The Forbidden Wish – Jessica Khoury

Publisher: Razorbill

Published: February 2016

ISBN: 9781595147677

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 Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

My review 

When I saw the cover of The Forbidden Wish, I just knew I had to read this book. I mean: a story about Aladdin, who wouldn’t want to read about him? And now the twist: the genie in the lamp isn’t a regular genie: he is a SHE this time. Well, that made the story even more interesting. Because before even reading the book I was wondering what would there be happening with the princess in the original story? And how can Jessica Khoury pull this off? Well, basically: she can. The story was build up from the view of Zahra, the jinni. And you can read about her thoughts and emotions as though she is ‘talking’ to her Habiba, her closest friend (I don’t want to spoil the story, so I will not tell you, who she is talking to). The moment Aladdin finds the lamp (yeah, just like in the original story), the jinni gets unlocked out of her lamp and she has to fulfill three wishes for Aladdin. Unlike the Disney version of the story, where there is Abu (you know: the cute monkey), Aladdin is on his own and on a vendetta to revenge his parents death. But in this version of the story Zahra has an agenda of her own. So she convinces Aladdin to let her make him a prince and to try to convince princess Caspida (yeah: there she is), to marry him instead of her betrothed, so Zahra can have access to the palace. Princess Caspida doesn’t have Raja the tiger to keep her save, she has Watchmaidens. And they are hilarious. Strong willed and powered women, who can take on their share of men. However, where princess Jasmine and Aladdin are falling in love, there is no chemistry between Aladdin and princess Caspida. Instead, there are sparks flying between Aladdin and his jinni. Interesting… Because what will happen if the jinni has to chose between her love and her freedom (being trapped in a lamp for over 500 years is a very, very long time…)? The story reads very easily, with a few twists and turns, but overall there is a high level of recognition of the original tale. And since I’m a sucker for happy endings, I really enjoyed this book. So, well done Jessica Khoury. Four stars for your Forbidden Wish.

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