Angela Blount's Reviews > The Goddess of Dance

The Goddess of Dance by Anna Kashina
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bookshelves: romance, fantasy

This story picks up where a previous book left off, after an Arabian princess has freed her Djinn slave, Hasan, by declaring her love for him and rejecting her arranged marriage. No Djinn has ever been freed before, and this fact has set everyone on edge – from sultans, to sorcerers, to the ancient 'voices of the wind.' And little wonder, as Hasan's freedom hasn't diminished his 'absolute' power status. Phenomenal cosmic powers still intact, his will is now his own (and without the restrictions of an itty-bitty living space.).

The descriptions are substantial and vivid, and the cultural/traditional aspects (particularly regarding the Sacred Dance) enthralling. However, the prose is somewhat encumbered at times in structure and cadence – a likely result of the author's first language not being English. And while I applaud the author's efforts, I personally had trouble getting used to the writing style – which impeded my enjoyment of the story at large.

This reviewer also had some difficulty becoming attached to either of the main characters (Hasan and the Princess.) Hasan's personality felt flat rather than compelling, though that did make it slightly more believable that he, and all-powerful 2,000+ year old genie, would pair up with a coddled, naive 17-year-old princess.

To be fair, Princess Gul'Agdar did show a significant amount of character growth by the end. But a larger issue involved the chemistry between her and Hasan. In the first half of the book, there's very little evidence their relationship has any romantic element to it at all. Repeated references to the Princess' confession of undying love in the previous book didn't really translate to a sense of mutual attraction in this book.

My biggest complaint would be over a particular dream sequence, which felt like an effective way of educating both the reader and the princess up to one point: A young virgin girl (who hasn't even seen a man since she was 8 years old) goes from being nearly raped and fighting off her attackers, to throwing herself at a much older man she's just met -- for some inexplicable reason. I was willing buy the Djinn's ambiguous 'all-powerful' magic prowess, but I had a -lot- of trouble accepting that particular issue. I'm afraid it rather soured the experience for me.
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Reading Progress

July 13, 2012 – Started Reading
July 13, 2012 – Shelved
July 18, 2012 –
page 206
64.78%
July 21, 2012 – Finished Reading
February 12, 2013 – Shelved as: romance
October 16, 2013 – Shelved as: fantasy

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