Series: The Sandsea Trilogy #1
Author: Chelsea Abdullah
Released: May 17, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Death of a parent, torture
I have been hearing SO many good things about The Stardust Thief, so I knew I would have to read it! Thankfully, I could grab it with my June selection for BOTM, which is always a nice treat.
Loulie al-Nazari is known as the Midnight Merchant. In other words, she’s famous for sourcing illegal magic and relics. She’s very good at what she does, thanks to the help of a lifelong friend, ally, and bodyguard.
Her fame has brought her to the sultan’s attention, who wants Loulie to hunt down an impossible relic. If this relic exists, the sultan will finally have the power he’s always desired – the power to destroy the jinn once and for all.
“Let us speak of lies and truths, and of the story hidden between them.”
Wow. The Stardust Thief is a magical whirlwind of a ride. I went into it with high hopes and expectations, and boy, were they NOT disappointed! I was delighted with this tale, carried away on an adventure. I’m already counting down the days to the next release (please let the wait be over already!).
The storytelling style of The Stardust Thief is perhaps the thing I loved the most, with the characters being a close second. There are about a half dozen (I should have counted) stories tucked into this novel, including one that feels very similar to One Thousand and One Nights. This was by intention, I’m sure, and was very well done. I enjoyed this little twist and everything else that followed.
As I already mentioned, I adored the characters in this book. Some of them I cherished, like Louli, Mazen, and Qadir, while others I enjoyed hating (I won’t spoil those – though I think you’ll figure it out rather quickly once you begin reading). It’s just the right balance.
There are three main perspectives: Louli, Mazen, and Aisha. And they are so very different. Louli is the Midnight Merchant, as mentioned above. Mazen is the sultan’s son, and I would argue his favorite. He feels trapped, unable to see or help the world. Then there’s Aisha, one of the eldest prince’s Forty Thieves.
The secrets and hidden ambitions in The Stardust Thief take the story to a new level. There’s layer upon layer here, and even after finishing the book, I’m certain there are more layers for us to dig through.
All things said and done; The Stardust Thief is a brilliant story. I meant it when I said I couldn’t wait for the sequel. I know I’ll be buying it the second it comes out!