The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Review: This is one of those book where I was a bit on the fence with my rating. I enjoyed it a lot and had fun reading it. Aladdin is actually my top 5 favorite Disney movies, so I had high expectations for it. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel between the relationship of the Jinni and Aladdin, since the book and the Disney version is totally different.
One of the reasons why I enjoyed this book is the relationship within it, not just the romantic aspect, but also all the friendships. This is actually one of those few books that I enjoyed the minor characters more than the protagonists of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Aladdin and Zahra, but I think Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens are awesome. I haven’t really read a lot of novels where there are good female friendships, and this part of the book was a great addition. I really wish that Khoury would think about crating a companion novel, or even a short story that focuses on these ladies. I would like to know more about them, and it won’t hurt to see a glimpse of Jinni and her lamp holder.
I also really enjoyed the world that Khoury created in this book. I love the little characters that she added and the different areas of the world. She has a vivid way of writing her settings and in your head you can actually see the places and even smell the locations. I especially love the garden and the tavern. The beauty of the garden makes you want to see it in person and the tavern makes you want to hold your breath from the stink. Like I said her world is very vivid.
The one thing that I had a problem with is the Jinni system that Khoury introduced to us. I was a bit confused on the hierarchy of the Jinni and I don’t think Khoury did a good job in explaining it to us. I get the different groups of Jinnis, all except the powerful one. I wasn’t all that convinced that Zahra, not actually of Jinni descent, became one of the most powerful Jinnis. I think it was too convenient for the story and I don’t think it was as pertinent to the story. It would have been a lot more convincing if lower Jinnis is able to attain power through some sort of transformation or overcoming a difficult trail.
I also had a tad problem with the ending. It feels too rushed and I wasn’t a fan of how the fight concluded in the end. I actually wish that the author spent more time developing this part of the book as well. I feel that she dragged the story in the beginning of the book too much and didn’t do the end as much justice.
Looking back to my thoughts of the book, I think I’ll give this book a solid 4 star. Although I did enjoy the majority of the book, I feel that the problematic parts are too big for me to ignore. I guess writing reviews does help sort out ones thoughts. Anyways, even though I have negative comments on The Forbidden Wish, I still enjoyed it enough to check out Khoury’s other books. I think she did a great job in retelling this particular Disney story.