Book Spotlight | “The Jinni’s Last Wish” by Zeonbia Neil

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Jinni’s Last Wish” direct from the author Zenobia Neil in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was interested in reading this novel:

Ever since I read The Golem and the Jinni, I’ve been interested in reading about the Jinn. I’ve been trying to seek out new stories involving the Jinn and also, eras specific to when the mythology of the Jinn are explored – either of themselves or interacting with others in a larger scope of world-building where they not just interact but they are only one dimension of the story at hand. This particular story, I thought might transfer me backwards in time to where the Jinn were very well known, if not feared by some for the powers they held within them to affect a person’s life or destiny whilst being within the period of the historic past, I thought would offer keen insight into cultural traditions I haven’t yet explored in more detail.

I honestly thought this was going to be more of a historical overlay involving the cultural texture of society during the Ottoman Empire with threads of the Jinn and the maids of the sultan intersecting through the narrative, where the empathsis was more on the fantastical elements of how the Jinn might mitigate events or situations to inter-step through the characters’ lives whilst giving us a strong impression of how the society of the Empire was formed, structured and organised during the time of the sultan’s rule. As with most historical specific narratives, I was interested in the history being brought to life and stepping into a new era I hadn’t visited as regularly as others.

A bit similar to how I found Stephanie Thornton’s Daughter of the Gods – where I literally felt like I had left modern life and re-entered the Egyptian past. Sadly, this wasn’t quite the story I found inside and I wasn’t able to re-adjust into the narrative I found as it was too starkly outside the stories I regularly read.

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Book Spotlight | “The Jinni’s Last Wish” by Zeonbia NeilThe Jinni's Last Wish
by Zenobia Neil
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As a eunuch in the Ottoman Imperial Harem, Olin has already lost his home, his freedom, and his manhood. His only wish is for a painless death, until he meets Dark Star, a beautiful odalisque who promises to give him his deepest desire. He refuses to believe her claim to possess a jinni in a bottle. But when Dark Star is accused of witchcraft, Olin rubs the bottle in desperation and discovers she’s told the truth.

Olin becomes the jinni’s master to save Dark Star, but it’s not enough. In the complex world of the Topkapi Palace, where silk pillows conceal knives, sherbets contain poison, and jewels buy loyalty, no one is safe. With each wish, Olin must choose between becoming like the masters he detests or risk his life, his body, and his sanity to break the bonds that tie them all.

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy

Places to find the book:


Also by this author:

Published by Self Published

on 13th September, 2018

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 224

The Jinni’s Last Wish

The Odalisque’s Wish (companion short story)


I’ve been placing flames on those stories which are more sensually charged narratives – this one however, I felt left the ‘romantic’ side of Historical Romance & Historical Fantasy and went straight into Historical Erotica due to the elevated nature of the sensuality being explored in the story-line. It was more than a bit of surprise as mentioned on my review and unfortunately, was the key reason I was drawn out of the story itself as there wasn’t a lot left to remain invested in the plot.

Converse via: #HistoricalFantasy & Historical Erotica

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Zenobia Neil

Zenobia Neil

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Zenobia spends her free time imagining interesting people and putting them in terrible situations.

She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in an overpriced hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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why i am spotlighting this novel:

There are moments when I am requesting a story to read for review where I mistake the context of the story – in this case, I mistook the fact this isn’t a Historical Romance story-line but rather a Historical Erotic Fantasy story-line – the difference being, I am not an Erotica reader.

As soon as I started reading this novel, I realised there was something rather different about it – as there is a difference from a highly sensualised Romantic story and a story which makes a beeline for Erotica. For me, it is where you find a story is heavily influenced by the lustful and erotic natures of the characters to the point you don’t get to spend as much time getting acquainted with the characters themselves because you are more focused on their sensuality and sexuality.

A few chapters into the narrative, I was also struck by how the author kept referring to Olin as an eunuch as this was part of his past and his present – it is not something we needed to be reminded of as it is such a strong part of his personal identity. He cannot be separated by this alteration of his body and it is in fact, part of how he views his own self-worth – he feels inferior to other men and less than worthy of living a normal life which he once expected of himself. I think if less time had been spent on the redundancy of mentioning his current sexual status and more time on developing his back-story early-on, it would have shifted the interest for me as it would have felt more compelling to read.

The sensual moments arrive very early-on and there isn’t a lot of lead-in to when they arrive as there is a rather descriptive scene shared between Olin and Dark Star. Aside from that encounter, what you do learn from that sequence is that Dark Star is acting as the catalyst of the story – everything becomes anchoured to her character, as she has the means and the method to alter the events which would come after her encounter with Olin. Olin for his part, is readily seen as proving he has a weakness for his sexual desires and even though he has a different status in the harem, he isn’t afraid of taking a risk that could end his life. As they are both living within the Ottoman Empire where acting against the rules of their sultan can eliminate them from existence. The laws were strict, harsh and carried out with wrath – to where you had to question why anyone would risk anything at all if they understood their place within the harem itself.

There was a very descriptive section about what befell Olin and his brothers; it was very graphic and what made it difficult for me to read was how jarring it was from a reader’s stand-point. I had understood well enough in the opening passages what had happened to Olin; reading about it in exacting (read: explicit) detail wasn’t necessary as it was already horrific knowing he was altered in that way. For me, reading the gruesome way his brother had died and then, what he had to endure with his brother and the other young boys – honestly, it did not aide the historical accuracy for me but rather made me nausea for reading those passages as the details were not shied away from describing exactly what was happening during their abduction before they were sold into slavery.

For these reasons, the novel went from being an interesting footnote in History I hadn’t yet read about to a rather graphically explicit novel which I had no interest in continuing to read. I would say, this would appeal to readers who prefer a more cutting hard-look at History, where details are fully explored and where the sensuality side of the characters is never held back but a key component of the forward motion of a novel. It might not be my cuppa but if what I’ve described is of interest to you, I can see the outcome of reading the novel would go differently than it had for me.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

The Jinni's Last Wish blog tour via HFVBTs

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Jinni’s Last Wish”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Zenobia Neil, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2018 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Blog Tour Host, Content Note, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Sexually Explicit Content (Erotica), Women of Power & Rule

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