Sand Dancer

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 learn the way of the sword. But only boys are allowed to carry a blade. There’s only one solution…

Disguised as a young nobleman, Mina must make a new life for herself in the heart of her enemies. But she knows she can’t keep up the masquerade forever. With time running out, which will she choose to find—the truth or revenge?


A Young Adult fantasy novel, Sand Dancer is a breathless tale of magic, intrigue, and murder in a desert kingdom where the summoning of fire is a sin punishable by death. When a 16-year-old peasant named Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, she must disguise herself as a young nobleman if she hopes to discover the truth and avenge her father’s murder.

“It’s a wild ride, an almost frantically paced adventure, with a fierce and unforgettable female hero trying to stay alive in a darkly magical desert kingdom,” said Rick Lewis, founder of Uproar Books.

“At the heart of Sand Dancer is a young woman who is frustrated her life seems entirely out of her control,” said Miss Skies. “She struggles constantly, often in self-destructive ways, to escape the demands and expectations of her rigid, male-dominated world. I think that’s a very real and common experience for young women of any era or culture, whether it’s a fantasy kingdom of swords and sorcery or the real world of today.”

Author Trudie Skies was born in Nottingham—Robin Hood country, as she says—and now lives in North Shields, 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. Previously, she worked as a mobile game designer and tester, as well as a professional writer for video game websites.

Miss Skies grew up on Tamora Pierce and has always wanted to be a swashbuckling knight with her own medieval castle. She has a thing for swords, and so all her characters also have a thing for swords. A lifelong fan of Young Adult fantasy, Miss Skies in recent years has been inspired by desert kingdoms and cultures, as is clearly apparent in her debut novel. She is currently writing the second of four books in the Sand Dancer series.


Additional information

Book Type

Paperback, e-Book


387 pages


Uproar Books

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It was fantasy at its finest. Would I recommend? You bet.

Netgalley Reviewer

Mina is a strong character, she deals with self doubt, loss, female teenage emotions, bullying, prejudice, and she has to make some tough decisions and learn to be unselfish. These are all great life lessons.

Netgalley Reviewer

The movement never stops and each turn reveals something new and interesting.

Netgalley Reviewer

A thrilling and exciting read.

Netgalley Reviewer

I've been finding myself bored with YA fantasy lately, because all the books seem to be along the same lines. I found Sand Dancer to be fairly original in it's story and fantasy aspect. It hooked me from the beginning, and continued to keep my interest.

Netgalley Reviewer