Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 480 pages
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Dark Caravan Cycle
Source: ARC from Amazon vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. The synopsis was just so intriguing. It ended up being a very well done book, if a bit long for what it was.
Nalia is the only survivor of an elite caste of jinn that can command all four elements. Nailia is also part of the Dark Caravan, illegal trafficking of enslaving jinni to humans and forcing them to serve Masters. Nalia’s master is the mysterious Malik. Malik never ages and is incredibly selfish and cruel but also smart, he has put many safe holds in place to prevent Nalia’s escape.
However Nalia has even bigger problems than Malik, the Ifrit have taken over her homeworld of Arjinna and are set on hunting her down and killing her. Nalia’s only hope is a mysterious jinn named Rafe who shows up claiming to be part of a Arjinna’s revolution. Rafe agrees to help free Nalia if she helps him with the resistance effort.
This was a well done book. It is set in modern times but Nalia is from a world that sounds very much like a typical fantasy world (with dragons, etc). We never get to learn much about Arjinna aside from some flashbacks Nalia has.
I enjoyed the world building here and the complex caste system of the jinn. I also was intrigued by the complex relationship between Nalia and Malik. They are both interesting and powerful characters in their own right and both faced with nearly immortal lifespans.
Demetrios has a very beautiful writing style and has some excellent description in here. Some of the scenes really come alive and are just beautifully detailed. The only downside to this is that all this detail makes the book a very slow read at points. This wasn’t the the type of book you can just sit down and devour, you have to read it carefully.
Most of the book is politics and intrigue. There is also some romance throughout. There were a couple action packed scenes, but they were in the minority here. One thing I didn’t like about the book was the cuts to the ghoul who was destroying female jinn. There were too many of them and they took up too much page space. Additionally sometimes Nalia’s flashbacks to her past were in awkward spaces in the story.
Overall a beautifully written book about a creative world of jinn. I enjoyed the world-building and the beautiful descriptions. The characters were complex and well done. My main complaints are that the flashbacks and villain scenes were also too frequent and awkwardly placed. Also the book was a slow read at times and felt a bit too long. I would still recommend this book to fantasy lovers out there, this is a very creative book about jinn that is well done.
I am unsure whether I will read the next book in the series or not, this one was just so long and I am kind of curious about what happens next…but not dying to know what happens next.