The Stolen Kingdom: An Aladdin Retelling Review and Analysis
Updated: Jan 24
In this video or blog, I will be reviewing and analyzing The Stolen Kingdom: An Aladdin Retelling: Book 1 of the Stolen Kingdom series. I will make comparisons to both Aladdin movies that came out in 1992 and 2019. If you want to know more, then you want to watch this video or read this blog.
Hello everyone, Matthew Hemenway here. In this video, I will be reviewing and analyzing a book I read called The Stolen Kingdom: An Aladdin Retelling written by Bethany Atazadeh. I will go over several topics that I saw in this book. As I said in my last video, I will be setting a page for you to help me support this channel. Please consider checking out my website for this channel, I will leave a link at the bottom of this video. Now on with the review.
In this book, the reader meets Arie who is princess of Hodafez and her kingdom is threatened by Amir who is King of Sagh, and he wants Arie’s kingdom. Her father is under the influence from King Amir who is like Jafar in that he can control people. Jafar knew how to control people. In the most recent movie Aladdin, which came out in 2019, it showed how Jafar wanted power and believed you are either the most powerful person in the room or you are nothing. King Amir believes that as well. King Amir is a Jinni who has the power to control minds. Arie can read thoughts and because she has this ability, it keeps her from being controlled by King Amir.
Arie senses that her kingdom will be threatened if she stays. She decides to flee Hodafez as she sees it is the only way to keep King Amir from taking her kingdom. She believes if King Amir cannot wed her, then she will save her kingdom. Havah who is Arie’s lady in waiting finds this out and agrees to support her because she knows he is twice her age and if he succeeds in this, then it will not be good.
There is a lot of things that happen on the way when Arie gets in Aziz, she loses her bag as someone has stolen it. This is bad as it has her food and most importantly her crown. It is where she must steal, but she gets caught. Kadin spots her and he decides to step in and buy her from the shop keeper that took her from stealing from him. Kadin is very persuasive and like Aladdin is attracted to Arie, a woman he cannot have. Arie is like Jasmine in that it was unheard of for a commoner like Aladdin to marry Jasmine. This is remarkably like Aladdin in how Jasmine was dressed in commoner clothes to blend in with the village even though there is nothing common about Jasmine.
It leads Kadin recruiting Arie for his crew. Bosh is the 1 who stole from Arie, but he gives her bag later. Naveed who knew Kadin since they were kids was the 1 who stood up to Prince Dev who had his horses ride over Kadin’s family. Prince Dev later cut his tongue out for defying him. It is an abuse of power, but he is one of those people who think that they should be able to do whatever they want.
Kadin hopes with Arie’s help to be able to find a Jinni. Kadin needs a Jinni to bear witness that a Jinni abused his/her gift in this case Prince Dev. They later find Gideon who agrees to help them. Gideon is a Jinni who can track, but also has several gifts.
Arie and Kadin with some of his crew got caught and got arrested by King Gaspar. It later takes Gideon to get them out of prison. Kadin felt his crew got lazy. They were there to get a lamp which they get for Gideon to help him get back home.
Kadin and Arie encounter Prince Dev and Prince Dev had been abusing his gift as Kadin knew that he had. Prince Dev can speak multiple languages and used it to lie about his affair with a woman who he got pregnant. Gideon finds out and has his tongue removed and has a bird take it off to eat it.
Later, Arie goes back to Hodafez to stop King Amir. It takes her to realize that she must go back home to save her father who was thrown in the dungeon to be tortured. Yes, it is a ploy to get her back, but as every hero journey is shown, sometimes, you must go back to the dark to bring back light to it. It is in a book called the Hero with a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell.
Arie finds her father in prison, she uses the lamp to get to Hodafez. Before she gets to her father, she lands in the ocean, and must walk the rest of the way with Rena who is of the Mere. Yes, Rena is a mermaid, and this will set up the 2nd book in this series called The Jinni Key: A Little Mermaid retelling. It takes Arie to the castle. She tries to save her father but gets caught by Amir and forced to marry him.
Kadin decides and tells Gideon along with Bosh and Daichi and Naveed that they must go after Arie and stop this wedding happening in Hodafez. King Amir later finds out that Arie is a Jinni and just at the beginning of this story, there is this myth that a gifted woman is dangerous. It is no different than the Salem Witch trials that burned women at the stakes for being a witch. They put Women who are Jinni on trial and sever them of their gifts. Arie earlier asked Gideon to have her gift severed, but he told her no because the severance is what killed them.
As not to spoil, the ending, nothing more will be revealed here. It does bring the reader to the climax of this story.
I give this story a 10 out of 10. It did an excellent job of having the Aladdin feel and uses twists and turns. It does not end the way the reader expects. It is good that it comes with an audio version of the book as if a person travels, it means that person can listen to this book while he/she travels.
You can go to Bethany Atazadeh’s YouTube page if you want to learn more about her which I will leave a link at the bottom of this video. Thank you.
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