The Fire Wish is a light and fluffy younger-skewing YA read – a “Parent Trap” for YA fantasy readers. Although there is nothing new in the plot, the interesting setting does add much appeal to the novel. But very simplistic language, characters, and writing can be frustrating to more seasoned readers.
Story: Najwa is a Jinni – a race of beings that live underground and can cast wishes. Ayele is human – the daughter of a local tribal leader. Both the humans and Jinni are locked in a war from sixteen years earlier. When Ayele learns she is to go to Baghdad to marry the Caliph’s son, she is bereft. But a chance encounter with Najwa, and using the human’s ability to force one wish out of a Jinni, she finds herself trading lives with Najwa- the Jinni now off to marry the Caliph’s son and the human spirited down into the caves to live with the Jinni. They will have to fool both societies – and at the same time discover the true secret behind the Jinni war.
The setting and mythology were quite wonderful and a breath of fresh air in the YA genre. I could only wish that the author had better writing chops to really make this story come alive. It’s the difference between driving through an amazing location in a 1974 Ford Pinto or a brand new BMW. Both will get you to the destination but the experience will be much richer in one than the other. Clumsy, repetitive sentence structures, two dimensional characters, and unconvincing dialogue made this an uncomfortable ride.
That said, it is very easy to read and follow due to the simplicity of the writing.
Reviewed from an ARC.