Zahra is a jinni who has been trapped in a lamp for thousands of years, and who has been entombed in a destroyed city for 500 for breaking the first rule of the jinn. Somehow, a boy finds his way to the ruins under the sand with the help of a magic ring, and brings Zahra out of the ruins, with the aim to use his wishes to overthrow a kingdom.
Zahra has her own task- to free the prince of the jinn in exchange for her freedom, and she must use Aladdin to do so, though it may cost her as well as Aladdin in the end.
This retelling takes things a different direction than the original tale of course. I enjoyed it quite a bit- I like to see different literary references in retellings, and this one did not disappoint, drawing in little "Easter eggs" from different tales that originally surrounded the tale of Aladdin and the lamp. I also liked to see the various strong female characters incorporated into the retelling- so often, the original tales have few female characters, and they tend to be relegated to the background or used as props to continue the story, and nothing more, so when I get my hands on a retelling that turns the tables a bit that makes it all the better for me.
I recommend this book for fans of the original Arabian Nights tales, as well as retellings of classic tales and stories with magic and wonder.