Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst is a new young adult standalone fantasy that follows a pair a strong women who are willing to risk their lives in their quest to become champions in the monster racing.
In the world of Becar who you are in this life determines who and what you are in the next. The augurs can read your fate so you can change your destiny. But the darkest of souls cannot be changed and you come back as a kehok, a monster that will never find redemption except through the races.
Tamra is an elite kehok rider and trainer who is down on her luck and needs the prize money from the races to stop the local augur temple from taking her daughter away. Raia is a young woman desperate to get away from her family and the awful man she is meant to marry. As a kehok rider she could win enough money to gain her freedom. Tamra agrees to train Raia to ride a new unusual kehok and attempt to win the races.
Through the story its apparent that is kehok is different and may hold the key to the death of the last emperor and the future of the nation of Becar.
The book is very fast paced and I often didn’t want to put it down. You are thrown into the story with very little explanation of the world or society but its done in a way that you want to find out more. I enjoyed the story and though its a standalone book I could see other stories set in this world. The only thing I would add is a pronunciation guide for the new words in this world and society.