Title: The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish #1)
Author: Jessica Khoury
Release Date: February 23, 2016
“As the poets say, stories are truth told through lies.”
There may be spoilers below, so proceed with caution.
I love Disney movies, but I never really watched Aladdin when I was growing up. A travesty I know. It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve come to love Aladdin and appreciate it’s amazingness. I had high expectations going into this adaption and I was not disappointed. Aladdin and Zahra are as compelling and entertaining as you’d expect and bring new life and history to a cherished duo.
Things I Liked :
I LOVED everything about the Jinn and their magic. It was so unique and well crafted. The fact that each wish comes with a price is so compelling. It gives some power back to the enslaved Jinni crafting the wishes and acts as a punishment of sorts for those who make the wishes. It seems like it’s acting as a balance so no wish may grant too much power – the magic may be used and shaped, but not controlled or bound.
The writing was so descriptive and colorful. The words weaved a beautiful story that pulled you in and enchanted you. Like Zahara’s smoke magic, the words crafted a reality you longed for.
This may be an Aladdin retelling, but Zahara is the star. A once powerful and arrogant queen, Zahara sacrificed herself to secure her kingdom’s safety and was made into a Jinn. Zahara has kept humanity in her heart and continually defies the Jinn’s highest law: Do not fall in love with a human. Zahara’s love for both Aladdin and Roshana allow her to become more than a pawn to be used by Nardukha; she become her own master and it’s very inspiring to see.
Things I Didn’t Like:
I wish there was more flashbacks to establish Zahara and Roshana’s relationship. I did believe that they loved each other, but I wished we saw more of their interactions. We saw a handful of their moments together and then how their relationship was torn apart. We get just enough to buy their relationship, but I would have liked to see more to their development. It would have made Zahara’s actions more impactful and her history more tragic.
This point is two-fold, but I felt like there was some time related confusion for me. Sometimes in the story it seemed like only a few hours had passed, but then a character mentioned days had passed – or vice versa. I don’t know if I was just not paying enough attention or if it was actually unclear. The other issue I had was in the action of the final battle. When Zahar is battling Nardukha and pulls on the threads of time, I couldn’t tell if she actually went back in time, or if she just sent the ring back in time to be found and set the events of the story into motion. There was so much action happening at one time it was a little overwhelming, but I did appreciate the cyclical structure her actions created.
The Forbidden Wish is a story full of magic, action, and romance. We see characters fight for what they believe in, defy what is expected of them, and strive for happiness when they are surrounded by darkness. The action and magic blend near seamlessly and the romance enhances and empowers the characters and story. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves fairy tales, fairy tale retellings and stories full of action, magic and hope.