I would say that it lives up as a retelling. Except that it explores the story from another perspective, and instead of getting the jinni we see in Aladdin. It is instead, about the female jinni.
And all the while, I really enjoyed the way the world was structured and explored. The myths and folklores, some of which Zahra had a hand in it herself. All the more, it was about the forbidden wish. Exploring a possibility, what would happen when a jinni could be set free.
The ending nicely ends everything. All the while the twists are revealed nicely, and at the right moment. Whether is it about the jinni or about the world as it stands.
To also being able Zahra and how badly she wants to be free. I mean, it’s logical since you have been locked into a lamp for a very long time(three thousand years.)
All the while, the princess managed to keep my attention as did Aladdin. Both wanted something, the princess would have done anything for her kingdom. That is what I call a future Queen. And she didn’t find having to marry a horrible man that terrible a price as long as it remained safe. As for Aladdin where he initially wants revenge, he initially wants to marry a princess. Then eventually, becomes in love with the jinni. It is so gradual, and so subtle. Even with very little declarations when they decide to sacrifice themselves for each other, it feels strangely logical. That Aladdin was willing to pay the price for Zahra’s freedom, and she in his stead willing to help him many times.
And so, I would say that the characters who are introduced eventually had a larger role to play. Such as the jinni who was captured, to the vizier and Darian. All of them had a role, and eventually were rather well developed.
This novel isn’t just made up of Aladdin and Zahra, it had other characters who shone. And everything had a consequence and a price, all of it coming back.
So, I would recommend this to those who have longed for retelling. And at the same time, is a really good piece of work with a good balance between the characters and the plot.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5