Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2016 *Starred Review* In this lushly romantic Arabian Nights retelling, clever thief Aladdin finds a magical lamp and releases a jinni who has been imprisoned within for 500 years. Zahra, the jinni, may look like a 17-year-old girl, but she is really a powerful, 4,000-year-old shaitan, able to shape-shift into any form. Vilified for starting a 500-year war after betraying her previous master, Queen Roshana, who attempted to bring peace between humans and jinn, Zahra now emerges from the lamp into a world where magic has become illegal. Aladdin wants revenge against the king’s vizier for executing his parents, who led a rebellion against the king’s unjust rule. Zahra persuades him to pose as a prince from a faraway land to gain entrance into the palace. But she has her own reasons for helping Aladdin exact his revenge, and she is willing to betray him if it means saving herself. Thus begins an exciting tale of deception, forbidden love, and dangerous magic, starring a cheeky thief and a powerful but vulnerable jinni. Fans of fairy-tale retellings set in faraway lands and full of romance, derring-do, and pulse-pounding action will fall for this swoon-worthy tale where “even a thief may have honor, and even a jinni may have a heart.” - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 7 Up—Lyrically written, this work is a twist on the familiar tale of Aladdin. Seventeen-year-old Aladdin finds the lamp in a cave, and the story is told from the point of view of the Jinni of Ambadya, a girl named Zahra. She must shift shape in order to remain discreet among the humans. Eventually she is given a deal: she is to free the jinn prince before the moon cycles. If she fails, the human race in the city will perish. If she succeeds, then she will return to Ambadya as a free jinni and no longer be a slave to the lamp. Aladdin and Zahra become allies. As she works to free herself, she falls in love with him only to find that if she is to claim her freedom, then she must betray him. Readers, knowing that she can't have it both ways, will want to know what she will do to solve her problem. Other characters involved in the story add to the drama, making it even harder for Aladdin and Zahra. Khoury's writing is evenly paced and well done, making this a good selection. VERDICT A solid choice for anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings and light romance with magic and hope.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.