Emel is one of many daughters living in her father, the king’s, palace tent in the desert. She longs for a life where she can be free to go out in the world, to interact with the townspeople and maybe find love. Instead she is forced to serve the many suitors who come through town on their caravans, hoping that after he has slept with her he chooses her and allies with her father. When she discovers the key to her father’s power is a jinni, she is intrigued with how she might wield that power herself. Quickly, she learns that wishes may not be granted in the way you imagine. Over time she learns that there are complex politics at work in the kingdom, a world beyond the desert she never imagined and that the gorgeous jinni has a kind heart and a slave’s cuff about his wrist.
If you love the Daevabad Trilogy or any Middle Eastern folklore, you should definitely check this one out. I wouldn’t label it as fantasy so much as magical realism. Other than the jinni and his wish granting powers, there isn’t any complex magic or magical creatures to wrap your mind around. Simply the life a woman bound by her culture and dreaming of experiencing all the world has to offer her, to feel love and save the futures of the people around her. I loved that we get real depth to the backstory of the jinni as well. The writing is beautiful, the images of the desert, the depth of emotion and the power of fate make this an intense read. I really loved being immersed in the culture of the desert. If romance is your thing, there are quite a few scenes in this one to steam you up, these two are definitely star crossed lovers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐⭐
I listened to this one on audio and the narrator was fabulous.
Thanks to Netgalley for access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
The salt in this photo is from my visit to the Dead Sea, what’s the weirdest souvenir you have?