If feminism is your thing, you will enjoy this. It was perhaps too heavy handed for me and, to me, highlighted one of the main issues with equality. It’s that generally our decision making is not. The women in this novel acted entirely emotionally, with the exception of Malak, who I thought showed moments of strategy unmarried from emotion. She was the only character I could identify with. I did like the other women but they struggled to hold their own as MCs. The alternating chapters in this case only served to underline the lack of an MC.
The fantasy elements were cool but not focused on enough to really engage me. They were only used in uncontrolled outbursts or convenient get out of jail free cards (literally sometimes!). I wanted Nehal’s training to be Hogwartsian and we only got glimpses of a few lessons.
I get this was written more of a parable to demonstrate the feminist message and the challenges women in the Middle East have to get the vote and feel in charge of their own lives. The blend of historical fiction and fantasy just didn’t wow me in this case. I’m sad that it is not the epic fantasy I hoped for, but I will still probably read the second book because I am interested in where the characters end up.
What’s the last book you had high hopes for that were dashed?