A stunning debut novel and an impressive feat of storytelling that pulls together mythology, magic, and ancient legend in the gripping story of a mother’s struggle to save her only daughter
Nadine is a jinn tasked with one job: telling the stories of the dead. She rises every morning to gather pomegranate seeds—the souls of the dead—that have fallen during the night. With her daughter Layala at her side, she eats the seeds and tells their stories. Only then can the departed pass through the final gate of death.
But when the seeds stop falling, Nadine knows something is terribly wrong. All her worst fears are confirmed when she is visited by Kamuna, Death herself and ruler of the underworld, who reveals her desire for someone to replace her: it is Layala she wants.
Nadine will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe, but Kamuna has little patience and a ruthless drive to get what she has come for. Layala’s fate, meanwhile, hangs in the balance.
Rooted in Middle Eastern mythology, Rania Hanna deftly weaves subtle, yet breathtaking, magic through this vivid and compelling story that has at its heart the universal human desire to, somehow, outmaneuver death.