Book Review: The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

Afternoon book lovers. Today, I am somewhat belatedly reviewing The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah. I was just drafting another blog post when I found this in the drafts folder and realised I’d never published it! Blogger fail!

Look at that BEAUTIFUL cover. Its amazing.

  • Format: e-ARC
  • Pages: 538
  • Publisher: Orbit

The Book:

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.

Photo by Walid Ahmad on

My Thoughts:

Browsing bookish social media and the email newsletters from The Bookseller, there are occasions where I’ll read a news snippet about a book that has been snapped up by a publisher. These stories are often accompanied by a brief summary about the book and, if they sound good, I’ll pop them on my list of books to look out for. The Stardust Thief was one of these books. Months later, when I saw it pop up on Netgalley, I sent a request straight away, and was delighted to be approved.

I loved this book and reading it has been a great experience. It took me bloody ages to read it, because I was savouring it; I loved spending time in this world and with these characters created by Chelsea Abdullah.

The Stardust Thief is the first part of a trilogy, The Sandsea Trilogy, and is inspired by “A Thousand and One Nights”. I absolutely loved the world that has been built by Abdullah using this inspiration.

Apart from the story itself, this book is going to change the way I read for a while. Whilst reading it, it made me realise that I haven’t read enough fantasy recently. I’ll read most genres, but I feel like fantasy, is the most “me” genre, the one I love the most, the one I go back to all the time and the one where all of my favourites lie. This can be what might be traditionally thought of as “fantasy”, i.e. books like The Stardust Thief that are set in a fantastical world of the author’s making, but also books set in our world but with a fantasy element, like The Time Traveler’s Wife – okay, that might be more of a sci-fi element but you get my meaning!

I have some eARCs to read and other bookish commitments, and there are authors I enjoy who don’t write in this genre who I’ll be picking up in the next few months but I think my free/mood reading time is definitely going to be spent more in the fantasy genre than it has been.

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