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.
The Forbidden WishFeatured
A beautiful, exotic, and magical retelling.
A heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, THE FORBIDDEN WISH tells the story of Zahra, a powerful jinni, and Aladdin, a dashing thief. Their stories become intertwined when Aladdin fines Zahra's lamp and wishes them away from danger, back to his home city of Parthenia. Ruled by a sick King and his cruel Vizier, Parthenia longs for a revolution and freedom. Meanwhile, all Aladdin wants is revenge for the loss of his parents at the Vizier's hand. Using another wish, Aladdin finds himself a false prince in the palace, attempting to win the hand of the aloof princess Caspida. Can Zahra and Aladdin keep the mysteries surrounding them from unraveling, while navigating the strange feelings developing like wildfire between them?
Khoury outdoes herself this time with incredibly poetic writing, reminiscent of Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series. The storytelling is fantastic, with strong characters and just enough action and suspense. I absolutely loved having the entire story from Zahra's unique perspective - you don't often get a YA book told from the view of a 4000 year old jinni! The dynamic between Zahra and Aladdin is delightful and fun, and their romance is challenging and rewarding.
VERDICT: Highly recommended for fans of fairy tale and classic retellings, THE FORBIDDEN WISH is an amazing stand-alone fantasy novel. With beautifully lyrical writing and an exotic, fantastical setting that will wrap readers up in a whole new world, Jessica Khoury's THE FORBIDDEN WISH is a masterful retelling of the classic Aladdin tale.
An Imaginative Retelling
I've read all of Jessica Khoury's books, and enjoyed them, but this one is by far my favorite. Honestly, I loved this book! It's such a fantastic retelling and really, I loved everything about it! I'll try to write this review without flailing.
Zahra's been trapped in her lamp for hundreds of years, ever since she betrayed her best friend and an entire kingdom was lost because of it. Then she is awakened by Aladdin. She's awakened into a world where Jinni, like herself are considered monsters and she has to remain hidden. As she waits for Aladdin to make his wishes, she begins to fall for him, which becomes a problem. Not only because in order to be free, she has to betray him, but the last time she loved someone, an entire kingdom was destroyed.
This may be a retelling, but the story was still very imaginative. You can still see parts of the original tale, but Khoury really did build her own world and it was fantastic! I loved how the Jinn were represented and how there was a history included in the story. Honestly, I was so immersed in this story and this world that I couldn't put it down.
I loved Zahra and I loved her perspective. She interesting in general because she's a powerful Jinni that's hundreds of years old, but she's also tough and just downright amazing. She's also obviously troubled by her past and struggling with how much she wants to be freed, so she's not without her flaws, but she was still so strong and I felt like her character growth shone in this book.
I usually am annoyed with romances in most books. It's just so hard for me to actually like the romance in a book! But in this book, I loved it. I shipped it! There was no cheesiness, insta-love, and other common factors in YA. The romance was slow and felt real, as odd as that sounds for a fantasy book.
Overall, this was an amazing book! I thought it was an imaginative retelling and I absolutely couldn't put it down! I loved everything! The characters, the world, the writing, the romance, everything! I strongly recommend this book! And now I'm just going to cry a little because this book is a stand alone and, boy, do I want a sequel.