Title: Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle, #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Received from publicist
Forced to obey her master.Compelled to help her enemy.Determined to free herself.Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
I will say, this one took me a while to get into. The world building in this one is very detailed and intense. There were still parts throughout the book where I was confused, but I personally just have trouble remembering lots of details. But I loved the world building. I am a fan of all things ancient Arabia and such, and while Arjinna is a whole other world, it was very similar to that. The culture was very exquisite and beautiful and I loved hearing about it.
Nalia is the last of her particular kind of jinni, the most powerful kind. She has disguised herself as a weaker kind of jinni to save herself, but nothing can save her from her cruel master, Malek. Until Raif, the leader of the revolution tells her he can free her. For a price. The only thing that keeps Nalia going is that she needs to free her baby brother, and so she agrees.
Nalia isn't your normal character. She can be cruel and vicious to the clients whose wishes she has to grant. But she knows it. The lines between black and white have been so blurred for so long, that she no longer knows what to do with it. Nalia is a complex character. While she can be mean, it just covers up what she's really feeling and thinking. I thought she was a refreshing change from other MC's.
I've heard some people who say that Malek is one of those "likeable villains" but I disagree. I did not like anything about him. Even when he thought he loved Nalia and was trying to prove it to her, he rubbed me the wrong way. Raif on the other hand...Nalia has definitely met her match with him.
I love Demetrios' writing style. It hooked me, and kept me reading, even when I was confused. There weren't boring or slow parts. It kept me hooked all the way to the end and I needing to know what happens next. It was a beautiful and intricate story, and I can't wait for the series to continue.
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