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A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark Review

Title: A Master of Djinn

Author: P. Djèlí Clark

First published May 11, 2021

396 pages, Kindle Edition

Rating: 4.07


Award-winning author P. Djèlí Clark returns with his thrilling and fantastical novel, A Master of Djinn.

It’s 1912 in Cairo and Agent Fatma el-Sha’arawi is back on another case for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. She’s no stranger to the world of magic, having saved the universe from destruction last summer.

But this time, she’s up against a murderer who claims to be the famous al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. With dangerous magical abilities and instigating unrest in the streets of Cairo, Agent Fatma, alongside her colleagues and girlfriend Siti, must uncover the truth behind this imposter before chaos erupts on a global scale.

Will they be able to restore peace to the city or will they fall prey to the imposter’s dangerous schemes? Find out in A Master of Djinn.

About the Author

Meet Phenderson Djéli Clark, a talented author known for his captivating stories. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including nominations for the prestigious Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon awards.

Some of his notable works include the novellas Ring Shout, The Black God’s Drums, and The Haunting of Tram Car 015, as well as the novel A Master of Djinn. You can find his short stories in various online and print publications, such as Tor.com, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and Griots.

Connect with Phenderson on Twitter (@pdjeliclark) or check out his blog, The Disgruntled Haradrim.

Editoral Review

A Master of Djinn by P. Djl Clark is a thrilling and complex addition to the steampunk fantasy genre.

Clark is a prolific writer of speculative fiction and has been nominated for and won numerous awards for his work. Set in an alternate 1912 Cairo, the story follows Fatma el-Shaarawi, a special investigator for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities.

When a series of murders and a strange artifact emerge, Fatma is called upon to investigate with her trusted partner, Agent Hamed al-Nasr. Their investigation takes them on a journey through the city, which is filled with djinn, automatons, and other supernatural beings.

One of the strengths of A Master of Djinn is its intricate world-building. Clark creates a vibrant and diverse world, filled with complex politics and cultures that are rarely explored in fantasy.

Additionally, the characters are well-developed, and their relationships are nuanced and realistic. Fatma, in particular, is a compelling character, and readers will enjoy following her as she navigates the investigation while also grappling with her personal demons.

The plot is well-paced, with many twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. Clark effectively blends historical events and characters with fantasy elements to create a unique and captivating story.

Furthermore, the themes of identity, power, and politics are woven throughout the narrative, adding depth and complexity to the story. One potential limitation of the book is its complexity.

The abundance of characters and world-building elements may be overwhelming for some readers, especially those unfamiliar with the steampunk fantasy genre. Additionally, the ending may not be completely satisfying for some readers, as it leaves many questions unanswered.

Overall, A Master of Djinn is a must-read for fans of steampunk fantasy and those looking for a unique and diverse read. Clark’s masterful storytelling and intricate world-building make for an engrossing and thought-provoking read.

The book’s themes resonate with current events, making it a timely and significant addition to the genre. This book is highly recommended for fans of N.K. Jemisin, Neil Gaiman, and other speculative fiction writers who enjoy rich, complex world-building and political intrigue.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

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