Book Reviews

Review: The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

I’ve been excited for The Stardust Thief ever since it was announced. And then I saw the cover and I was smitten. Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, this adult fantasy debut is packed of action and fight scenes. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: torture

This multiple POV series starter will have you waiting for the sequel before the end. The Stardust Thief is a story that is jam packed with action. With short chapters every day I read, I ended up reading way more than I expected. There’s this pull to find out what’s next for these three. What new adventure, and mishap, they’ll find themselves in. With mouthwatering food scenes and descriptive rich world building, The Stardust Thief is a fabulous debut.

It’s a book about the pursuit of knowledge and responsibility of power. There are two sides to every story, to the gaps between sentences, and the chapters after the ending. And The Stardust Thief exists in these spaces. In the complexity between what we are taught and told, versus our experiences. We can become so obsessed with forbidden power. But what will we sacrifice for it? Because self-sacrifice is telling, but the sacrificing of others even more so.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

I fell in love with each of these POVs and the character development. The adventure picks up almost immediately and it sweeps you away. I was consistently surprised by the direction and the thrum of the action. There’s serious treasure hunter vibes! And I also adored how The Stardust Thief is rooted in the power of stories. Even more importantly, the power of questioning these stories. Of knowing that they’re never a whole picture. It’s a book about vengeance, disillusionment, and love. About people who take power and refuse to lose ground.

This is a must read for all fantasy adventure fans who also love a story about questioning power. Find The Stardust Thief on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite desert adventure book?

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.