This Woven Kingdom (This Woven Kingdom #1)

Tahereh Mafi. HarperCollins, $19.99 (512p) ISBN 978-0-06-297244-6

In the Kingdom of Ardunia, the long-ago fall of fireborn Jinn Iblees, the devil, left the Jinn a hated race. Though accords eventually put an end to eons of bloodshed between Jinn and humankind, the Jinn nevertheless continue to face constant persecution, and use of their fiery powers carries the death penalty. Against this backdrop, olive-skinned 18-year-old Alizeh toils as a servant at a duchess’s estate following her parent’s death. Soon, she encounters Kamran, Ardunia’s crown prince, also 18 and olive skinned. Though Alizeh’s blood carries the ice that marks her as heir to an ancient kingdom that could destroy his own, he finds that he cannot forget her—setting the stage for a violent upheaval of not just his life, but of the land itself. In a heart-wrenching novel based in Islamic texts and Persian poem the Shahnameh, Mafi (An Emotion of Great Delight) complements rich worldbuilding with lushly descriptive, sensorial prose that inspires the novel’s mythological backdrop, against which plays out an emotional plot, and a tortured romance, layered with court intrigue. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Feb.)