Book Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Book Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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Zahra has been trapped in her lamp for thousands of years until a young thief by the name of Aladdin rubs her lamp and becomes her master.  She is shoved into a greatly changed world where her magic and she is forbidden.  In order to survive, she must use her shapeshifting magic until Aladdin uses his three wishes.  When the King of Jinn offers her freedom if she saves his son she seizes onto the opportunity.  Except she finds that she is falling in love with Aladdin.  She will have to betray him to get the freedom she seeks.  As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire.  But which will win, her desire for freedom or her love for Aladdin?

The Forbidden Wish was a wonderful retelling of Aladdin.  I loved how it was not from the point of view of Aladdin but that of the Jinni, Zahra.   Zahra was a wonderful character who was easy to love.  It was effortless to relate to her feeling of being trapped because sometimes we all feel trapped.  Zahra was filled with thousands of years of pain and regret and the reader watched as she struggled to overcome the past that plagued her.

The book conveyed the meaning of being at the mercy of others, of being trapped and unable to escape.  I think it helped me to understand how it would truly feel to be a Jinni of the lamp who could grant powerful wishes but never leave and was always under the command of others.

The other characters were each uniquely stunning in their own ways.  Aladdin was a thief determined not to become the leader the people wanted him to be.  The princess and her companions were awesome because it was unexpected to see young women in such a society behave as they did.  The other characters added their own personalities and touches to parts of the book making it burst full of life.

Beyond the colorful characters the book was filled with descriptions of a wonderful and magical world.  A world of bazaars and trees that carried the fruit of gems such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.  It was sensational to read of all the things that magic had wrought in the book’s setting.

Overall the book was an enchanting retelling of the classic tale of Aladdin.  I would exceedingly recommend this book for the writing style and voice express the pain, anger, regret, joys, and sadness of an infinite being: the Jinni.

“As the poets say, stories are truth told through lies.”   – The Forbidden Wish.  Read this book and see the truth behind the story of an infinite tale that has withstood the ravages of time.


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