The best books about jinn

6 authors have picked their favorite books about jinn and why they recommend each book.

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The Golem and the Jinni

By Helene Wecker,

Book cover of The Golem and the Jinni

I loved this book because it combined unexpected things. New York City in 1899 is full of immigrants from all over the world, living in communities that rub together in crowded, often impoverished situations. In that realistic setting the story places a female golem and a male jinni. Reading about two non-human creatures from Jewish and Arab cultures figuring out how to exist in the human world made me think about what it means to be human and how communities work. Plus there's interesting stuff about Kabbalistic magic, baking, and life in the desert.

The Golem and the Jinni

By Helene Wecker,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Golem and the Jinni as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of only two novels I've ever loved whose main characters are not human' BARBARA KINGSOLVER

For fans of The Essex Serpent and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

'By far my favourite book of of the year' Guardian

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in…


Who am I?

In 1998, I met H.P. Lovecraft's corpse-reanimating doctor, Herbert West. I found him intriguing, but HPL's story didn't tell me enough about what lay behind his bizarre interests. Why did his friend help and support him? To answer those questions, I wrote four genre-blending novels, of which The Friendship of Mortals is the first. Through West's librarian friend, Charles Milburn, I explore their friendship, the choices they make, and how they deal with the consequences of those choices. The setting is a college town in early 20th century New England, but with a supernatural twist.


I wrote...

The Friendship of Mortals

By Audrey Driscoll,

Book cover of The Friendship of Mortals

What is my book about?

Medical student Herbert West can revivify the dead—after a fashion. Miskatonic University librarian Charles Milburn agrees to help him, compromising his principles and his romance with Alma Halsey, daughter of the Dean of Medicine. West’s experiments become increasingly risky, but when he prepares to cross the ultimate border, only Charles can save his life—if his conscience lets him.

Djinn

By Sam West,

Book cover of Djinn: An Extreme Horror Novel

Who wouldn’t want to be granted wishes? Then again, it’s best to heed the old idiom, “Be careful what you wish for.” 

Pam Wilkins lives a miserable life. When she encounters a Djinn who promises her happiness, beauty, wealth, and anything she can hope for, she is desperate enough to give in to temptation. The Djinn does, in fact, grant her wishes, but they come at a hefty cost.

Calling this book sick and twisted would be an understatement. West exceeds the boundaries of human decency. The scenes are downright vile and will surely make you gag. The story is engrossing, wildly imaginative, and has a great twist at the end.

Djinn

By Sam West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Djinn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pam Wilkins hates her life. She doesn't have much going for her. Her boyfriend beats her, she looks like the back end of a bus and she's skint. To top it all off, she cleans up other people's sh*t for a living. While she's at work scrubbing a toilet, a Djinn appears in a puff of smoke and grants her six wishes. All she has to do to make her dreams come true, is commit the most heinous, atrocious acts imaginable. Six wishes for six atrocities. It's a no-brainer. Pam will do ANYTHING to get what she wants. But she…


Who am I?

I've been a passionate lover of all things horror. I strive to take my readers on an unforgettable journey, one that often places them well out of their comfort zone. I believe that horror should make readers uncomfortable, whether through a mounting sense of unease or full-blown exposure to gore and depravity. I do my best to pull readers into my stories so that they can almost personally experience the horrors. If I don’t make them cringe and wince, then I have failed. As outrageous as my books may be, they're not full of violence and gore for the sake of mere shock value. I do my best to create well-developed characters with thought-provoking and immersive storylines. 


I wrote...

Man Cave

By Angel Gelique,

Book cover of Man Cave

What is my book about?

Because bad things happen....When Sophie and Amber leave their college campus and travel across the state in pursuit of love, they find lust instead. Or rather, the lustful, sadistic man they know only as Ben. Abducted and held within Ben's dirty garage, things rapidly turn grim for Sophie and Amber who are repeatedly tortured, raped, and abused in horrific ways--physically, mentally, and emotionally. With an unquenchable thirst for savagery, Ben's brutality increases with each passing day, leaving the poor young women entirely at his mercy. Unfortunately for them, his ability to be merciful is about as limited as his supply of morals.

Will Sophie and Amber find a way to escape? Will they survive the depravity? Or will their lives end there in Ben's deplorable man cave?

The Wishmakers

By Tyler Whitesides,

Book cover of The Wishmakers

There is a fine line between silly and slapstick. This book manages to stay just barely on the good side of that line. Basically, we have two kids with genies being chased by bad guys. The danger motivates the kids to make wishes. The wishes are unlimited, but so are the consequences. Little wishes have little consequences while a big enough wish comes with death. Reading about the kids being forced to hop up and down, clap their hands and make weird noises as a result of the wishes is highly entertaining. But there are also a lot of openings for serious discussion as the kids try to negotiate smaller wishes to achieve similar results.  Which consequences would you accept?  

The Wishmakers

By Tyler Whitesides,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wishmakers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Looking for a fantastically fast-paced and funny read? Your wish is granted!" -Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Twelve-year-old Ace's life is about to change in the most unexpected and magical ways-all because of a peanut butter jar.

When he opens it, he inadvertently releases a genie named Ridge. Now a Wishmaker, Ace is given a week to complete a seemingly impossible quest, and if he fails the world will end in the most tragic (but cuddly) way imaginable.

Luckily, Ridge can help by granting Ace an unlimited number of wishes...as long…


Who am I?

My favorite books—to read and to write—have always been funny Christian romances. But all four of my kids prefer fantasy. They want me to read with them, and they’ve been asking me to read nothing but fantasy for years. Now I can say it’s my second favorite genre. In fact, I learned to like it so much I eventually started writing a children’s fantasy series of my own, in between all the mushy stuff. Beyond Wisherton is the first in that series.


I wrote...

Beyond Wisherton

By Amanda Hamm,

Book cover of Beyond Wisherton

What is my book about?

Wisherton is surrounded by a Wasteland filled with terrifying Herders. Sevra Say has lived twelve years grateful for the giant wall that keeps Wisherton safe. But now her life is threatened by something inside Wisherton, something that makes her believe getting past the wall may be the only way to save her family. With the help of her three siblings, Sevra will embark on an impossible quest and come face to face with what lies beyond Wisherton.

Ptolemy's Gate

By Jonathan Stroud,

Book cover of Ptolemy's Gate

The conclusion to a charming middle-grade trilogy about a quick-witted demon named Bartimaeus, this book also depicts love and loss with an intensity and realism that resonates with readers of any age. I first read this book when I was about nine years old, eager to find out what would happen to the hilarious characters I’d loved so much in the first few books. I’ll never forget how hard I cried on that school bus home. I was just old enough to understand what that kind of loss would feel like, and still young enough to be moved by the story’s idealism and for the fantastical world to feel real for me. But I think, no matter who you are, this is a story at once heartbreaking and hilarious. 

Ptolemy's Gate

By Jonathan Stroud,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ptolemy's Gate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tremendous climax of the Bartimaeus sequence.

Three years on from the events in The Golem's Eye, the magicians' rule in London is teetering on a knife-edge, with strikes, riots and general unrest. The Prime Minister is largely controlled by two advisers, one of whom is 17-year-old Nathaniel. Meanwhile, living under a false identity, Kitty has been researching djinn; she has come to believe that the only way to destroy the magicians is with an alliance between djinn and ordinary people.

Kitty seeks out Bartimaeus and embarks on a terrifying journey into the djinn's chaotic domain - the Other Place…


Who am I?

A lot of people feel intimidated by fantasy. Admittedly, the classics of the genre can be hard to get into, with their epic worldbuilding and thousand-page counts. But what made me fall in love with fantasy was the way it made me feel. Growing up queer, Jewish, fat, and chronically ill in the American South made it impossible for me to relate to the people around me. But fantasy, with its stories of outcasts becoming saviors, resonated with me. That’s why I started writing Queen of All when I was only twelve years old—I wanted to make people feel seen and understood. That’s what these books have done for me. 


I wrote...

Queen of All

By Anya Leigh Josephs,

Book cover of Queen of All

What is my book about?

In a Kingdom once filled with the magic of the Goddess Gaia, fourteen-year-old Jena has never left her family’s tiny, failing farm. With an absent mother and an inattentive father, Jena’s only solace is her cousin Sisi, a girl renowned throughout the Four Corners of the Earth for her indescribable beauty. But when a letter arrives for Sisi from Prince Ricard, the man Sisi suspects is responsible for the recent devastation across the lands, the two girls find themselves thrust into a world far more extravagant, and dangerous, than ever before.

With her cousin caught under the watchful eye of the Prince, it is up to Jena to uncover the history of the Kingdom and its forgotten magic. 

This Woven Kingdom

By Tahereh Mafi,

Book cover of This Woven Kingdom

Mafi weaves her story with such poetry and lyricism that it’s impossible not to pause for a moment and take stock of how expertly a character or setting is introduced every couple of chapters. The romance here is a slow, aching burn, but the pay-off is certainly worth it. Inspired by lush Persian mythology, the chance meeting between Alizeh, a magical Jinn masquerading as a lower servant, and Prince Kamran, the king’s grandson, makes for a compelling forbidden romance that anchors the wider plot of political intrigue and betrayal, which is in some ways reminiscent of Game of Thrones.

This Woven Kingdom

By Tahereh Mafi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked This Woven Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Instant New York Times bestseller
Instant #1 Sunday Times bestseller
Instant Indie bestseller
Instant USA Today bestseller

Clashing empires, forbidden romance, and a long-forgotten queen destined to save her people-New York Times bestselling author Tahereh Mafi's first novel in this epic, romantic fantasy series inspired by Persian mythology.

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.

The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant…


Who are we?

As co-authors of cross-over romantic fantasy, best friends, and soon-to-be sisters-in-law, Katie and I share a great love of all things fantasy romance. Our favourite novel, The Princess Bride, was a huge inspiration for our own book, Twin Crowns, which aims to capture the swoony romance, laugh-out-loud humour and rollicking adventure found in so many of the novels that we love. 


We wrote...

Twin Crowns

By Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber,

Book cover of Twin Crowns

What is our book about?

Bestselling authors Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber join forces on an utterly compelling YA romantic fantasy bursting with high-stakes adventure.

Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister's place in the palace. Trained from birth to avenge her parents' murder and usurp the princess, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves. Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility including marriage into a brutal kingdom. Life outside the palace walls is a place to be feared and she is soon to discover that it's wilder than she ever imagined. Twin sisters separated at birth and raised into entirely different worlds are about to get to know each other's lives a whole lot better. 

Book cover of Boy of Fire and Earth

I bought this book after reading Sami Shah's standout story "Reap" in the anthology The Djinn Falls In Love And Other Stories. It's set in Karachi, Pakistan, and follows the adventures of Wahid Hasain, as he attempts to recover the soul of the girl he loves, which was stolen by a djinn. It is a book full of horror and wonder, gore and lyricism, and I was glued to every single page. It brings Karachi to life in all its gritty glory: the traffic, the university, auto rickshaws, chai cafés, mithai shops, and lemon juice sellers. Shah peoples the city with characters like Badshah, the youthful 'King of Karachi', Kamran, the sadistic killer, and above all the djinn – many different types of them, from the vaguely pitiful to the outright terrifying. A read that will take you far from home. 

Boy of Fire and Earth

By Sami Shah,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boy of Fire and Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

‘Sami Shah’s imagination is a place of wonder and terror’ Kamila Shamsie ‘Bold, compelling fantasy with a truly original setting’ Saladin Ahmed Born of a smokeless fire, and raised in Karachi, Wahid’s life comes apart when he loses the girl he loves to vengeful djinns. Setting out on a journey to recover her soul and find out the truth of his own origins, he is accompanied by Iblis, the Devil himself. Together, they traverse a city infested with corrupt cops and hustling beggars, and discover deathly creatures lurking under its sinister surface, even as the threat of Judgement Day looms…


Who am I?

I write Gothic novels and short ghost stories, nearly always with a very vivid setting. One reviewer observed of my debut novel that the German town where it was set, Bad Münstereifel, almost felt like one of the characters in the book. For the last ten years I have lived in Scotland and much of my recent work is set here. I love to explore the derelict mansions that are dotted about the countryside, walk along the old railway line, or swim in the river. I'm fascinated by the way that traces of Scotland's history are visible in the landscape, and I write this into my books. 


I wrote...

Too Near the Dead

By Helen Grant,

Book cover of Too Near the Dead

What is my book about?

For Fen Munro and her fiancé James, it is a dream come true: an escape from London to a beautiful house in the stunning Perthshire countryside. Barr Dubh house is modern, a building with no past at all. But someone walks the grounds, always dressed in lavender. Under a lichenous stone in an abandoned graveyard, a hideous secret lies buried. And at night, Fen is tormented by horrifying dreams. Someone wants Fen’s happiness, and nothing is going to stop them – not even death...

If Wishes Were Curses

By Janeen Ippolito,

Book cover of If Wishes Were Curses

This book was so much fun. Quintessential urban fantasy—a supernatural world overlaying the real world, with a fantastic jumble of supernatural characters, including fae, shifters, vampires, genies, and more. There’s mystery and romance and fae politics and magic, and it was an absolute blast to uncover the world and get to know the characters. The main character is part-genie, but has a curse put on her so she can only use a little of her magic. She is framed for a crime, so she has to figure out what is really going on. One of my favorite aspects was that it was pretty mild when it came to the sensual elements, so while it had plenty of romantic tension, there was more plot than sex, which I prefer. 

If Wishes Were Curses

By Janeen Ippolito,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If Wishes Were Curses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

So I accidentally killed a shifter. On purpose.

With genie powers I shouldn’t be able to use, thanks to my curse-mark.

In my defense, the damn grizzly was threatening civilians and might have been a vampire as well. Pittsburgh is safer without him. Only the Fae court doesn’t believe my story, and the shifters are out for blood.

Now I’ve lost my job as a romantic investigator, and I’m on death row. My only hope is an oddly outgoing vegetarian vampire lawyer who seems strangely familiar. Too familiar. Almost like we’ve met before, and this whole thing was a set-up…


Who am I?

I love urban fantasy and all the associated genres, like paranormal and horror. I love the question of “what if” and exploring how things would work if certain rules of magic or the supernatural were real. I love the variety and scope of world building that can be done parallel to and within our world through urban fantasy. That “what if” question is at the center of my own writing, and especially when I read non-fiction on topics like parallel universes and aliens and demons, I get so much inspiration for stories and worlds and what might be happening just beyond our view. 


I wrote...

The Breeding

By Avily Jerome,

Book cover of The Breeding

What is my book about?

Jack might be crazy, but maybe the demons in her head are real... Detective Jack Davidson thinks she went crazy the night her fiancé died in a car crash. Monsters no one else can sense torment her. Are they hallucinations, or are they somehow related to her fiancé’s last case? 

Her investigation uncovers a plot that involves human trafficking, and to save more women from being taken, Jack has to accept that the demons in her head might be real. Just as she’s getting closer to answers, her most powerful enemy targets her best friend. Now Jack must fight against the forces of Hell itself to stop her city from being taken over—but how can she stop something no one else believes is real?

Book cover of The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories

The pretense for modern fantasy and supernatural suspense is rooted in the concept of folklore and fairytale. Harkening back to those days, Byatt weaves an intricate world of wonder and spirits the reader away to become enveloped within it. Byatt stands on the shoulder of the giants who came before to tell these five songs and expertly uses imagery and allegory to make the reader think about the deeper meaning of these stories. 

The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye

By A.S. Byatt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stunning collection of fairy tales for grown-ups from the Booker Prize-winning author of Possession, a "storyteller who could keep a sultan on the edge of his throne for a thousand and one nights" (The New York Times Book Review).

Includes the story “The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye”—the basis for the George Miller film Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton

A.S. Byatt portrays the strange relationship between an intelligent heroine—a world-renowned scholar of the art of storytelling—and the marvelous being that lives in a bottle, found in a dusty shop in an Istanbul bazaar.…


Who am I?

I have always been enamored with myth and the fantastic, even as a child. They offer an escape from the mundane, but also deliver a fine method to guide our moral compasses, learn about other cultures, and assign meaning to those things that vex us. I studied literature and history in college and found myself delving more and more into theology and mythology as I went because literature is filled with their essence. My exploits have guided me to the desk as a language arts and special education teacher, but my heart always whisks me back to the bookshelf or the desk to visit these fantastic worlds of the supernatural.


I wrote...

Beneath the Veil

By Martin Kearns,

Book cover of Beneath the Veil

What is my book about?

David Dolan thinks he’s already got the world figured out. But when a collapsed bridge plunges him into the icy Hudson, he’s pulled deep into the deadly realm that exists between life and death. And with his earthly form trapped in the world of the living, he’s vulnerable to the forces of evil hell-bent on his utter destruction.

Traversing the road to the afterlife, David seeks the wisdom and skills he needs to fend off the darkness hellbent on his destruction. Creatures of myth, lore, infernal demons, and heroic clashes abound Beneath the Veil.

The Amulet of Samarkand

By Jonathan Stroud,

Book cover of The Amulet of Samarkand

This is, by far, one of my favorite fantasy series. It was also one of the first books I listened to on audio, and I couldn’t devour/hear/audibly ingest the story fast enough. Nathaniel, a young wizard, has captured the djinn Bartimaeus and can give him commands. Bartimeus does not go lightly into this servitude: It is a most embarrassing thing to be under the control of a twelve-year-old. Bartimeus’s caustic wit, his inflated ego (he’s only a 14th-level djinni!), and his ability to get out of increasingly sticky and dangerous situations are wonderfully entertaining. And though he has a hatred of all things mortal, at his center is a heart of gold. But don’t tell him that. He’d turn you into a moth and pull off your wings. 

The Amulet of Samarkand

By Jonathan Stroud,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Amulet of Samarkand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first volume in the brilliant, bestselling Bartimaeus sequence.

When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Against his will, Bartimaeus is packed off to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician of unrivalled ruthlessness and ambition. Before long, both djinni and apprentice are caught up in a terrifying flood of magical intrigue, murder and rebellion.

Set…


Who am I?

On the back of my ragged edition of The Fellowship of the Ring is a picture of JRR Tolkien smoking a pipe. Even at a young age, I thought, “That’s what I want!” No, not the pipe. Though it would be cool to have it sans tobacco. I wanted to have my picture on the back of a book that was filled with fantasy characters, adventure, good, evil, magic, and elves. Since that time I have been writing books and chasing after my own characters and epic tales. So I’m thankful for that first inspiration.


I wrote...

Dragon Assassin

By Arthur Slade,

Book cover of Dragon Assassin

What is my book about?

Dragon Assassin is what happens when an author asks the question, “what would it be like if an assassin were riding a dragon?” I mean that sounds way more dangerous (and exciting) than an assassin running with scissors. The middle grade (and older!) series features Carmen, an assassin in training who stumbles across a dragon named Brax. He has sharp teeth. He breathes fire. And he is the king of snark. 

Together, they work to save her fellow assassins from a murderous classmate and from an empire that wants to rid the world of their kind. But Brax, prince of dragons, has his own secrets and his own enemies, too. All in all it is an adventure crammed with snark, mystery, and magic.

City of Djinns

By William Dalrymple,

Book cover of City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

This book introduced a whole new way of travel and history writing for me. It beautifully merges the experiences of the author, his interactions with people, and the history of the city he is engaged with. I loved how he used everyday conversations and experiences to link it back to historical moments and told a chronological story of an amazing city. The book is important to me because it also taught me that travel writing can happen within one’s home and one’s own city. One doesn’t need to travel hundreds of miles, in a foreign country, to engage in travel writing. It helped me conceptualize travel writing in a new way.

City of Djinns

By William Dalrymple,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked City of Djinns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Indraprastha is the Hindu name for the first, mythical Delhi. In this book the author peels back the successive encrusting layers of Delhi's history, using both the material and the human remains of each period as a touchstone with the present. With each of the six cities of Delhi being revealed in respective chapters, the climax, the final chapter, tells of the mythical first city, whose beginnings, told in the Mahamarata, form the principle Hindu creation myth. This book is a portrait of Delhi, the mother of all cities. Its dry plains are the fertile meeting point of all the…


Who am I?

I love reading history that is told in an experimental, interesting manner – history merged with travel, fiction, magical realism, etc. I began my writing career as a travel writer, bringing together history with travel but increasingly I have begun to experiment more. My book Walking with Nanak brings together 4 genres. One intellectual question that I have pursued through my writing is challenging modern notions of national, religious, and ethnic identities. I see my writing style as an extension of that pursuit, breaking away from the neat compartmentalization of genres. 


I wrote...

Walking with Nanak

By Haroon Khalid,

Book cover of Walking with Nanak

What is my book about?

Walking with Nanak is an experimental book that brings together different narratives, genres, and writing styles, including fiction, history, magical realism, and poetry. It is a book that traces the story of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, the story of the author and his discovery of Guru Nanak’s legacy, the story of Sikh Gurus, the evolution of Sikh history, and finally the poetry and hagiography of Guru Nanak.  

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