Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Jessica Khoury
Stories have been told of Zahra the jinni of the lamp who murdered her queen and destroyed a city. Relegated to the realm of legend, Zahra has been trapped for hundreds of years until Aladdin rescues her from her exile. When the ruler of all jinni bargains to give Zahra her freedom, her only way out is to manipulate Aladdin’s wishes so she can get into the King’s palace to rescue those jinn trapped within. Transformed into a Prince, Aladdin believes he will marry the princess--an act that will allow him to enact his revenge on the man who killed his parents. Everyone soon learns that wishes are never that simple, especially when Aladdin and Zahra never counted on falling in love. Together they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice if they want to defeat both their human and jinni enemies.
This unexpected version of Aladdin and the Lamp takes a familiar story and turns it into something refreshingly new. The basic plot line is recognizable but the extended history and current conflict that surround the story make this a very intriguing retelling. Several very strong female characters, including the princess and Zahra, who think for themselves extend this novel beyond a typical romance into an action packed adventure that will engage a wide range of readers. All surrounded by a perfectly pitched exotic setting, the story draws readers quickly in and holds them until the last secret is revealed.
*Contains some violence and oblique sexual innuendo.