Master of Djinn by P Djeli Clark

Master of Djinn (Fatma el-Sha’arawi, #1)

by P. Djèlí Clark

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe for his fantasy novel debut, A Master of Djinn

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world fifty years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and a mysterious person from her past, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city – or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems…

A Master of Djinn is poised to launch P. Djèlí Clark’s SFF career to new heights as the highly-anticipated debut readers are clamoring for.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

4.5 of 5 stars


A Master of Djinn is the first in a new series by the amazing P. Djeli Clark. Naturally, I knew that I had to add Dead Djinn Universe to my must-read series! Did I mention that this is P. Djeli Clark's debut novel? Yes, please!

Fatma el-Sha'arawi may be the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, but that doesn't mean she's clueless. Or a rookie. She's already been through one cataclysmic event, and she's ready to take another.

Good thing, too, as a secret brotherhood rises to the forefront, forcing Agent Fatma to step up and deal with it personally. Now, she's got a murder and a mystery on her hands.

“Why is everyone so slavish to texts written thousands of years ago?” he snapped. “Gods can change. Grow apart. Try new things. Besides, Set was a jerk.”

Wow. If you pick one fantasy novel to read this year, please let it be A Master of Djinn. This novel is everything I could have ever hoped for – and about a hundred things more. It was thrilling and fantastical, as well as providing some truly outstanding characters.

Really, what more could a girl ask for? Fatma is a brilliant leading lady here. She's confident and bold, not to mention calm in ways that I could never manage – not even in the best of times. Yet, she's also very clearly human, which made her all the more approachable.

As for the adventure, she gets thrown into here? Perfection. I expected that given this is P. Djeli Clark we're talking about! The descriptive nature of this novel really took the whole story to a new level. There were times where I sincerely forgot I was reading; I was that wrapped up in the world and plot. That is how you know it's a book worth reading (and gushing about!).

Thanks to and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 19 July, 2021: Finished reading
  • 19 July, 2021: Reviewed