Nura and the Immortal Palace by M. T. Khan

Book Tour organised by TBR and Beyond Tours

What kind of magic is this?” I gasp. The makeup artist jinn only leans against the door frame of the dressing room with a smirk on his thick lips. “The kind that comes with money, beta.

Nura and the Immortal Palace by M. T. Khan

Housekeeping:

Nura and the Immortal Palace is M. T. Khan’s debut novel, perfect for middle grade readers. It was published on the 5th of July by Jimmy Patterson, which is a Little, Brown and Company imprint. The 273 page long book is set in Pakistan and the world of the djinn.

Nura is a child working in the mines trying to mine mica so that her mother doesn’t have to take up extra jobs. She’s also really fond of gulab jaman (who isn’t) and dreams of having the ability to buy few from vendors who charge even more when a poor kid comes up to buy them. She dreams of finding a mythical treasure in the mines so that her family never has to work again. After an accident that traps her best friend in the mines, Nura manages to dig down into the world of the djinn upon the invitation of her qareen.

Review:

I signed up for the TBR and Beyond Tour because I don’t think I’ve ever come across a middle grade novel that had djinn and was set in Pakistan. I hoped that M. T. Khan wouldn’t fall into the traps that most desi writers do by waxing lyrical about mangoes, and thankfully we get none of that.

The book is fast paced and fun. I was so excited to see the appearance of the qareen, and the way the author included djinn stories in here. I loved the element of Ayatul Kursi in the book; and the way that it worked. I was a big fan of how we see that there are good djinn and not so great djinn, but they’re also living in a world that is eerily similar to ours; which is the cruz of the problem. The world that Khan set up was pretty interesting. 

My problem with the book was that Khan did a lot of telling and not showing. I’m not sure if that’s just a problem I face as an adult reader, or if a child will feel them same. 

(Note to self: need to test this book on my 11 year old cousin).

Beyond the book

Blurb for Nura and the Immortal Palace

Aru Shah and the End of Time meets Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away in this mesmerizing portal fantasy that takes readers into the little-known world of Jinn.

Nura longs for the simple pleasure of many things—to wear a beautiful red dupatta or to bite into a sweet gulab. But with her mom hard at work in a run-down sweatshop and three younger siblings to feed, Nura must spend her days earning money by mica mining. But it’s not just the extra rupees in her pocket Nura is after. Local rumor says there’s buried treasure in the mine, and Nura knows that finding it could change the course of her family’s life forever.

Her plan backfires when the mines collapse and four kids, including her best friend, Faisal, are claimed dead. Nura refuses to believe it and shovels her way through the dirt hoping to find him. Instead, she finds herself at the entrance to a strange world of purple skies and pink seas—a portal to the opulent realm of jinn, inhabited by the trickster creatures from her mother’s cautionary tales. Yet they aren’t nearly as treacherous as her mother made them out to be, because Nura is invited to a luxury jinn hotel, where she’s given everything she could ever imagine and more. 

But there’s a dark truth lurking beneath all that glitter and gold, and when Nura crosses the owner’s son and is banished to the working quarters, she realizes she isn’t the only human who’s ended up in the hotel’s clutches. Faisal and the other missing children are there, too, and if Nura can’t find a way to help them all escape, they’ll be bound to work for the hotel forever.Set in a rural industrial town in Pakistan and full of hope, heart, and humor, Nura and the Immortal Palace is inspired by M.T. Khan’s own Pakistani Muslim heritage. 

About the Author:

M.T. Khan is a speculative fiction author with a penchant for all things myth, science, and philosophy. She focuses on stories that combine all three, dreaming of evocative worlds and dark possibilities.

When she’s not writing, M.T. Khan has her nose deep in physics textbooks or glued to her CAD computer as she majors in Mechanical Engineering. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she currently resides in Toronto, Canada, with a hyperactive cat and an ever-increasing selection of tea.

One response to “Nura and the Immortal Palace by M. T. Khan”

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