5 YA Books With Genies
I’ve been listening to a podcast (“Astonishing Legends” episode: Strange Intruders with David Weatherly Part 1) this morning that revolves around the topic of the jinn, which is a variant spelling of genie. Did you know that certain cultures and religions believe in genies? I didn’t. The folklore or legend or belief dates back centuries and is written in religious texts around the world.
I find this historical fact fascinating! According to Wiki, Jinn aren’t necessarily born good or evil, but they’re often associated with evil when mentioned.
When someone from an older generation thinks of a genie, they might think of the old sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie.” The younger generation thinks of the big blue guy from “Aladdin.”
This idea probably won’t go anywhere, but wouldn’t it be fun to write a book based on the jinn’s actual folklore but have it placed in a contemporary setting? I’m not in the market to write about genies, but maybe this idea will manifest differently in a future book of mine. In the meantime, here are 5 YA books with genies in them!
5 YA Books With Jinn or Genies or Djinn
THE FORBIDDEN WISH
When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.
But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?
After being trapped in the Sahara Desert her whole life, sixteen-year-old genie Brielle finally gets her first assignment in Tri-Cities, Washington. She eagerly heads out into the human world to grant her first wish so she can gain her magic. Unfortunately, her assigned human, Addie, gave up believing in wishes years ago and would much rather everyone just leave her alone.
Complicating everything is Rock, Brielle’s childhood friend turned enemy. Brielle doesn’t need him ruining her first trip out into the human world. Too bad she can’t keep her mind--or her eyes--off him and his annoyingly cute dimples.
REBEL OF THE SANDS
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
THE CITY OF BRASS
Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real.
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