Book Reviews, Three Stars

#BookReview – Genies and Magical Rings by Sasan Shabrou

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

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“The war was now over and the Persians had one. It was meant to be a night of celebration but Dariush might of had too much celebrating that night that he got left behind when the army had left. Now all alone and only having thoughts of his wife in his mind Darius must walk over 1000 miles to get back home to the woman he loves.

It will not be an easy journey. For one he doesn’t know how to get from Babylon to Persia and our hero finds himself in the lands of Kurdistan where he befriends Nabi Khizir, the living green man of the ponds only to learn that if he wants to get back home he is going to have to master the power of a glass magical ring and capture the power of a genie…”



Short story alert, and yet another book that took me in with its front cover; promising mystery and magic.

While I don’t really do split star ratings, this one was more of a 2.5 because enjoying this one was a clean slice down the divide between good and bad. The story reads like a fable, which I loved. Set after the fight for Babylon, Dariush is a solider who is finally free to return to his wife in Persia.

With a solid motive that has us really latching onto Dariush as a character, this story started off great, instilling a great deal of intrigue. Dariush sets off on a journey in which anything and everything could happen. After facing starvation, the harshness of the desert and meeting new friends, Dariush comes across a wizard-like magical man who sends him on a quest to capture a genie (who really can’t sing.)

While the story was interesting, there were a few problems with Genies and Magical Rings that were difficult to ignore. First, there were lots of spelling and grammatical errors that could have been easily avoided with an editor’s help. It happens a lot in self-published books where the authors choose not to invest in an editor either because they can’t afford it or because they feel their own editing is enough. This story needs a good going over.

I was expecting a short story but by the time I reached the end, the story didn’t so much feel short as unfinished. Dariush’s goal of finding his wife was diminished by the fact that he chose to wander instead of getting an idea of where he should be travelling to, and the story ending with a wild genie chase that ends in Dariush having access to the genie’s powers. Doesn’t that mean that the story should just be starting?

There was so much good about this story: a great protagonist, a magic-filled journey and an unusual setting. But this story feels half-baked in terms of development and editing. Despite these issues, it was a fun story and pretty enjoyable, but it needs some work.

Genies and Magical Rings is available on Amazon in e-book format.

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