The Forbidden Wish
by Jessica Khoury
E-book edition, 352 pages
23rd February 2016, Razorbill
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 Arabian Nights from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
This book doesn’t blow me away like The Wrath and The Dawn, but it still has some elements that I really enjoyed. For starters, TWATD is an Arabian Nights retelling, while The Forbidden Wish is a retelling of the well-known tale of Aladdin.
If you don’t know Aladdin, it’s the Disney movie with The Whole New World song and the blue Genie. The author twists the story into something familiar, yet entirely her own. And while TWATD pays more attention to the cultural backdrop, The Forbidden Wish pays more attention to the mythology.
The jinn realm, power, old kingdoms. It’s like listening to your own folktale.
“I know so little about you and it eats at me night and day. Who are you? Why do you infect my mind?”
This book is heavily about romance.
I think we all know from the synopsis is about forbidden love between a human and a jinn. It’s like the main goal of this book. But the best thing is, it’s not insta love! It took them a while to fall for each other, with lots of denial, incoming war and political intrigue. It makes me enjoyed and ship them even more!
“Time has a different meaning for me, and these events that seem so monumental in the moment will one day be nothing more than a line in a scroll. These humans are but letters to be inked into history. A hundred years from now, I will be free. I will have forgotten their names and faces, and the struggles they have will not matter. Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust.”
The writing style is gorgeous. The author describes everything in lavish details; the palace, the city, the world, the gylphs, the myth, you mentioned it. It’s just so beautiful and poetic, but it’s not purple prose.
I love the friendship between Zahra and Roshana, how it eventually became both of their downfall. It’s just so magical and intricate and amazing to see how Zahra still yearns for her after thousand of years! It’s just so tragic and heartfelt how eventually they’re both destroyed.
The characters. GUYS. This book is full of strong, independent women. None of them are fighting for the male attention. Zahra is fierce and determined to get her freedom and to not repeat her mistakes. Caspida embodies Princess Jasmine; she won’t bow to the tradition and fights the evil vizier. And she and her handmaidens formed a group of female assasins! How cool is that???
Overall, I really really enjoyed it! The writing style is just so amazing, and it fulls of female character. But the plot could be a bit dragged, especially the whole “I-love-you, but-we-can’t-be-together-it’s forbidden”. And I feel like it’s lacking something to make this even more enjoyable. It’s still a really good book though if you love The Wrath and The Dawn.