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Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)
Author:Alwyn Hamilton

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)

Alwyn Hamilton



For Molly Ker Hawn.

For being the first to fall in love with Amani’s story.

And making all of this possible.




Cast of Characters

THE REBELLION

Amani – Sharpshooter, Demdji marked by blue eyes, able to control desert sand, also goes by the moniker of the Blue Eyed Bandit. Current de facto leader of the Rebellion in absence of Prince Ahmed. Seventeen years old.

Prince Ahmed Al-Oman Bin Izman – The Rebel Prince, leader of the Rebellion. Currently captured. Nineteen years old.

Jin – Prince of Miraji, brother of Ahmed, full name Ajinahd Al-Oman Bin Izman. Nineteen years old.

Prince Rahim – Prince of Miraji. Half-brother to Ahmed and Jin. Full-blooded brother of Leyla. One time military commander of Iliaz. Currently captured. Nineteen years old.

Shazad Al-Hamad – Daughter of a Mirajin general, among the original members of the Rebellion, well trained fighter, strategist. Currently captured. Eighteen years old.

Sam – Albish army deserter turned thief. Can walk through stone. Eighteen years old.

Tamid – Amani’s former best friend, Holy Father in training, walks with a limp due to a deformity at birth. Seventeen years old.

Delila – Demdji marked by purple hair, able to cast illusions out of light in the air. Ahmed’s sister by blood, Jin’s sister by adoption. Currently captured. Fifteen years old. Hero

Hala – Demdji marked by golden skin, able to twist people’s minds into hallucinations. Nineteen years old

Izz and Maz – Twin Demdji, marked by blue skin and blue hair respectively, able to shapeshift into any animal form. Seventeen years old.

Navid – Imin’s Husband. Captured. Fate unknown.

Sara – Warden of the Hidden House in Izman.


Fadi – Shira’s son with the Djinni Fereshteh. Demdji born with blue hair. Named after his grandfather. Smuggled out of the palace to safety.

***

NORTHERN MIRAJI

Sultan Oman – Ruler of Miraji, Ahmed and Jin’s father.

Leyla – Daughter of the Sultan and full-blooded sister of Prince Rahim. Skilled inventor. Betrayed the Rebellion. Fifteen years old.

Lord Bilal – Emir of Iliaz. Currently dying of a long drawn out illness. Nineteen years old.

General Hamad – General feigning loyalty to the Sultan. Shazad’s father.

Samira – Daughter of the deceased Emir of Saramotai. Newly appointed leader of Saramotai in the name of the Rebellion. Seventeen years old.

***

THE DJINN

Bahadur – Immortal Djinni. Amani’s father.

Fereshteh – Immortal Djinni. Fadi’s father. Killed so that his energy could be turned to electricity in the Sultan’s machine. The first Djinni to die since the First War.

THE LAST COUNTY

Farrah – Amani’s aunt, eldest sister to her mother.

Asid – Farrah’s husband, a horse trader in Dustwalk.

Nasima – One of Amani’s young cousins.

Olia – One of Amani’s young cousins.

Fazim – A resident of Dustwalk. Formerly Shira’s lover. Amani’s enemy.

Noorsham – Demdji marked by blue eyes, able to produce Djinni fire that can annihilate a whole city. Born in the mining town of Sazi. Missing since the battle of Fahali.

***

THE FALLEN

Zahia – Amani’s mother, hanged for the murder of her husband.

Hiza – Amani’s mother’s husband. Not Amani’s father by blood. Killed by his wife.

Nadira – Ahmed and Delila’s mother by blood. Killed by the Sultan for bearing a child to a Djinni.

Lien – Xichian woman, wife of the Sultan. Jin’s mother by blood, Ahmed and Delila’s mother by adoption. Died of an illness.

Bahi – Childhood friend of Shazad, disgraced Holy Man, killed by Noorsham.

Prince Naguib – One of the Sultan’s sons, army commander, killed by the rebels in the battle of Fahali.

Malik Al-Kizzam – Usurper of Saramotai. Killed by Shazad.

Ranaa – A young Demdji who could conjure light in her hands. Killed in a skirmish.

Sayidda – A spy for the Rebellion in the palace. Tortured to insanity in the Sultan’s machine. Killed in the flight from the Rebel Camp.

Mahdi – Sayidda’s lover. Betrayed the Rebellion to try to save Sayidda. Killed in the flight from the Rebel Camp.

Ayet, Uzma and Mouhna – Wives of Prince Kadir. Tortured to insanity in the Sultan’s machine.

Shira – Amani’s Cousin. Wife of Prince Kadir. Sultima. Executed by order of her husband for giving birth to a Djinni’s child.

Prince Kadir – The Sultan’s eldest son, Sultim, heir to the throne of Miraji. Killed by the Sultan.

Imin – Demdji marked by golden eyes, able to shapeshift into any human form. Hala’s sibling. Executed in order to save Ahmed, assuming his identity.

MYTHS & LEGENDS

First Beings – Immortal beings made by God, including Djinn, Buraqi and Rocs.

The Destroyer of Worlds – A being from the centre of the earth who came to the surface of the world to bring death and darkness. Defeated by humanity.

Ghouls – The Servants of the Destroyer of Worlds, includes Nightmares, Skinwalkers and others.

The First Hero – The first mortal created by the Djinn to face the Destroyer of Worlds. Made out of sand and water and air and brought to life with Djinni fire. Also known as the First Mortal.



Princess Hawa – Legendary princess who sang the sun into the sky.

The Hero Attallah – Lover of Princess Hawa.





Chapter 1

I woke from a sleep filled with nightmares to the sound of my name.

I was already reaching for a gun when I recognised Sara’s face above me, swimming in and out of focus as my eyes blurred with exhaustion.

My grip on the trigger eased. It wasn’t an enemy, just Sara, the guardian of the Hidden House. She was holding a small lamp that lit up only her face. For a moment she looked like a disembodied head floating in the dark, like the ones in the dream that was fading now as I woke.

Imin wearing Ahmed’s face going willingly to the executioner’s stage.

My cousin Shira screaming her defiance as she was forced to her knees in front of the block.

Ayet, with eyes full of madness, awaiting the death that would come from having her soul drained out of her.

Ranaa, the Demdji child, who had carried the sun in her hands and died by a stray bullet in a battle she shouldn’t have been fighting.

Bahi, who’d burned in front of me at my brother’s hand.

My mother, who’d swung from a rope back in Dustwalk for shooting her husband, the man who’d never been my father anyway.

People I had watched die. People I had let die. The accusation was all over their faces.

But Sara was real. Sara was still alive. And so were others.

When the Sultan ambushed the Rebellion’s camp in the city, many were captured. But there was only one execution.

Imin. Our Demdji shape-shifter.

Imin had died wearing Ahmed’s face to deceive the Sultan and all of Izman into thinking the Rebel Prince was dead, while Delila cast an illusion to hide her real brother, who had been jailed with the rest of them.

And so Ahmed was still alive. So was Shazad, our general, even if she didn’t like being called that. We needed her back to lead us in the fight against the Sultan. And Rahim, another of the Sultan’s sons, who had held a grudge against our exalted ruler since he caused his mother’s death. He was our key to getting a whole army in the mountains that had never been loyal to the Sultan, but to him instead.

And now it was up to me to rescue them. Along with a handful of others who’d escaped capture that night. We had our reluctant prince, Jin, our professionally difficult golden-skinned Demdji, Hala, our shape-shifting twins, Izz and Maz, and our semi-reliable foreign thief, Sam. Not exactly an army, but it was what we had left.