A magical and pacy middle-grade debut following a young girl’s adventure from real-world Pakistan into the world of the jinn.
Nura has worked all her life in the mica mines, earning just enough to keep her family afloat – and enjoy the odd delicious gulab jamun from the market. Some day she’s going to find the Demon’s Tongue, a legendary treasure buried deep in the mines, and her family will never have to worry about money again.
But when a terrible accident buries her best friend below ground, Nura goes in search of him and passes over into the magical and terrible world of the jinn. Across a pink sea and under a purple sky, she finds her way to a palace, where great riches and a whole new life are on offer.
But it’s not long before Nura discovers this world to be as unfair as the real one, and that trickster jinns will always live up to their reputation…
Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan
Publishing Date: July 5th, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Content Warning: child labor
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Nura, along with other kids, works in mica mines so her family can survive. Education is not an option for these kids, they spent their day in a struggle to collect the most mica to earn more. Nura’s father lost his life working in mines. Nura’s mother wants her kids to get an education but it seems luxury when it is hard to meet their basic needs. Nura grew up listening to demon tongue’s myth- a hidden treasure, somewhere in mines, that can change her days. The efforts to find this treasure led her to a new world.
Nura and the Immortal Palace made it on my tbr list from the day I saw it on the author’s Twitter account and I am more than glad that it was everything it promised to be. Nura as a character sometimes came a bit arrogant but she is a lovely daughter and sister, her efforts toward friendship with Faisal were also a new element that I’ve rarely read in any middle grade. I love that Nura was unapologetically Muslim and showed it with her actions. I was pleasantly surprised to read direct Islamic and Quranic references as the majority of Muslim books are white-washed for sake of the majority of readers.
The story was so beautiful and sad at the time. I wasn’t expecting a middle grade to touch on so many sensitive and important topics. This book advocates the importance of education at every chance it gets along with the opposition to child labor. The world-building of the palace was magical and can easily transport a reader, on the other hand, the way Meera bagh was portrayed transported me to a calm and small village in Pakistan. It made me think that sometimes simple is enough if done brilliantly.
It is definitely that kind of book I’ll like my niece and nephews to read.
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. Her forthcoming debut, NURA AND THE IMMORTAL PALACE, hits shelves on July 5th 2022 from Little, Brown.
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