An exciting, tightly-plotted adventure with powerful characters, ‘The Stolen Kingdom’ really captured me. What I loved about this retelling was everything new Bethany Atazadeh brought to the classic Aladdin story – the magic, the female empowerment and combining it with a larger fairy-tale world.
The main character, Arie, really stood out to me. She’s a princess that cares about ruling her kingdom one day, without being afraid to get her hands dirty and do things for herself. Her determination was so strong, even in the face of manipulation, capture and almost drowning(!)…it all came through in her voice.
Her love interest, Kadin, had a equally powerful presence, and the switching between their perspectives always came at just the right point! I absolutely loved how Arie’s power to read minds affected their relationship and how they saw each other. It was such a clever way to get to know Kadin immediately, and shows an attention to character as well as plot that not all fantasies manage! I was pulling for their romance the entire time, and really anticipate what’ll go down between their as the series continues (if I could find a Jin myself, I’d wish for a happily ever after, of course!)
The pacing was excellent – everything that happened perfectly building on what came before. The scenes with the crew of thieves in the palace, and Arie showing off her powers were my favourite, you honestly won’t be able to put the book down when things come to a head with Amir. And those final chapters….wow. Talk about character development!
I read the book in one sitting, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series! Imagining how this world will expand and how the characters’ journeys will continue is so exciting. Seeds have been planted for ‘The Jinni Key’ that have me wondering if it’s even possible to wait until its December release.
We’re looking at the next ‘Lunar Chronicles’, for sure!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*