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Sand Dancer

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death.

But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued acro
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Paperback, 397 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Uproar Books
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  92 ratings  ·  44 reviews


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Erika Sarutobi
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally had time to finish this!! I didn't think I'd enjoy this as much as I thought because of that, excuse me, ugly cover (I'm sorry to the person who worked on that).

I love everything about the world setting in this book especially the lore, magic system and the culture. The characters are diverse and didn't feel superficial. I love the character development of Mina though she could get a bit disrespectful.

The writing style is really good and right up my alley. I'll definitely check any books
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Niki
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoyed a lot this book, more that i anticipated i would!

i really liked the story/plot which kept my interest throughout!

the pace of the book is really good which made me not to loose my interest!!

very good option to pick up! :)
Nickie
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mina fears one thing, fire magic, which is punishable by death. When it's discovered she is a Fire Walker, her life is turned upside down and Mina must run for her life. With vengeance in her heart, for the murder of her father, she is accepted into House Arlbond, where she will hide as a boy learning to use a sword.

This book had a lot of things I love, a girl who pretends to be a boy, a cute furry side-kick, and revenge. I've been finding myself bored with YA fantasy lately, because all the bo
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Koeur
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.4/5

Review: The cover art is hideous.

This novel had everything I loathe and more. Super speshully main character, and “leering and sneering” bad guys smirking their way across the pages under an Oliver type story line.

Mina is an alley rat whom is not only gifted with powers she doesn’t want but somehow gets into a sword fighting academy disguised as a boy and proceeds to fool everyone of said. Right. She is slight of build but manages to kick ass against full grown, battle hardened men
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Natalie
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
My 14 year old daughter wanted me to read this book. So with her in mind, I requested an advance copy. I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved that Mina is a strong female heroine in this coming of age story. I enjoyed the adventure and pace of the book as Mina discovered her fire power and the new life that came because of it. I feel like she is a relatable character that my daughter will enjoy. My daughter will be able to empathize with Mina, as she learns to deal with becoming a woman ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I wanted to enjoy this so much, I was so disappointed that I didn’t love it. The writing is good and so is the world building and story, but I just found the MC so unlikeable I couldn’t get past it at all. It’s a shame because it could have been so good otherwise

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
K.A. Black
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought I was going to rate this at 4 stars due to the quickness of the beginning, but Skies way with writing craft bumped this up to a five. Writers are no stranger to tension being important to a story and Skies does it so well. Sometimes it’s the plot or other characters, but Skies also made Mina her own source of tension due to her actions and it’s so well crafted. It also makes her very realistic. The fact that Skies has these smaller character arcs within Mina's revenge story gives her a ...more
Breane Ross
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received an arc from netgalley. Really enjoyed this book! Definitely recommend it.
Esther Jones
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast paced and vivid.

Pros - I loved the worldbuilding, the story, the secondary characters, and the pacing and narrative style of this story. From beginning to end, I was hooked and there was never a dull moment. The lore woven throughout the novel was fascinating and all tied together well, and there was a mystery to uncover that kept the story quite intriguing.

Cons - I could not find it within myself be to endeared to the main character. Certain choices that she made didn't work for me, and it
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Lorraine
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Story Tellers on Tour.
It took a little time for me to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Once the paced picked up, it fell into a great adventure from start to finish. There were very unique elements that makes it a refreshing addition to young adult fantasy series. I loved the Middle Eastern-like world of the book. It is a needed change to many fantasies that are set in what resembles old European
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Nessa
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. Honestly, I think I enjoyed it more than I had expected to. Debut authors kind of scare me because there is absolutely nothing to compare their works to. You just go in blind and hope for the best. Sometimes it works, sometimes…not so much. Luckily, Sand Dancer works.

Pros:

Storyline: When I saw the cover, I was hoping for something a little different and I was NOT disappointed. The concept of Mina going into hiding and, eventually, in disguise in order to train, gain contro
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Rowena Andrews


Sand Dancer was an entertaining read that I found myself reading in the space of a few sessions, and that was largely because of the world that Skies has created within its pages. The worldbuilding in this book did an excellent job of treading that line between creating a rich, diverse world with a real sense of history and culture – and I loved the stories and beliefs and how they fed into different aspects of life– without becoming too embroiled in the details. There were a few aspects that I
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Sarah Foil
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death. But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued across the desert by the soldiers and guards of the noble Houses. To survive, she knows she’ll have to abandon her past and lear ...more
Rebecca/Bex
Honestly, when I picked this book up, I thought it would be something to enjoy as a light read. I ended up loving it more than I thought, but then also disliking it slightly too. I have to admit I didn't finish the whole book, but its to no fault of the story or the author. I hope to finish it and do a full review on my blog in the future, but I'm giving feedback while I still have thoughts on this story.

Sand Dancer follows Mina, a young impressionable girl who discovers she is the one thing she
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Henry Lazarus
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Trudie Skies has a solid, fun tale of a desert country where some people have fire magic and are despised for it. Teramina’s father had stopped teaching her sword play when her first period came. Very aggressive, she decides to goad the local butcher into using the fire she suspects he has, only to discover that she has fire magic, and so does her father who is killed in front of her. Running, she somehow finds Lord Talin, the head of a small clan, and the king’s protector. Talin takes to her an ...more
Krys
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
***
Sand Dancer by Trudie Skies had a great premise and actually really good writing. The world was interesting and if more is ever added to this world, specifically Talin and Jonan, I will jump right on that. These things were great.

Too bad I didn’t care for the MC, Mina, at all. Talin, Jonan, Raj, Ali and Iman were intriguing side characters and helped me get through the rest of the book. Mina ju
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S. Kaeth
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty classic coming of age story with a young girl learning to come to terms with who she is, who her people are, and the ramifications of her magic. Mina is likeable, though sometimes you want to shake some sense into the headstrong girl, and she moves from trouble to trouble, getting in her own way as danger increases around her. It was a great moment when she realized that she’d just stabbed herself in the foot though, and I was pleased that she continued to grow from the experien ...more
Ruth Parker
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book; I really was adamant I was going to fall head over heels for it. Maybe it was too much pressure? Too heavy on my expectations?

Whatever it was, something just fell a little flat.
I liked the dialogue and the action. The plot points, while a little slow at times, were well crafted and I enjoyed the writing. I didn’t like Mina at all, but I don’t underrate books based on unlikeable characters - my problem is that I don’t think she was meant to be unlikeable though!

I thi
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Deborah
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strong female character setting out for revenge! Forbidden magic she never wanted!Hidden secrets! Necessary lies to get into an all male sword training academy!

Who could ask for more!?

I loved this book more than I was expecting, I got hooked when we had the ‘Mulan deception’ as our main character Mina has to pretend to be the son of a nobleman to gain admittance to the highly esteemed Academy! As a great job of move from realm to realm and building a rich world. We also have a great cast of c
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Lucy Sibun
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
**contains spoilers**

This was an enjoyable story set in a well-described and unique fantasy world that’s a nice change of pace from the medieval-Europe based stories I am used to.

I did find Mina annoying at times, with impulsive and selfish behaviour that led to people around her being hut - but I did feel she grew as a character and saw her mistakes as she did so.

I would have liked to have seen more of her building her strengths as a fighter because it seemed to go from her being a novice to a
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Lily
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just finished this book, I will say that I would love to learn more about the Mina that I ended the book with. The author definitely took her time building Mina into a character that I was really invested in. The beginning was so very slow for me, it wasn’t until she really found a family and good friends that I really became interested. But once I reached the halfway point, this book transformed from just a book to a book I couldn’t put down. I could think of many ways to discuss this bo ...more
marvellousmarmite
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Good YA book about Mina, in a world where those with fire magic in their blood are considered monsters and should be killed.. Mina faces struggles on two fronts - she's female and wants to be a warrior; and she discovers she has fire magic. You follow her adventures as she is forced to flee her old life, dresses as a boy and tries to follow her dreams.

Interesting and complex world building, this is a good start of a series.
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marvellousmarmite
Good YA book about Mina, in a world where those with fire magic in their blood are considered monsters and should be killed.. Mina faces struggles on two fronts - she's female and wants to be a warrior; and she discovers she has fire magic. You follow her adventures as she is forced to flee her old life, dresses as a boy and tries to follow her dreams.

Interesting and complex world building, this is a good start of a series.
...more
Veselina
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.

It is a wonderful story of the life of Mina that after the death of her father, need to pretend to be a boy. She want her revenge but first she needs to become the warrior that can kill the murderer of her father. But not all is as it seems. Is her father truly what he was saying....

Fast paced, intriguing magical system and lots of turn around. Looking forward if there will be book 2. Enjoy.
Angie
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's good. So much emotion, intrigue, spilt blood, and of course, fire. Had me on tenterhooks sometimes, the author giving me enough reason to believe things were going to get worse. Bad guys aplenty. Grey guys aplenty. Twists aplenty. A brilliant balance of .... everything. It's now past 2am. I have read through to dawn over last couple of days. Gonna finally sleep now, and likely dream of fire and sand, dancing.

I.e. it's good. Go read it.
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Cherry London
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A desert fantasy that takes you on an adventure in the sands, filled with interesting characters. The storyline is a good one with notable characters, like Mina, Talin, and Iman, a family of fire walkers. I believe Mina is on an adventure of a lifetime where she learns who she really is and where she came from. A thrilling and exciting read.
Patricia
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher free for review.
I loved this story. Mina is a girl who sees her father killed before her by a boy that she vows to find and kill. Along the way she discovers many things about herself and her family. Loved the world and sand dancing. Hope there is another book soon.
Norma Reasor
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great

A refreshingly good book, with its own story, not just a retelling of other fantasy books. I don’t think there any stories that are completely new, but in the telling the author owns this tale. I’m so glad I took a chance on a new author.
Roxanne
Kept my attention all the way through

This was a well written story that captured my imagination from the beginning. I appreciate that it was a clean book with just the right amount of sexual tension without the graphic details that I don't appreciate. Keep writing.
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Flavia
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of things in this book are honestly pretty derivative, but I found myself hooked anyway. It's one of those books that just works. ...more
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Trudie Skies was born in Nottingham—Robin Hood country, she says—and now lives in North East England, where she spends the majority of her free time imagining warmer climates and writing about them.

Her less-than-free time is also spent behind a computer keyboard as an IT administrator, and she promises not to bore you with the details. Previously, she worked as a mobile game designer and tester, a
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