A Master of Djinn

by P. Djèlí Clark

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and her clever girlfriend Siti, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city – or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems….

My take

Not my first book featuring djinn (that would be the Daevabad Trilogy) nor my last (the Eternal Sky Trilogy), this had more of a steampunk roaring 20s feel, though set in 1912. While the mystery plot seemed to drag a little, I enjoyed the setting and the characters and would like to see more stories from this world. I also own his novella Ring Shout and The Unbroken, though I haven’t gotten around to reading either yet.