Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Title: Chaos
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Source: BEA

Summary from Goodreads:
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.


My favorite thing about Exquisite Captive was the world and the premise that set up the story. There are 5 types of jinni, defined by the element from which they draw their power - earth, air, fire, and water. Nalia, is a Ghan Aisouri, the only jinn with access to all four elements and thus the most powerful. Her people once ruled over Arjuinna until the Ifrit staged a coup that destroyed every last one of them. Nalia managed to survive but was captured and sold by slave traders on the Dark Caravan between Arjuinna and Earth. Now she is bound to her master Malek, a ruthless power-hungry man who refuses to ask for his 3rd wish so that she can be free. Meanwhile, the Ifrit ruler knows that one Ghan Aisouri still lives and has sent her fiercest warrior to find and kill Nalia. And then there is Raif,  a once peasant serf but now the leader of Arjinna's revolution, whose last hope for stopping the Ifrit lies with Nalia, even though their people once hated each other.

I know, it's A LOT of information to absorb and I was a little overwhelmed when I started reading but those feelings quickly turned to fascination once I got the hang of what was going on. The world-building was so unique and rich and unlike anything I have read before and I really loved it.

The plot was largely dominated by Nalia focused on getting her bottle from Malek so that Raif could free her. This highlighted Nalia and Malek's complicated relationship. A part of Nalia hated Malek - he could be controlling and insensitive and abusive. She was his property and he treated her as such and she could never forgive that. But a part of Nalia found comfort in Malek's presence and was easily swept away when he showed her kindness and affection. She see-sawed back and forth between these two extremes, which is where the story started to lose me. I felt the pace drag and the story get repetitive which made me all too aware of all 467 pages of this book. Not to mention, I am not even sure how I feel about her and Malek. A part of me could understand Nalia's behavior and a part of me was disgusted by it. Then Raif just complicated things further, although I much preferred him. Their relationship was one of those hate-to-love types but it turned from hate to love much to quickly. Although check out this quote: *swoon*
"'Because I know you. I can feel you inside me right now. And what I feel is good and brave and fierce and fucking beautiful. And you don't care at all about the throne or power. Zanari told me about your brother, so don't even pretend that you care about anything more than saving him. And if you want me to kiss your feed, don't worry, because I intend on kissing every inch of you the first chance I get, so if you want me to start with your feet I'm more than happy to , My Empress.'" - pg 353 of the ARC

The ending of the book was exciting and put an interesting twist on things so I am looking forward to what happens next. I will definitely be reading the sequel and I do recommend this book although it has some flaws.

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