Zahra, a Jinni, has been imprisoned in her lamp ever since her last master and best friend, Queen Roshana, was killed by a Jinn. She has just resigned herself to an eternity alone when a boy, Aladdin, stumbles across her lamp—and picks it up. Now Aladdin, the son of long-dead revolutionaries, has the power to finally create the change he had believed impossible—and to get revenge on the monarchy that killed his parents. However, in this Aladdin retelling, Jinn and their magic are outlawed, and Zahra’s existence, and Aladdin’s association with her, could get them into trouble both with the forces of mortal government, and the Jinn King, who has offered Zahra her long-desired freedom for the price of freeing his son from Jinn-catchers. Zahra must weigh her desire for freedom against the value of Aladdin’s revenge as they consider what holds the most value: revenge, freedom, or love.
I enjoyed The Forbidden Wish a lot more than I thought I would. Despite it being a retelling, it remained very much its own story, with unique plot twists and dynamic characters. My favorite part was how the characters grew and changed throughout the story as they learned more about their circumstances and about themselves and what they truly wanted. The detailed worldbuilding also made it really easy to fall into the character’s world, and really difficult to put the book down. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy tales, or stories about magic that are a bit off the beaten path.