For Christmas 2019, my sweet boyfriend gave me a $100 Kindle gift card. One of the first books I rushed to snag was the first in authortuber Bethany Atazadeh’s retelling series, The Stolen Kingdom. Though I’ve been watching her writing channel for a few months, this is the first book I’ve read by Bethany, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
What I Liked:
Unique Twist on Aladdin While Staying True to the Story
I had only watched Disney’s 1992 version of Aladdin once before reading The Stolen Kingdom, so going in, I couldn’t recall how similar the story was to the movie’s plot; however, I loved the insertion of the Jinni race into the original story. I had never heard of the Jinn before this series, and find them to be insanely interesting creatures. I can’t wait to discover more of their secrets as the series progresses!
After finishing the book, my boyfriend and I watched both Disney’s 2019 live-action remake and the animated version of Aladdin over the weekend. From watching the movies, I was able to pinpoint similarities between Disney’s and Bethany’s versions, but all-in-all, I believe I like Bethany’s more due to the Jinni characters.
Though I think Arie and Kadin make lovely counterparts to Jasmine and Aladdin, my favorite characters are Gideon and Rena. Y’all, Gideon is amazing. He reminds me so much of a cooler, nicer version of Rumple from Once Upon a Time, and being I love Rumple despite his power-crazy tendencies, I adore Gideon even more.
Rena comes in later in this book as a new friend of Arie’s. I don’t want to spoil the details of who she is, so I’ll just say she’s kinda ditsy and hilarious. I’m so pumped that she and Gideon may be the main characters of book two, The Jinni Key, based on its blurb. I immediately bought book two after reading The Stolen Kingdom, which is a rarity for me. I usually wait a couple months to pick up sequels/series continuations.
The only aspect I didn’t quite enjoy was that I kept getting Kadin’s men (the cousins and Bosh) mixed up with each other and couldn’t remember who was talking, but it’s not enough of a drawback to lower the star rating.
Though I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, I became totally invested in this book and can’t wait to continue the series.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Have you read The Stolen Kingdom yet? What is your favorite fairytale retelling? Drop some recommendations in the comments!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.