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Published by Razorbill on February 23rd 2016
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 the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
“Wishes have a way of twisting themselves, and there is nothing more dangerous than getting your heart’s desire. The question is, are you willing to gamble? How much are you willing to lose? What are you willing to risk everything for?”
I had a lot of doubts about The Forbidden Wish. All of these doubts were immediately dispelled with the opening chapters of this book. Khoury weaves a truly spell-binding tale that is anything but typical despite its romance focused story.
I had trouble with Khoury’s Origin (only made it about 10% of the way in) but I had absolutely no trouble getting enthralled in this story. The writing is gorgeous and lyrical and just everything you want in a retelling of an old fairy tale or folklore. Possibly my favorite thing about this book is how well Khoury describes this world. The deserts, palaces, magic all in beautiful detail.
It’s also nice to read a story where the females are not competing romantically or slut-shaming one another. The story is very romance centric, but this is not instalove. The relationship develops over time and by the end you find yourself rooting for them to get together. But it’s also about more than just romance love, but love and relationships between the jinni and her “masters”. We see a variety of relationships in this book, each one is complex and well throughout out by Khoury. They all serve the story outside of the romance.
The narration is so fantastic. The way Zahra constantly addressing “Habiba”, whose background is gradually revelaled over the course of the story. Adding another layer of complexity to this incredible story. I loved every minute of reading this.