For anyone who decides to read books that center around djinn or djinni or jinni, you often noticed one common factor.
At least one (who may or may not be the main character) is under some form of slavery. Like the Jinni on Aladdin, the djinn character is bound to grant their “master” or “owner’s” wishes whether the djinn wants to do it or not.
For most of these characters, they have been enslaved for centuries and have become understandably jaded, cynical and nihilistic. Or at the very least, having a very low opinion of humans who have become their masters over the centuries. After all, having a nigh-all-powerful being under one’s command brings out the worst (more often than not) in human beings.
Another thing to note with novels about djinn, there’s usually a classification system or a culture that identifies or differentiates the different types or tribes of djinn. Depending on the book you’re reading, the djinn can be considered a catch-all phrase for a bunch of supernatural tribes usually of middle-eastern origin or from another world. In one book, a djinn is simply another spirit.
So expect a different take on what a djinn/jinni is depending on the author.
Here are some of the books I enjoyed a lot with Djinn Protagonists:
The City of Brass (Book 1 of the Daevabad Trilogy) by SA Chakraborty
Anyone tired of reading about djinn in a western US/UK/European setting need to take a look at this book. The heroine starts out as a charlatan who has a knack for healing. An accidental summoning of a djinn leads her to find out that her knack implies a not-so-human ancestry and past…
The Amulet of Samarkand (Book 1 of the Bartimaeus Trilogy) by Jonathan Stroud
In an alternate version of England, magicians rule. And the source of their magic comes from their binding of spirits. Spirits like the djinn Bartimaeus. And like his other counterparts, the eloquent (and smartass) Bartimaeus will not hesitate to twist any wish as a way to stick it to his current masters. The more fatal the “twist” the better in his opinion.
Exquisite Captive (Book 1 of the Dark Caravan Cycle) by Heather Demetrios
Djinn come from another world and for some reason, a lot of them have been captured, enslaved and given to humans. Nalia is merely one djinn out of many to encounter this fate. But unknown even to her own master, she comes from the recently deposed reigning djinn class. And as it so happens, the only one left of that class…
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
A historical fantasy fiction set in pre-World War era New York, this book basically chronicles how two supernatural creatures from different cultures meet. And yes, for all those wondering. One is a girl and one is a boy.