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Race the Sands

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,461 ratings  ·  418 reviews
In this stand-alone fantasy, Durst 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, who you are in this life will determine your next life. Yet there is hope - you can change your destin
Paperback, 544 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Harper Voyager
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Punxsutawney It's filthy. Sand gets everywhere... even your private parts!
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 4.33  · 
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 ·  1,461 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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Emily May
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2020
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  ·  review of another edition
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☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡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  ·  review of another edition
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
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
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
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
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
The Captain
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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 of Eretz ✰
Oct 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: adult, arcs, high-fantasy
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
3.5 stars

If you want to try one of Sarah Beth Durst's books, this is a reasonbly 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
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
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, reviewed

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
⇢ 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
Beatrice in Bookland
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2020
"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.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
*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  ·  review of another edition
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
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"
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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!"

I cannot. How the hell is this only a standalone?? I need an entire series about this. I need the plot of this book to be spread to at
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 22, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book is out today and it involves MONSTER RACING, my friends!! In other words, what are you waiting for? ;)
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Check out my review here!

I received a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, favorites
A huge thank you to NetGalley, Sarah Beth Durst, and HarperCollins Publishers for the opportunity to read Race the Sands in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the description of this novel, but having let it sit in my queue for a few months until near publication date, I went in with the assumption that this was a YA novel. I mean, the cover looks like a YA novel, and the desert empire setting is quite common among YA. When I started reading, I was like, oh, yeah, this is an adult fantasy. An
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases, arc, 2020
This was so much fun!

Full review!
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
two words: monster racing
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Race the Sands [April 30, 2020] 33 20 May 11, 2020 12:49PM  

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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, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dra ...more

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