Latest Posts

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

By 23:30:00 , , ,

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world... 

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury. 

✱ Pages: 352 (hardcover)
✱ Publication date: 23 February 2016

For some reason, it took me about a hundred pages to really get into this story, but once I got there, I was hooked! (You know, the kind of 'NO, I'm not going to talk to people, or move, or eat until I've finished this book' kind of thing?)

Zahra, Aladdin, and the Other Characters

These two characters are just too cute. I like both of them so much - they have their faults, their regrets, and they make mistakes. But they want what's best for the other, and what's best for their land. They are loveable and sympathetic, and they make you care about their story.

All the characters from the antagonists to princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens, and to the long-dead Roshana, are interesting. They have their own stories, their own motivations, whether that is to protect the kingdom, or just to look after one specific person.

Wishes and the Jinn

Although powerful, the magic Zahra wields comes with a price - I think it's an important part of these stories, so I'm glad that it's included. This of course leads to the topic of the Forbidden Wish and what that entails. There's an element of mystery throughout the story to this Wish, to Zahra's past, to the old friend, 'Habiba,' she talks to. All the questions the reader tries to figure out make the story very compelling.

The Writing

There is something about this book that makes me want to read it out loud, especially Zahra's parts of the dialogue, I think. The way Jessica Khoury tells her story is lovely, and the words - they hold a hint of longing, of magic, of romance. There's a real beauty to them.

“The things that were once sweet to me are now bitter. The sun is not half so bright. The stars seem dimmer. All this wealth and luxury feels meaningless. All the world is in your shadow, Zahra. I cannot help but see you when I close my eyes.” 

“The will of this boy thief flows in golden streams. It is the thread with which I weave, the colors with which I paint, the element with which I create.” 

A lovely story with a wonderful cast of characters. Overall, a pretty enthralling read! If you have a sweet tooth, or you're craving something that's a bit like a fairytale - give this one a go.
Have you read any stories that are based on Aladdin? Do you have a favourite retelling?

You Might Also Like