In this twisted tale of the fate of Agrabah Liz Braswell explores what would happen if Aladdin had never gotten ahold of the lamp – if Jafar had gotten it from the beginning. How different would Agrabah and it’s citizens be? What would be their fate?
This retelling was very good. I loved the idea of exploring a dystopian Agrabah and watching the characters look deeper into themselves. Since I was little Aladdin was always one of my favourite stories, I wanted to be Jasmine so I could have a tiger and marry Aladdin. As a good it’s easy to overlook the poverty and injustice of the plot; as an adult you think deeper about those kind of things. How could the Sultan just sit back and let his people be starving in the streets? How Jasmine was so ridiculously entitled and privileged. This book does a great job of exploring those social injustices and the spark of revolution.
One of my favourite things about this book is the woman empowerment! The book, while still very much taking place from Aladdin’s point of view, really showcases how strong Jasmine, and the supporting Morgiana, are. Jasmine doesn’t sit in her ivory tower (or Jasmine Garden as it were) and wait for Aladdin to do the rescuing; she takes charge and is a warrior Sultana. True to her original character, who got fed up and ran away, Jasmine in this retelling holds that same fire and passion but one-ups it with a revolution and regime change.
My only negative comment is that I felt the book needed one more run through in editing. There were parts that didn’t flow as smoothly as the rest; little word choices or sentence structures that just didn’t fit. I had read As Old As Time recently and that book was so much more polished and neat that I think I’m just being overly critical at this point.
Solid good read though. I’m love this new trend of redoing fairy tales in twisted and/or dystopian ways. It’s great fun to re-explore favourite stories in these different ways.