Daughter of the Salt King
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An epic, romantic fantasy where the desert meets the sea, about the magic of wishes—and their unintended consequences.
A 2021 Foreword INDIES Award Winner in Romance and Finalist in Fantasy
A 2022 Benjamin Franklin Award Runner-Up in Best New Voice: Fiction
“The heat and romance of the desert, the push and the pull of Emel’s desperation, and the magic and humanity of a caustic jinni make Daughter of the Salt King an irresistible ride.” —Amy Harmon, New York Times bestselling author
“This riveting debut novel will leave readers eagerly awaiting Thornton’s future works.” —Booklist
A girl of the desert and a jinni born long ago by the sea, both enslaved to the Salt King—but with this capricious magic, only one can be set free.
As a daughter of the Salt King, Emel ought to be among the most powerful women in the desert. Instead, she and her sisters have less freedom than even her father's slaves . . . for the Salt King uses his own daughters to seduce visiting noblemen into becoming powerful allies by marriage.
Escape from her father’s court seems impossible, and Emel dreams of a life where she can choose her fate. When members of a secret rebellion attack, Emel stumbles upon an alluring escape route: her father’s best-kept secret—a wish-granting jinni, Saalim.
But in the land of the Salt King, wishes are never what they seem. Saalim’s magic is volatile. Emel could lose everything with a wish for her freedom as the rebellion intensifies around her. She soon finds herself playing a dangerous game that pits dreams against responsibility and love against the promise of freedom. As she finds herself drawn to the jinni for more than his magic, captivated by both him and the world he shows her outside her desert village, she has to decide if freedom is worth the loss of her family, her home and Saalim, the only man she’s ever loved.
For readers who enjoy epic desert fantasies and forbidden romance like The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, and Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri.
- Winner, Foreword INDIES Award in Romance 2021
- Short-listed, Foreword INDIES Award in Fantasy
- Runner-up, Benjamin Franklin Award in Best New Voice: Fiction 2022
“. . . an unforgettable fantasy novel about love, freedom, and the discovery of self-worth. ” —Foreword Reviews, Starred Review
“The heat and romance of the desert, the push and the pull of Emel’s desperation,and the magic and humanity of a caustic jinni make Daughter of the Salt King an irresistible ride. It hits every note. ” —Amy Harmon, New York Times bestselling author
“[Emel is] a headstrong heroine whose struggle to come into her own will resonate with readers. ” —Publishers Weekly
“This riveting debut novel will leave readers eagerly awaiting Thornton’s future works. ” —Booklist