I've always liked jinn stories but there are so few out there. In this story the characters aren't just one dimensional which can happen to a slave character but rich in descriptive magic. She also brings us back in Nalia's memory to a magical world lush in description. A world we know we will never experience except through Nalia's memory. We also are quite aware of the current war in that world and how it changed not just the people but the landscape as well.
As I said I did like the characters here. Nalia is a slave but finds ways to survive horrendous torture and revel in small rebellious victories. She was captured young and didn't have a sense of who she was or could become. In one way she changed the bindings of royalty for the bindings of slavery. Both denying who she is and what she could become. Then along comes Raif. His role is not to save her (although he plays a huge part) but to awaken Nalia into the person she wants to become. Now that doesn't mean it was all roses when he first comes on the scene, but you are aware he will become the romantic interest once he gets over being a total arse (even if he has good reason) and shows his true heart. :)
I don't want to give too much away, but the evil presence is quite evil and almost impossible to defeat. While this part of the story is complete there is still so much left open. So much more you want to explore and not just in the parts you know are to come. I'm curious where the author will take these characters and I'm most curious about Malek. He may have the most interesting journey ahead. He still has to choose who he wants to become.
I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed my time here and I want to see if they accomplish all their goals. The book is listed as YA since Nalia is 18 but the other characters are older. It may cross a bit over to the NA genre as well as adult. I recommend it to those that enjoy a good jinn adventure.