The Stardust Thief: Book summary and reviews of The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief

The Sandsea Trilogy #1

by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah X
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
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Book Summary

Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, this book weaves together the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Abdullah's ambitious debut, the first in the Sandsea Trilogy, weaves an intricate tale that draws from the legends of One Thousand and One Nights to create something entirely new...Lush descriptions bring the setting to life, while the focus on myth and storytelling contrasted against the characters' harsh reality adds to the sense of mystery and enchantment. This powerful, intriguing adventure will leave readers eager for more." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[T]hrilling...Not only is the story exciting...but the characterization and growth of the three human questers—and to a certain extent, the jinn Qadir—are extremely strong; all are driven to question everything they thought they knew and to consider whether that new knowledge will change their course of action. A marvelous plunge into a beautifully crafted adventure." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Abdullah's Sandsea Trilogy kicks off with a beautifully crafted novel heavily influenced by the art of storytelling and personal narrative, especially that of the classic Arabian tale One Thousand and One Nights...Abdullah is a gifted storyteller, weaving together three disparate points of view in order to bring to life a rich world, rife with magic, where anything that can be dreamed up can happen." - Booklist

"Abdullah writes stories like a sparkling, burning thing painted against the pitch-black night, ever out of our reach. Gently touched with lyrical writing, Abdullah's talent is making you feel like magic exists." - Buzzfeed

"The Stardust Thief is a dream written upon a page–absorbing, lingering, and poignantly told. Abdullah weaves a sweeping adventure of tales within tales, while laying bare the ways those we love can both uplift us and break our hearts." – Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter

"A thrilling adventure about found families, ancient magic, and stories that linger...I thoroughly enjoyed it." – S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass

This information about The Stardust Thief was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Chelsea Abdullah

Chelsea Abdullah is an American-Kuwaiti writer born and raised in Kuwait, where she grew up listening to stories about mysterious desert creatures and wily (only sometimes likable) heroes. Consumed by wanderlust, she has put down roots in various states. After earning her MA in English at Duquesne University, she moved to New York, where she currently lives. When not immersed in her own fictional worlds, she spends her free time playing video games, doodling characters, and hoarding books she doesn't have the shelf space for.

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