Read The Fire Wish Online

Authors: Amber Lough

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Fantasy & Magic, #Historical, #Middle East, #Love & Romance, #People & Places

The Fire Wish

BOOK: The Fire Wish
2.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2014 by Amber Lough.

Jacket art: title lettering, smoke, background texture, and spine ornament copyright © 2014 by
; lamp image copyright © Cre8tive Studios/Alamy; archway image copyright © Maurizio Blasetti/Trevillion Images; back cover ornament copyright © Azat1976/Shutterstock.
Interior title page and chapter opening ornaments copyright © Azat1976/Shutterstock.

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lough, Amber.
The fire wish / Amber Lough.—First edition.
p. cm.
Summary: “When a princess captures a jinn and makes a wish, she is transported to the fiery world of the jinn, while the jinn must take her place in the royal court of Baghdad.”—Provided by publisher.
ISBN 978-0-385-36976-3 (trade)—ISBN 978-0-385-36977-0 (lib. bdg.)— ISBN 978-0-385-36978-7 (ebook)
[1. Genies—Fiction. 2. Princesses—Fiction. 3. Wishes—Fiction. 4. Courts and courtiers—Fiction. 5. Baghdad (Iraq)—Fiction. 6. Iraq—Fiction.]
I. Title.
PZ7.L9237Fir 2014 [Fic]—dc23 2013010943

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.


Elizabeth and Henry

Oh Beloved,
take me.
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.



Title Page




1. Najwa

2. Zayele

3. Najwa

4. Zayele

5. Najwa

6. Zayele

7. Najwa

8. Zayele

9. Najwa

10. Zayele

11. Najwa

12. Zayele

13. Najwa

14. Zayele

15. Najwa

16. Zayele

17. Najwa

18. Zayele

19. Najwa

20. Zayele

21. Najwa

22. Zayele

23. Najwa

24. Zayele

25. Najwa

26. Zayele

27. Najwa

28. Zayele

29. Najwa

30. Zayele

31. Najwa

32. Zayele

33. Najwa

34. Zayele

35. Najwa

36. Zayele

37. Najwa

38. Zayele

39. Najwa

40. Zayele

41. Najwa

42. Zayele

43. Najwa

44. Zayele

45. Najwa

46. Zayele

47. Najwa

48. Zayele

49. Najwa

50. Zayele

51. Najwa


About the Author

THE EARTH AND all her layers sped past while I traveled to the surface. I was smoke and flame, swirling through granite, through shale and sand. It took only a moment, and then I emerged, myself again. I stepped onto the dirt and shielded my eyes from the blinding star in the sky. I was in a human’s garden, just as I’d wished.

I whispered. It wasn’t a long-lasting wish, but it kept me from being seen by humans. It kept me safe, and it was the first wish I’d learned in school.

The sun beat down on a garden filled with flowers and their spiny pale green stems. It cast shadows—real, sun-made shadows—on the dirt. The garden was soft, without a trace of crystal. Instead, it had roses. Delicate, fragrant blossoms opened on the ends of the stems, yellow and pink in their centers.

A bird landed beside me on a branch and turned its head to look at me. It had shimmering feathers that it fluffed out before turning its head another way and taking off. Just like
that, it was flying through the air, straighter than a bat. I had seen a live bird, and I had seen it fly!

But I was here for a flower, so I squeezed my hand around a stem. I was about to break it free when I heard music.

I dropped the stem, leaving the flower to bounce on its bush, and looked in the direction of the music. An arched door stood open. Someone, a human, was in there playing one of their stringed instruments. An

The notes fluttered upward, and then dove into a melody I recognized. I couldn’t name it, or remember when I had heard it, but it felt familiar. It was like breathing in a scent that made you sad, but not remembering why.

I should have gotten the flower and headed straight back, but I didn’t. I tiptoed to the doorway. It was darker inside, and after my eyes adjusted, I saw a young man about my age bending over an oud and plucking at the strings. His sun-darkened fingers danced over them.

this song. It swirled around in my memory, elusive and haunting. Why did it sound familiar?

The young man finished playing and put down the oud; then he pulled off his turban, tossed it onto the floor, and ran his fingers through his hair. It stood up, messy and thick.

I pressed my back into the doorway and took in the room. Shelves lined the walls, filled with bound books. Charts with numbers and maps of the stars covered the walls above the shelves, while scales brimming with broken rocks stood scattered on the single table in the room’s center. It was a kind of laboratory, but one in which human boys played music.

The music hung thickly in the air, like the scent of incense,
as he stood up and went to the table, taking two long strides before picking up a stone ball off one of the scales. He stared at the ball, which was so large he had to hold it with both hands. Then he turned it over, where it caught the light in milky-white layers. It was selenite. We used it to house the flames of our streetlamps, but it was heavy. I had never seen anyone rolling it in his hands, pressing it close to his face.

“How is this going to work?” he asked the almost-empty room.

My face started to tingle. Soon my
wish would fade, and he’d see me standing in his doorway. I backed out of the young man’s laboratory while he was still staring at the selenite ball. Then I turned and ran to one of the rosebushes.

I was in a pool of hot sunlight when the wish died out, with a thorn-riddled stem between two fingers. Quickly, I bent the stem till it snapped, gasping as the thorns pricked my skin, and held the rose tight against me.

I whispered.

My body fell into a cloud of smoke and flame, and I dragged the rose with me, its bit of pink dusting the air like a blush.

“I DARE YOU to cross it,” Destawan said. He pointed at the remains of an old bridge. It spanned a river with water bubbling and white with cold.

I wouldn’t have minded if the bridge had still been fully intact. But then it wouldn’t have been a good dare.

When the first spring melt happened, the river flooded and took with it bits of the bridge. The thick, woven ropes managed to stay on their posts, but most of the wooden strips were worn away and rotted. No one bothered to fix it, because there was a nice stone bridge just a few hundred feet down the river.

Destawan smirked. He was visiting from another village while his father came to trade with mine. He had gotten four of the children to follow him around, and it made him cocky. Or maybe he’d always been cocky.

“Don’t dare Zayele,” my younger brother Yashar said. He stared at Destawan with his unseeing eyes. “She’s a young woman now.”

“Then why is she here with us?” Destawan said. “They said you were the fastest climber, so it’s either that or Truth.”

I’d only known Destawan for a day, but I could tell he wasn’t going to give me an easy question to answer. He’d want me to admit to something humiliating. I’d rather fall in the river than give him that.

“I’ll do it,” I said.

BOOK: The Fire Wish
2.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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