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Publisher's Summary

National Velvet with monsters and a big helping of palace intrigue, Race the Sands is monstrous (literally), heartwarming, and empowering in equal measure. An incredibly fun and inspiring read.” (Katherine Arden, New York Times best-selling author of The Bear and the Nightingale)  

In this epic stand-alone 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, who you are in this life will determine your next life. Yet there is hope - you can change your destiny with the choices you make. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and are doomed to be a kehok for the rest of time. 

Unless you can win the Races. 

After a celebrated career as an elite kehok rider, Tamra became a professional trainer. Then a tragic accident shattered her confidence, damaged her reputation, and left her nearly broke. Now, she needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok...and a rider willing to trust her. 

Raia is desperate to get away from her domineering family and cruel fiancé. As a kehok rider, she could earn enough to buy her freedom. But she needs a first-rate trainer. 

Impressed by the inexperienced young woman’s determination, Tamra hires Raia and pairs her with a strange new kehok with the potential to win - if he can be tamed. 

But in this sport, if you forget you’re riding on the back of a monster, you die. Tamra and Raia will work harder than they ever thought possible to win the deadly Becaran Races - and in the process, discover what makes this particular kehok so special.

©2020 Sarah Beth Durst (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Race the Sands

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A nice surprise

This was one I accidentally clicked on and didn’t realize my mistake until I had already downloaded it, leading me to give it a chance before returning it. Sometimes, books feel a bit magical in how they find us so it’s best to just follow along. This was one of those cases. The world building is excellent, it truly feels like I was somewhere other than my living room. I could nearly feel the sand moving beneath my feet, the hot wind hit my face. It felt like I was in the crowd cheering the races on & each character became dear to me. Even the worst felt understandable and one awesome lady character went from one easily hated to actually one of my favorite people! I am so happy I accidentally purchased this book. It was EXACTLY what I needed during this quarantine. Now, to buy the rest of this authors books!

2 people found this helpful

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  • 07-21-20

Really very satisfying story

I really really enjoyed this story. I'm not an expert on genres or categories but I might wonder if this is new adult...? At first I wasn't sure that it wasn't young adult what with the ages of several main characters but ultimately I see why they didnt call it so (kind of). I dont know but whatever it is I think it will satisfy a number of audiences. There are a number of things I appreciated. For one Sarah Beth Durst has an awesome imagination. She loves to play with strange monsters and I think that's great. She also wasnt afraid to cast a wide array of characters at the heart of this story. She surprised me with some of them (one in particular) and that was really refreshing. It reminded me of real life, people aren't cut-outs, rarely do they fit in one category. All her characters are full of drive and ambition and I root for them with pleasure. This isn't the type of story that is ruined by figuring out the plot moves before they happen. Nope. It's more so the case that you look forward to seeing what's ultimately going to happen. There were some turns that ended kind of bluntly but honestly, I like that. Things aren't long and drawn out like they could be, and many stories are. Durst keeps the story interesting, moving and satisfying. I dare say that many times while listening to this story I was moved to emotion. I smiled A LOT. And I keep wanting to come back to calling this a kind of feel good story, and therefore satisfying. I highly recommend this story to teens, young, new and not so new adults. I would recommend listening to this as an audio book. My only gripe is that I didn't care for how the narrator performed the trainer's daughter. She reads her almost baby like though I do believe her daughter is 11 years old. Other than that I thought she did a great job performing this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it and maybe an idea for more.

An amazing book. I loved it and I hope there is more to the story. Maybe a several day race like Hidalgo. That'd be cool

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Worth a Read!

Interesting book! Well done premise with only small inconsistencies. Narrator did well in voicing characters!