About the Author: Bethany Atazadeh is a Minnesota-based author of YA novels and non-fiction. She graduated from Northwestern College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a writing emphasis. After graduation, she pursued songwriting, recording, and performing with her band, and writing was no longer a priority. But in 2016, she was inspired by the NaNoWriMo challenge to write a novel in 30 days, and since then she hasn’t stopped. With her degree, she coaches other writers on both YouTube and Patreon, helping them publish their books. She is obsessed with stories, chocolate, and her corgi puppy, Penny.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Synopsis: How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself?
Arie eagerly anticipates becoming Queen of her humble kingdom. Even when a Jinni’s Gift manifests before her 18th birthday, she fights to hide the forbidden ability.
But when a neighboring king attempts to marry her and steal her kingdom, discovery feels imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.
A Jinni hunter and his crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift. And she must remove it before it’s exposed. Or die trying.
The Stolen Kingdom is a loose “Aladdin” retelling. Set in a world that humans share with Mermaids, Dragons, and the elusive Jinni, this isn’t the fairytale you remember…
Disclaimer: Bethany gave me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Bethany!
I’m not even a fan of Aladdin, but let me tell you, this retelling was AMAZING.
The story is told from a multi-POV (which if you’ve been with me for awhile you know I love!) and I think Bethany did a great job with character development. The story switches back and forth between Arie and Kadin and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop while navigating Arie’s “gift.” I also loved how strong Arie was as a female character. She was determined to save her Kingdom, no matter the cost, and not afraid to keep trying no matter how dire the circumstances.
The worldbuilding was also pretty great. If you’ve read some of Bethany’s other books, you’ll know this is an area where she truly shines. It felt as if I were with the characters in the story.
I also loved the character Naveed. He’s mute and uses sign language to communicate. You don’t see sign language represented very often in books, but I felt that Bethany did a great job with this aspect of character development.
Overall, the pacing was good and the plot kept my attention throughout the entire story. And the ending! I need book two STAT to see what happens to my favorite characters!
P.S. Gideon is the Jinni and I could read an entire book on him and never get bored. It’s teased that we’ll see more of him in the next book and I CANNOT WAIT! :)
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