The Jinn Daughter by Rania Hanna

The Jinn Daughter by Rania Hanna
Published by Hoopoe on April 2, 2024
Genres: Fantasy, Magic Realism, Mythology
Pages: 274
Format: ARC
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A stunning debut novel and an impressive feat of storytelling that pulls together mythology, magic, and ancient legend in the gripping story of a mother’s struggle to save her only daughter
Nadine is a jinn tasked with one job: telling the stories of the dead. She rises every morning to gather pomegranate seeds—the souls of the dead—that have fallen during the night. With her daughter Layala at her side, she eats the seeds and tells their stories. Only then can the departed pass through the final gate of death.
But when the seeds stop falling, Nadine knows something is terribly wrong. All her worst fears are confirmed when she is visited by Kamuna, Death herself and ruler of the underworld, who reveals her desire for someone to replace her: it is Layala she wants.
Nadine will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe, but Kamuna has little patience and a ruthless drive to get what she has come for. Layala’s fate, meanwhile, hangs in the balance.
Rooted in Middle Eastern mythology, Rania Hanna deftly weaves subtle, yet breathtaking, magic through this vivid and compelling story that has at its heart the universal human desire to, somehow, outmaneuver death.


The Jinn Daughter by Rania Hanna sounded like such a beautiful concept. The writing is beautiful, as are the stories told within by jinn Nadine. While it was a lovely read, it did fall a little flat for me toward the end but that might just be due to who I am, or am not to be more specific.

First, I want to say that when I first heard about this book, my expectation had been that this would be almost like an Orphic type tale. That something horrifically tragic happened that should not have and we’d have to traverse through the Underworld, completing numerous tasks before leaving hopefully victorious. That is not what this was and that’s okay! I still really enjoyed it, despite it being so different than what I imagined. The Jinn Daughter is incredibly prose heavy. There is dialogue, there is action, but most of it feels like a lot of exposition. We follow Nadine telling us things instead of seeing them for ourselves. She tells us the stories. She tells us of her relationships. And, while I enjoyed it because I got to learn little stories within the greater one, it might not be for everyone.

This was honestly sitting at a solid 4 stars for the majority of the story. It faltered, unfortunately, at the end. Without getting into spoiler territory, I felt incredibly let down. It seemed liked there was so much trouble and work for it all to be for nought. When I said the ending fell flat for me because of I am or am not, I meant because I am not a parent. I think that a mother might view the ending differently or might rate this higher. I’m not sure.

If you’re looking to expand your reading, The Jinn Daughter by Rania Hanna is a beautifully written story that features numerous little tales within. It is also fantastic for those looking to read more on the relationship mothers have with daughters, the sacrifices made and the fury at having being the recipient of that sacrifice.


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