me first. Tamra had a great backstory: she’s a highly skilled trainer (old injuries keeping her from competing in the kehok races herself), and an incredibly badass character (with enough flaws to make her realistic). Both she and the other characters had great motive from those backstories – compelling enough to sustain the whole plot. Very well done.

Characters aside, I lo
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Q: How does one live a moral life and still live in reality? (c)
Q: “Inside I am screaming,” ...
“Inside we all are.” (c)
“So I’ll be a fish. Or a bird. Or a cricket. Or whatever. Does it matter, so long as I’ve done the best I can?...
Death erases all we are and all we were. So the past and the future? They don’t matter as much as what you do in the moment. In every moment. ” (c)

A lovely world. Comes complete with social tensions, meddling parents, floating gardens, weirdish imagery, reincarna
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This was a very enjoyable and engaging young adult fantasy about a world where reincarnation is very real and depending on what you do and stand for in life, you end up as all types of animals and insects. However, if you have been really good, you get to be reincarnated as a human again, while if you weren't, you come back as a monster, the lowest of the low and usually with no hopes for better faith in your future lives... One of the pastimes of this world's populous is betting on races of peo ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’d be shocked if Race the Sands doesn’t end up topping my list of favorite reads at the end of the year. I mean, I’ve been following Sarah Beth Durst for a while and I love her work, but wow, she’s certainly outdone herself this time. There’s literally nothing I disliked about this book, a spectacular effusion of excitement, adventure, and really wild things!

Welcome to Becar, a world where reincarnation exists. While thos
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Harper Collins Publishers - Harper Voyager for the eARC of Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst! The book releases April 21st 2020 so add it to your TBR now if you are interested!

**Description omitted for Goodreads review**

Does it sound a bit like The Scorpio Races? Yes, to the point where I almost put it down - but I encourage you to keep reading if you feel like DNFing at first. The first few chapters as well as the rest of the book read very "young" to me in the writing style, but
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tamora Pierce fans
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I took a chance because it had quite a few elements that appealed to me: high fantasy, deadly races, reincarnation, a desert empire, and two strong female protagonists.

Race the Sands features two main characters, alternating between their perspectives and, occasionally, the perspectives of other side characters, from a third person poin
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read
3.5 stars

If you want to try one of Sarah Beth Durst's books, this is a reasonably solid standalone fantasy novel representative of her work.

While I wasn't a fan of the entire Queens of Renthia series, I did enjoy the first two books in particular, The Queen of Blood and The Reluctant Queen. Race the Sands shares some similar traits with those books, including an imaginative setting and interesting main characters whose primary flaws stem mostly from a lack of self belief and confidence. Personal
The Captain
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! I received a copy of this young adult fantasy eArc from Edelweiss in exchange for me honest musings . . .

I absolutely loved this standalone novel. This novel has great female protagonists, fun evil creatures called kehoks, and some surprising plot twists. It was such a good reading experience that I didn’t even notice many of the writing inconsistencies until after I finished. I wanted to stay up all night reading but made meself go to bed. The author dedicated the book to
Sonja Arlow
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

It seems that it has taken a global pandemic for me to enjoy YA fantasy again.

It reminded me a bit of The Scorpio Races but with better characterisation and a stronger storyline.

This is a world where your soul is guaranteed to be reincarnated after death. But what you become in your next life is determined by how pure you are in this one. A person who has committed a serious crime, such as murder, will be reborn as the lowest of the low for the rest of eternity: a Kheok.

These Kheok a
Helena Paris
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
⇢ 5+ ✰STARS✰


This book will be in my top 5 books of the year...I'm sure of it. There is absolutely nothing that I can fault about this book. I loved it. It didn't even feel like it was over 500 pages, I flew through it...most of it one day. Which is crazy because it's almost 16 hours long. I can't even say anyt
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, favorites

4.5 Stars for Characters: Tamra, Raia, Shalla, Yorbel, Dar, Lady Evara, Kehok: Black Lion
4 Stars for Themes
3 Stars for Plot
-2 Stars for Breaking Suspension of Belief

Woohoo! I'm glad this book came up in my GR feed and that I decided to take a chance on it. I didn't realize that I had several of the author's books in my TBR to read until after I finished this one. Kudos to Niki & Mark. They are a big part of the reason why I decided to take a chance and read this story. Hi-5 to Gaea f
Melanie  Brinkman
Choices will always follow you, through this life and the next.

Death is an end, but not the end. Not in Becar, where your choices are the true masters. Live life with a good heart, and come back  as a decent being. Truly rotten souls are fated to forever come back as kehoks, monsters, with no hope for redemption.

Unless you win the races.

After a tragic accident with a student ruined her life, Tamra, a professional trainer, is down on her luck. Without the winnings of the races, she'll lose everyt
Beatrice in Bookland
"Run! That's all that matters! That's all that exists! You are nothing but the sand beneath the hooves, the wind in your face, the sun on your back. You are this moment. Feel the moment. Feel the race!"

Scott  Hitchcock
Definitely more YA than advertised but enjoyable minus the way a few endings happened so quickly.
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Epic Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0


In this epic standalone fantasy, Sarah Beth Durst's Race the Sands introduces an imaginative new world in which a pair of strong and determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quest to become monster racing champions. In the desert world of Becar, people are reincarnated upon death and the worst of the worst are reincarnated as kehoks, or demons that are the dream spawn of Simic monster
Bright Star
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review

Race the Sands was such an incredible book! I loved the main concept but what I loved most were the characters: strong, independent women who made their choices and never gave up, chasing their dreams and willing to do everything in their power to change their lives and their future. Women who didn't give a damn about rules and duties, they decided their fates, they chose how to live and what was worth fighting for. This bo
Reread review: still as stunning as ever. I REALLY need to purchase myself an actual copy of this book!

Disclaimer: I won an ARC of this book courtesy of a Goodreads giveaway, so my review of this book is of an unpublished edition.
"Run!" she shouted at the two riders. "That's all that matters! That's all that exists! You are nothing but the sand beneath the hooves, the wind in your face, the sun on your back. You are this moment. Feel the moment. Feel the race!"
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
A fantasy romance with majority female cast that has like NO ROMANCE cause they're busy saving the damn kingdom while talking to a lion?! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas bitch!

I freaking loved the whole cast but especially our main character. First has an ability to write female mom characters that are empathetic and strong and likable *chefs kiss* also a big fan of that "make your family when your blood family is shit"
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

You can read all of my reviews at

Wow. Who knew a book about a young girl racing a monster in the sand would blow me away. This book was so fricking good!! Of course, I expect no less from Sarah Beth Durst. I love her writing and this latest book is a must read.

In Becar, how you live your life determines what physical form you will take when you are reborn. Priest-like individuals known as augers can read a person's aura to determine their fate. Knowin
Di Maitland
Augur Yorbel, will you please inform the Emperor to be that his prize racer will only run for one rider.

WHAT an awesome read. I loved this book. It's got monster racing, alpha-females, sweet princes, political intrigue and family drama, what's not to love.

Tamra is a kehok racing trainer. A former racer herself, she's familiar with the huge monsters, a mishmash of animals parts host to the souls of the worst of human society in their former lives. I must admit, I was sceptical of this reincarnati
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

Review: 4.5 Stars

I really loved this book! I've been having a hard time getting into fantasy novels lately, but when I saw all of the amazing reviews that Race the Sands was getting I just had to give it a chance. I wasn't sure that I even wanted to read a book about monster racing, but I wound up really loving it. This was a fabulous standalone fantasy and I really loved the story and its characters.

I really enjoyed all o
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out my review here!

I received a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway.
Ellen Gail
“Death erases all we are and all we were. So the past and the future? They don’t matter as much as what you do in the moment. In every moment.”

Five stars. This exceeded my every expectation and then some.

Review to come!

Thanks to Goodreads FirstReads and Harper Voyager for the free ebook!
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2020, 2020-releases
This was so much fun!

Full review!
♠ Tabi⁷₈⁷ ♠
Jul 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: edelweiss
two words: monster racing
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
In a world where your virtue in your current life results in rebirth in the next one as something else, the worst of the worst get reborn as kehoks, monstrous unnatural chimeras that are doomed to only ever be reborn as kehoks forevermore. In the country of Becar, people receive the help of Augurs to guide their lives to the best possible reincarnation and as a result Augurs are an important part of Becar society. Also important in Becar are the kehok races, where riders try to control the monst ...more
Kristina (heartsfullofreads)
Race The Sands is a solid standalone adult fantasy novel. It's filled with wonderful characters, political intrigue, and monster racing. This is the second book I've read by Sarah Beth Durst and I think she is such an underrated fantasy author. I wish more people would read her books because they are well written and unique. She also does a great job writing strong female characters that are relatable. If you like fantasy books definitely give this one a try. I think it has appeal for both adult ...more
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Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books for kids, teens, and adults, including Spark, Drink Slay Love, and The Queens of Renthia series. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her child ...more

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“She was beginning to understand why so few people even tried monster racing. Constant terror is a bit of a distraction,” 1 likes
“They didn’t understand that evil could grow if planted in a field of banal cruelty.” 1 likes
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