This is the story of sixteen-year-old Khadija, who flees her home in a stolen hot air balloon to escape life in an arranged marriage. A deeply relevant, commercial fantasy adventure by an enthralling new talent, exploring prejudice, the deep roots of hatred, and the reality of the world that this heroine hopes to save.
Khadija loves the ancient tales of jinn and renegade princesses… but real life is closing in and her destiny as a ghadæan girl is marriage and boredom. When her father arranges a match, Khadija leaps at the chance of escape – a rogue hot air balloon fighting its ropes for the sky. Soon, Khadija is flying over the desert sands, away from everything she knows.Khadija finds an unlikely ally in a poor young glassmaker’s apprentice, Jacob.
But soon, a deadly revolution threatens their friendship and their world. The oppressed, pale-skinned hāri are restless – their infamous terrorist group, the Hāreef, have a new, fearsome leader. And the ruling ghadæans are brutal in their repression. As the Hāreef exploit forbidden magic – summoning jinn to aid their fight – Jacob and Khadija must choose what kind of a world they want to live in and how to make it a reality.