Review: The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

Title: The Stardust Thief

Author: Chelsea Abdullah

Publisher: Orbit

Published: May 17, 2022

Pages: 480

Format: physical ARC, thanks Orbit!

Goodreads Blurb

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 Review

What a beautiful retelling! I actually didn’t know this was a retelling because I went into this completely blind. It was such a beautiful story and I was enchanted right away. I really enjoyed going on this adventure!

A prince, jinn in disguise, jinn killer, and merchant go off on a journey together. Nothing can go wrong, right?! They are such an unlikely group but they kind of have to band together to face many obstacles. I loved the relationships between all of them! They are all weary of each other but then have to band together to survive.

The world-building was stunning and Abdullah’s writing has a way to captivate you with her writing. The beginning was a little bit slow but it really took off and I had a hard time putting it down. I loved all the elements that came together.

“I’m the Midnight Merchant. Relics don’t possess me; I possess them.”

One of the things I loved the most about this book is the relationship between Loulie and Qadir. They come together in a very heartbreaking way, but the love they have for each other, is so beautiful. There is some strife that happens but you really get the absolute love and devotion Qadir has for Loulie. I loved him as a character as well. He’s serious at times but then kind of feels like a teddy bear at times. Regardless, they were my favorite relationship in this book!

I’m a little confused about the relationship Loulie had with Ahmed. I don’t know if it was really a romantic relationship or really good friends trying to make some type of romantic impact. I wish we would have gotten a bit more of Ahmed though.

I have to take a moment to shout out Aisha. I wasn’t sure that I would like her much but I came to really enjoy her character. I’m so intrigued about her journey. I loved her sass with Mazen. I think she has a really conflicting inner battle and I feel for her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and it was a strong start to a series. I ended up flying through this one and really loving all the characters. There are a lot of retellings at the moment but I thought this stood out. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thanks to Orbit for providing me with an arc of this book. It has in no way influenced my opinions.

17 thoughts on “Review: The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

  1. Pingback: The A – Z – Booktag! – Becky's Book Blog

  2. Great review, Leslie! I’m super looking forward to checking this out because I keep hearing amazing things about it. And people keep mentioning the different relationships in the book so I’m very intrigued. Looking forward to checking it out! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Yes, I was scared because I started to see so much hype and lately. They have been misses for me. This was great and I think you would love it too!!


  3. Pingback: May Wrap-Up! | Books Are The New Black

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