The Book Depository A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

4.4 out of 5 stars
The Book Depository A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
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Description: A Master of Djinn : Paperback : Little, Brown Book Group : 9780356516882 : 0356516881 : 19 Aug 2021 : Set in an alternate Cairo in the early 20th century, this fun, fresh and exciting fantasy novel combines all the tricky twists you want from a police procedural with djinn, magic and a sense of wonder - think Rivers of London meets The City of Brass. The Book Depository A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

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Product ID: 9780356516882

MPN: 0356516881

GTIN: 9780356516882

 
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Author: Amazon Customer

Rating: 5

Review: When I first heard that P. Djèlí Clark was releasing a full length novel, I knew I’d have to read it, and sooner rather than later. I really enjoyed the world building in the previous novellas set in this world, with its alternative history and view of magic and to see it play out against a longer, larger story was definitely appealing. In regards to how well the novel stands alone, while you can definitely jump into the novel without having read any of the previous stories, having read at least A Dead Djinn in Cairo will give you a much better understanding of Fatma and the Angels. Everything else just provides nice Easter eggs dotted through the story. Where this book is at its strongest is having two women characters who can show alternate views of Egypt’s modernisation and progression. While Fatma is more “european” for lack of a better word - masculine dress and approach, more secular, Hadia is devout, wears the headscarf and is a bit more traditional in her approach. However both demonstrate that Egypt in this world is balancing both and that being modern doesn’t necessarily require mimicking the west wholesale. Speaking of which, the worldbuilding in this novel is incredible. An alternate 1920’s Egypt where the English were expelled much earlier due to the discovery of magic and jinn decades before, the world is alive and the potential for a completely different history in other parts of the world is hinted at in several key scenes. In fact, part of me longed for those stories of India freeing itself earlier, Germany taking a different path by relying on its folklore creatures, there’s a wealth of potential offshoots and alternative stories hinted at and ready to explore. Ultimately Master of Djinn is a fun adventure novel that has some intricate and interesting world building that elevates what could be a fairly routine plot into something fresh and interesting.

 

Author: Rev. Andy

Rating: 2

Review: The premise of this alternate, magical history - steampunk meets Egyptian djinn - is an interesting one so it was disappointing that this did it so badly. Essentially an expanded retelling of the first (short) story in the series - flat, one-dimensional characters follow a linear series of clues to a very predictable conclusion. They all speak in the same style (apart from the few caricature 'foreigners'), not helped by the occasional jarring neologism. I made it to the end but wished I hadn't.

 

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