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The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
Fantasy

The Stardust Thief

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Chelsea Abdullah, on your first book!

by Chelsea Abdullah

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Quick take

Like a certain famous lamp, this novel will grant wishes for a perfect fantasy with dark magic and a dangerous quest.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Series

    First in series

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Quest

    Quest

Synopsis

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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Stardust Thief.
The Stardust Thief

The Tale of the Jinn

Neither here nor there, but long ago . . .

Our world belonged to the jinn, those doomed creatures who roam our desert like lost spirits. Unlike us humans, who were created from the earth, the gods crafted the jinn from an ancient flame that allowed them to live for hundreds of years and gave them the power to use magic. This is why some jinn can change shape and others can breathe fire or travel the world in the blink of an eye.

For a time, the jinn did as the gods commanded: they loved and nurtured the world they were given, and there was peace. But while most jinn were grateful to the gods, there were seven jinn kings who were dissatisfied with their meager magic, and they expressed their discontent by destroying the land. They created winds so wild they blew the water from lakes and oceans, and flames so hot they burned away fields of grass, leaving behind nothing but sand.

When the gods saw the havoc the kings had wreaked, they decided to punish them. They gave them what they desired most—they made their magic more powerful, but at the cost of it being uncontrollable. The magic was so strong it burned holes in the sand, sinking the jinn cities and causing the jinn to vanish from this world.

In the wake of their disappearance, the gods created us humans. Magicless and mortal we may be, but we are the gods’ faithful servants.

There are some who believe we must use our faith to restore life to this barren world. They say the only reason we have any nature left is because there are hunters who capture escaped jinn and sacrifice them to the gods. They claim that a jinn’s silver blood is filled with life—that it can turn sand to water and make trees and flowers bloom.

But our faith need not be so twisted.

Remember, Layla, not all jinn are evil.

Loulie had buried many things since her mother last told her that story.

Her name. Her past. Her parents.

But the story, she had never forgotten.

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Why I love it

We’re on the cusp of summer, which means longer days and endless sun and the unavoidable itch to travel somewhere. Well, look no further: Chelsea Abdullah’s The Stardust Thief will instantly transport you.

When Loulie 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. With no choice but to embark on this journey, Loulie is thrust into a dangerous world of ghouls, a vengeful jinn queen, and a malicious killer from her past—and while it’s not exactly fun for her (or any of the other characters) it’s exceedingly fun for her readers.

This enthralling adventure unravels in a vibrant world filled to the brim with glimmering magic and lovably chaotic characters. The ensemble cast provides different perspectives to engage with this world, and you’ll enjoy each one: the criminal merchant, Loulie; her jinn bodyguard, Qadir; the cowardly prince, Mazen; and the warrior thief, Aisha.

The Stardust Thief is a classic quest and is masterfully crafted, each element delicately constructed and intertwined. It’s the type of book you’ll want to read again and again. My advice? Devour it on the first read, then go back and savor it on the second. Just like with a good vacation, it’s the type of world you’ll never want to leave.

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Member ratings (13,840)

  • Michelle B.

    Alexandria, VA

    This book had me hooked! I didn’t know what was going to happen next. This book is a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. I love this book & can’t wait for the next book. Hopeful Book of the month will get it! A must read. 

  • Brian P.

    Brighton, MA

    Excellent storytelling and characters, with a rich, cultural, backdrop. While 400+ pages is lengthy, it’s packed to the brim with action and will be an enjoyable read for any fantasy readers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Amanda D.

    Clear Lake , IA

    A wonderful, well thought out reimagining of Aladdin/Arabian Nights— can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy as it is released!! One hell of a debut novel from Chelsea Abdullah! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Alexx H.

    Oshkosh, WI

    I’m impatiently waiting for the next book! This was amazing. The world the author built was beautifully/horrifically created. The pacing was fast and I just couldn’t put this down. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Mahra R.

    Indiana, PA

    I LOVED THIS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Imagine Indiana Jones meets Aladdin. I absolutely loved this story. What really captured my love was Loulie’s relationship with Qadir. Ready for book 2 &3 ASAP !!!

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