Read for the YA 2010 and Once Upon a Time IV Reading Challenges.
Abdullah is a carpet merchant in the Zanzib bazaar, leading a fairly humble life, until the day a stranger sells him a magic carpet. It’s a rather threadbare, unattractive carpet, but it transports him to a beautiful garden where he meets the lovely Flower-in-the-Night, the girl of his dreams. When she’s kidnapped by a djinn, Abdullah sets out to rescue her.
The main part of this story is the classic tale of a djinn stealing princesses, but the book is a companion to Howl’s Moving Castle, so you know that Howl, Sophie and crew will show up at some point. I definitely enjoyed seeing those characters again, and it was nice to see some completely different people thrown into the mix. Abdullah is a fun hero, and his adventures in the desert outside Zanzib, as well as in Ingary, manage to be somewhat unexpected. I thought I knew what would happen because the main story is familiar to me, but the author definitely twisted things around by bringing the Ingary folks into the tale. Definitely a fun read, and a quick one too.