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NetGalley Review: The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

Hey all, Sam here.

Today is an exciting day. Season 2 of “Shadow and Bone” has dropped on Netflix and Campaign 3 Episode 52 of “Critical Role” airs tonight…so I don’t want to take up too much time with this post…because I’m about to do some “Shadow and Bone” binging with David. We’re ready to see what all is going to happen with the Crows, and sure we’ll watch the Sun Summoner main storyline or whatever, but we genuinely enjoy the heisty shenanigans side of things so much more.

Oh, and I guess we’re supposed to go to a local bar and play a few rounds of billiards with a friend this evening as well, so that should be a pretty good time.

And…that’s literally all the intro I’m doing for today, so let’s jump into the review.

Neither here nor there, but long ago…

Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One NightsThe Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Honestly, I really enjoyed this story. I loved how lyrical and storylike it felt. Reading this felt like getting swept away into a nice long bedtime story, with the feeling even more heightened when we would actually be given an interlude in the novel where we actually were being told a story.

I was very excited when I heard about this book, because it sounded cool, and I kept hearing wonderful things about it. And I ended up with two copies, one the standard hardcover that I got from Barnes & Noble and the other was the FairyLoot Edition, which is quite lovely. I’m definitely excited about the upcoming sequel, The Ashfire King, which is expected in November 2023.

It’s lush and lyrical with beautiful mythology and worldbuilding, all inspired by the classic One Thousand and One Nights tales.

I really enjoyed Loulie and Mazen and Aisha and Qadir as characters, and following them on this quest, facing dangers and secrets, and a dangerous desert.

I don’t really know what to say here. I loved reading this. I had a very nice time with it, and I read through the 460-ish page book in a handful of hours. It was a lovely escape from the dreariness and chill of early spring here in Iowa.

Well, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.

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