Being sick for the better part of a month is no fun, but it does mean that I got some quality reading time in while I was recuperating. Starting off “Katie’s Sickbed Picks” is The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury.
Zahra is a jinni who has been imprisoned in her lamp for centuries as punishment for caring about the last human she served. When she is finally released back into the human world, she is determined to never be imprisoned again, no matter the cost. However, Nardukha demands one last job from her, before he will free her from an eternity of slavery. Zahra knows how evil Nardukha is, he is the King of the Jinn who originally imprisoned her and the one who caused her to betray the human she loved. She’ll do his bidding one last time, if it means being free.
Aladdin is not a great hero. In fact, he considers himself a coward for not avenging his parents’ deaths. When he is led to the magic lamp and the jinni within, he begins to plot revenge against his enemies, a wicked vizier and his son. Yet, Aladdin finds himself unable to kill them, so by using two of his wishes, he and Zahra land in the middle of the royal court with a plan to defeat the royals and champion the peoples’ rebellion.
But, Zahra’s task and Aladdin’s quest prove to be harder than either of them imagined. And, to Zahra’s dismay, she and Aladdin begin to fall in love. If she saves herself, she betrays him. But, if she cares for him, he will surely die, just like the last human she loved.
There is one wish left.
This retelling of Aladdin and the Magic lamp is brilliantly executed. Let yourself be transported to this beautiful and magical kingdom!
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