The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
Visit the author's website HERE
Publisher: Random House Children's
Publishing Date: July 22, 2014
A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . .
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.
I requested a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy from the publisher today! (8/3/14)
Let me tell you straight away: I was pretty happy with this book. I loved the rich, authentic culture. You can tell from the attention to details and the warmth that the author has spent some time immersed in the culture herself. And Lough stayed true to the culture in all details. For example, these days an author would create a 'tough girl' character who would dislike her situation and then do all she can to run away/resist it. In 'The Fire Wish', one of our main characters, Zayele, is tough as nails. Her father sells her off to marry a prince in Baghdad, and while Zayele hates her situation, she knows she has no choice but to go along with it. She is a female in the Ancient Middle East. If Zayele had done anything different, the novel would not have been believable.
But for the twist: Jinni. Jinni!! This was my first ever Jinni story. I loved the idea, the colors, the richness of their world. Lough spent a lot of time describing the Cavern in which the Jinni live, and while it sounds spectacular, I hope she continues to describe the culture and daily life of the Jinn in future books. I want to be immersed in their world and be able to picture everything clearly with less telling and more showing.
I don't want to share too much about the characters for fear of spoiling anything, but I can give a brief description. The book follows Zayele as she is being sold off to marry a prince. Najwa grew up Jinn in the Cavern where all Jinni live and remain safe from the humans. Najwa risks a trip to the surface to peek at the new princess, however she is not quick enough. Seizing her chance, Zayele wishes for Najwa to take her place and for herself to go home. Soon we have a 'Prince and the Pauper' situation, each placed in a situation that could prove fatal if their true identities are revealed.
Love, magic, rich Middle Eastern culture, history mixed with fantasy....'The Fire Wish' was a great read. Overall, there were some flaws. Lough could have spent more effort in engaging the reader in Middle Eastern and Jinni culture, showing us rather than telling us, to get us more attached to the story. But she gives a great first work, one that I truly hope she builds on! A strong, solid 4 stars. I was drawn in, loved the authentic cultural references, and enjoyed my time, but I'd love to see deeper world building and relationships between characters.
Have you ever read a book about Jinni? If so, let me know, I am in the mood for more Jinn!!