Sunday, January 27, 2013

Setara's Genie Excerpt - Azhi Dahaka

It seems like the world has forgotten (or never heard of) SETARA'S GENIE. My fault. I failed to keep splashing it around the web as much as I should (could?). I know I get a little annoyed when I see the same promos over and over and over and...well, you get the idea.

But the splash technique must work as other books rack up reviews, pluses, Likes, TBRs, etc. To practice due diligence then, here's a bit about the MG/YA fantasy set in the mythical past world of the middle-east. Maybe I'm just lacking a fairy or elf for those who adore Eurocentric mythology. And I did neglect adding vampires and werewolves for those who enjoy the paranormal romances.

But I do have genies, demons, flying horses (both winged and non-winged), entombed viziers, dragons (not the St. George type), monsters, mermen, pirates, a Sultan, mountain raiders, and a real historical figure who did visit the middle-east while gaining his evil reputation.

So, dear readers, if you're ready for something a little different, I offer Setara's Genie for your consideration.

A girl, a genie, a few demons. Would could go wrong?

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar telling stories to the passersby he can tempt to pay. He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who bottled him; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom.


Azhi Dahaka is a dragon demon who’s supposed to be dead, but comes back to life a little bit ticked off because his blood was used by the Great Vizier hundreds of years before to create a breed of fire-breathing, flying horses.

From the Encyclopedia Mythica (

A storm demon from Iranian mythology. He steals cattle and brings harm to humans. It is a snake-like monster with three heads and six eyes who also personifies the Babylonian oppression of Iran. The monster will be captured by the warrior god Thraetaona and placed on the mountain top Dermawend. In a final revival of evil, it will escape its prison, but at the end of time (fraso-kereti) it will die in the river of fire Ayohsust.

Even though this particular description includes multiple heads and pretty bad attitude, I also found an ancient bas relief that purports to be Azhi Dahaka. Decide what you will. A monster is a monster no matter how many heads he or she has.


Setara rounded the bend in the tunnel and stopped dead in her tracks. Azizah and Kairav stood at one end of a huge cavern, heaving large stones as fast as they could. At the other end, about forty feet away, the strangest creature she’d ever seen was shooting jets of fire from its mouth. It had great bat-like wings that created a rush of wind each time the dragon stroked downward. It possessed four legs but had reared up and clawed at the air with the front set. Fangs at least six inches long lined the animal’s jaws. It seemed reptilian with its elongated head and scaly sides. However, it was huge by reptile standards, being more than twenty feet long and barely fit in the end of the cavern. Its scales rippled with colors—green, violet, orange, blue.

Basit flew around the cavern, attempting to outflank the creature. He began hurling balls of light from his fingertips. They didn’t appear to do anything other than annoy the beast, but the interruption did distract it from breathing fire at Azizah and Kairav. When it turned its head to shoot fire toward Basit, Azizah ran forward and threw another huge rock. It struck the beast’s head, knocking it against the wall.

It turned one last time and let out a loud roar that shook small stones off the walls. Then, it shrank rapidly to no more than ten feet long. With a single bound, it leaped into the tunnel on the far side of the cavern and was gone in a flash of purple and green.

Setara ran to Azizah, who dropped the stone she was just about to throw. Kairav and Basit joined them. Sheik ran in circles around the group, barking for all he was worth.

“Shush, Sheik. We can’t hear ourselves think.” Setara chastised the agitated dog. Sheik dropped to his belly panting from the excitement.

“What was that thing?” Setara looked at the grim faces of her friends.

“Azhi Dahaka,” Basit answered.

1 comment:

  1. I read this book. I enjoyed the read and it reminded me of the Arabian Nights. The characters you use are phenomenal. I'm saving this one for my granddaughter as soon as she reaches the reading stage.