Title : A Master Of Djinn
Author : P. Djèli Clarke
Publisher : Orbit Books
Pages : 396
Genre : Fantasy
Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.
So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.
Alongside her Ministry colleagues and her clever girlfriend Siti, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city – or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems….
I must admit before I begin to lay bare my thoughts on this book is that I’m biased towards anything and everything related to Egypt. It would be an understatement if I said that I love this place. I feel a connection to not only the place, its culture, or its dynamic history but also to its people, its animals and everything in between. So yes, when I heard a story has been written based on an alternate Cairo in 20th Century, I placed my bets in favour immediately. Now, was I satisfied or was it a painful disappointment? Let’s see.
So the story is about a very powerful man, yes very. He is none other than Al-Jahiz. He, who had disappeared into thin air is now apparently back and is already wrecking havoc on the streets of Cairo. And who better than Agent Fatma to call for this case? Is he a dangerous imposter or a known enemy? Now at this point you must already admit that it sounds irresistible (or not?).
The introduction for both Al-Jahiz and Fatma were mind boggling. Especially the former, because it truly brought in the colors necessary to visualize his character. Honestly, the writing is pretty sophisticated, and I enjoyed decoding the words but it took me quite a while to get used to it. I found myself taking reading breaks (sometimes for days), but thankfully it did not send me to a slump. So not a disappointment yet.
The characters are interesting, and murky. It was really hard to tell someone’s true intentions and what they really wanted. One thing that I would like to appreciate at this point is how very unpredictable the plot was. It was almost like diving blind into deep sea and finding a world hidden beneath. I liked, no I loved the surprise.
So yes, it wasn’t a disappointment. What I would suggest though is that take your time with this one, don’t give up. It might take a while to get used to the writing, but the world dynamics would definitely make up for it. Master Of Djinn is an epic fantasy full of magic, mystery and mayhem.
3.75 stars for this one.⭐