From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.
Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.
But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.
An Aladdin retelling is new to me, so I was excited to read this book. It’s not my favorite Disney movie, but I like the story enough to be interested. The wonderful thing about the series is the different – sometimes unlikely – fairytale retellings that it includes. I’ve said before that you don’t have to read these books in order to appreciate them, but this book in the series was all the better because I had read other books in the Hagenheim world.
Kirstyn was the sister that fell to the wayside. Even in the books before this, she wasn’t a memorable character. That being said, she made a presence in this book. I like that I didn’t know that much about her going into this book. It gave me a chance to get to know her without seeing her through other characters’ eyes. I loved discovering who she was and learning her side of the stories that I had fallen in love with, seeing her siblings how she saw them. Her spunk and resilience made the story interesting and thrilling, and I couldn’t wait to have an excuse to pick it up and continue reading.
Aladdin made a wonderful love interest. He was kind and noble, and I liked his side of the story. It made perfect sense that he wasn’t in the other stories because of the lack of Kirstyn’s presence. Dickerson took the Disney story that everyone knew and made it realistic. Abu was a cute orphan that needed love, and while Aladdin didn’t have any magic carpet rides, his fierce love for Kirstyn was magical.
There were a few things that I wanted answered before I finished this book, so I’m hoping that they come up in the next book in series (which I’m already ready to read). Dickerson has a wonderful writing style that keeps the story flowing. Fairytales have never been told like this before, and she is easily one of my favorite historical fiction writers.