Book Review

The Stardust Thief – Chelsea Abdullah

Book Title: The Stardust Theif

Series: The Sandsea Trilogy #1

Author:  Chelsea Abdullah

Goodreads Link:

Release Date:  05/17/22

Star Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley.

What a book! A debut novel that serves up many of the Arabian Tales but with the author’s own twist. I couldn’t put it down.

Neither here nor there, but long ago…

Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, The Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp. – Goodreads

The story that is woven around the tales from One Thousand and One Nights is excellent … never dull and consistently moves ahead with good pacing and structure. But I think what I love most about this is the characters. It features a loyal, multi-faceted Jinn/bodyguard, a true cinnamon-roll of a prince, a kick ass mercenary with questionable loyalties and then there is Loulie. Loulie is in a class all her own. I love her for her strengths and weaknesses. She’s trying so very hard to avenge her family, live up to her own high expectations and to find a place where she belongs. I love that she has so many different sides but still is never unbelievable.

The author has a good hand with description, I love a book that makes me hungry! I need some roasted pistachio’s at the very least, and good tea to drink as I read. I have to say it is so refreshing lately to be getting so many fantasy books written for locations that are not European-centric. When I’m reading I love getting a description of a new form of dress or architecture that I’m not familiar with and need to look up. It opens up my mind to new cultures and we really need that at the moment.

I have high hopes for Ms. Abdullah. Her debut reminds me of the wonderful The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow that came out a couple of years ago in that this book and the author shows a LOT of promise. I am looking forward to the next installment of this series.

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