I’m still not one for fairy tale retellings mostly because I find they’re overdone and redundant. We know the end because they’re familiar tales, so it is rare that I find an author who is able to take a classic and turn it into an exciting read. Bethany Atazadeh’s The Stolen Kingdom does this well.
I picked it up as an author free giveaway and was pleasantly surprised. Not only was the story unique, but it was completely re-imagined. It is like the author was inspired by the childhood classic and made it her own.
Our main character, Arie, is not only being forced into a marriage against her will but has forbidden magic (because she’s a descendant from the Jinni through her mother’s side). So what does she do? She runs and finds herself with a crew of thieves (though none of them is named Aladdin). The tale ensues and while she helps them on a few endeavors, her identity is revealed and to save her father, she must betray the band of criminals and return home.
As always, I won’t give away any spoilers.
The story was delightful and filled with enough conflict and story twists that I had a hard time putting it down. It was a quick read and I may go on to read more in the series. I will say I was disappointed with the ending though as it felt ‘unfinished’. Granted, there are three more books, so I’m sure the author was leaving room for more story telling. Unfortunately, I found the ending didn’t make logical sense. It felt like the author was intentionally leaving the story unfinished because there is more in the series then an actual satisfying ending. So while the story was well told, entertaining and kept me hooked, the ending fell flat.
(Image retrieved from Amazon)