The Fire Wish by Amber Lough is a new fantasy series featuring jin and based in an alternative Baghdad! Fire Wish tells the story of two girls, a jinni and a human, who switch places and subsequently discover that their warring peoples are much more similar than either had been raised to believe. Fire Wish is filled with beautiful jin caverns and magic along with a refreshingly diverse cast and setting. I am absolutely thrilled to see a fantasy series from a major publishing house tackling a setting based on something other than Medieval Europe, plus jin are just so cool! I mean hot >.> Both? ;-)
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Fire Wish from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough (The Jinni Wars #1)
Published by Random House Children's on July 22nd
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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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.
- As I’ve already gushed a bit, I absolutely love the setting of The Fire Wish. Baghdad is described beautifully, the jin home is in a cavern covered in crystals and gems, and everything about the setting felt both fresh and familiar for the fantasy genre. The details that go into the settings, though, really bring it all together. The jin lake of fire is actually a normal lake but with various gases releasing from underwater vents that then catch fire on the surface!
- The magic of the jin is probably my favorite part of course, because magic is awesome. The jin’s ability to teleport is described beautifully and both fits nicely with the jin we are familiar with from media while adding new twists to how exactly it feels to teleport. The history of the jin that is revealed was also clearly based on the Qu’ran, which I find awesome and refreshing.
- Both of the girls have romance plot lines, but they stayed in the cute additions category and didn’t take over the plot, which was great to see. I’m completely happy reading about budding attraction between teens, but I much prefer it to be in the background while epic things happen ;-).
- The Fire Wish is very much about two peoples who have been at war for a generation and young people realizing that they aren’t so different from each other and that the war needs to be stopped for the sake of both groups. I love that this message weaved into the setting of Baghdad and being marketed towards US teens given everything our generation has grown up with. The Fire Wish pulls this important message off without feeling preachy as well, making it all the better.
- The writing of The Fire Wish really isn’t anything remarkable and even felt a bit simplistic at times. This worked for me fine since I was in the mood for an easier book, but even for YA it was fairly simplistic.
- There is some emphasis at the beginning of The Fire Wish of the difference in personalities between Najwa and Zayele, however that difference didn’t really continue as The Fire Wish progressed. I definitely couldn’t open the book in the middle of a chapter and tell you who was narrating unless her name was mentioned.
- The ending of The Fire Wish does have some scenes that clearly should pull at your heart-strings, but I just didn’t feel it. I cry easily at books and was actually even surprised to find myself unmoved. I can’t honestly put my finger on exactly why that is, but I guess I didn’t form as much of a connection with the characters as I thought I had.
The Fire Wish is a refreshing YA fantasy that skillfully pulls from underused sources both for the fantastical elements and for the setting. I am very much looking forward to the second book and really hope that this is the beginning of a trend for YA settings. While the writing didn’t particularly move me, The Fire Wish was a fun and enchanting read and quite appropriate for bringing to the beach!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
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