The Middle Eastern–influenced jinn microtrend continues, as do the adventures of half-human, half-jinni twins Najwa and Zayele begun in The Fire Wish (2014).
Lough’s treatment is respectful if not strictly authentic. Baghdad, the caliphate, and the threat of Mongolian invaders are historical, but the anachronistic Cavern and jinn societies and technology (fueled by wishes rather than science and a lot like modern technology in some of its particulars) are clearly fantasy built on the legends and tales of her setting. As in the series opener, Zayele—raised as a human and untrained in using her magic—makes the titular wish and sets certain events in motion. The heart of this story is really twofold: how the sisters and secondary (human) characters Yashar and Rahela begin to find their places in a rapidly changing world; and the action-packed war that ends only in the face of an even bigger threat, ultimately pitting two human-jinn alliances against one another. This can be read as a fast-paced fantasy-adventure, enlivened by two romances and lots of action, or as a poignant coming-of-age tale played out against a backdrop of intense drama; the balance isn’t always perfect, but on the whole, Lough pulls it off.
Enjoyable, thoughtful, packed with action, consequences, and a few kisses—readers will wish for a third book right away. (Fantasy. 12-16)