Post by Jennifer Delaney
I fell out of love with reading somewhere in the pandemic, and my goal of 2022 is to find my love of reading again, to find as many varied books as I could and re-ignite that spark. I’d like to thank Chelsea Abdullah and The Stardust Thief for making that goal suddenly so easy. How could I not fall in love with the magic and beauty of this story? After seeing the book around Twitter before it came out and how excited people were for it, I knew I had to give it a go. I’m so happy this book came into my twitter feed and life!
The Stardust Thief is a desert fantasy full of magic, adventure, and heart. Chelsea Abdullah not only weaves the allure of the One Thousand and One Nights and the inspiration it supplies for her fantastical world, she also creates her own magnificent tales and mythology for this world, which breathes new life into the world she’s created. It makes this world of desert magic, Jinn, and thieves feel so alive. For a debut, I’m in awe of how beautifully and truthfully Abdullah captured what it is to experience and to tell stories. Readers who love fantasy and adventure will adore this story. Even more, anyone who has a love of writing and storytelling will learn so much from this example of creativity, character, heart and how to take a single inspired idea and create an entire world with amazing possibilities.
As someone who usually only picks up books with romance at the core of the story, and being dyslexic, some epic fantasies can be too dense or hard to break into for me. However, as Abdullah roots her tale in intricate and beautiful storytelling, I never lost my place in this world. It felt like a sanctuary, somewhere cosy and magical to retreat into and get lost within the tales along with the characters as they explore this world.
The writing was accessible, gorgeous and the pacing leaves you no permission to put the book down. The lack of a romance subplot didn’t even cross my mind while I was immersed in this world as the story has so much more to offer. Found-family, adventure, feisty female warriors, thrilling quests, bloodshed, love and loss.
Love and loss is a major theme in this story, almost guiding the characters through the chaos of the world. I could speak for hours on the characters in this book. Every single character demands attention, and every single one became a cherished favourite as they cemented their place. Each was relatable, in both the bad and good choices they made. The world doesn’t hold back and neither do these characters. Abdullah writes them so you never for a moment doubt they lived long before the story began. They’re alive and her love for them as a writer shines through on every page. They’ve survived in this world, and some are weathered by it, where others might be too naïve to it. But that mix only makes these characters connections to each other all
To finish, I believe we’ve not yet scratched the surface of this world and series, or Abdullah’s potential as an author. I’m so excited for wherever she wishes to take us next in any of her future work. Mostly, I can’t wait to see where she goes next with this story, and how the wonderful characters she’s created survive it.
Jennifer Delaney is a lover of fantasy, both writing and reading! She is represented by Nina Leon of the High Spot Literary. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, enjoying Lord of The Rings memes, or listening to music. You can find her tweeting here.