Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza

Book Review #509

Title: Rumaysa: A Fairytale

Author: Radiya Hafıza

Publisher: MacmillanChildren’s Books

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Retelling

Format: ARC

Source: Pansing

Publication Date: April 1, 2021

Pages: 220

This funny and empowering story weaves together three classic fairytales into one new adventure with an unusual structural twist: Rumaysa is a Muslim girl who lets her hijab down from a tall tower in order to escape. Set in a magical version of South Asia, Rumaysa explores enchanted forests and dragon lairs, teaming up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara along the way to create a strong sense of sisterhood. 

Rumaysa is a splendid and magical tale of three classic fairytales intertwined in one story. There’s the main character, Rumaysa who is bold and heroic, the unforgettable belle of the Eid ball, Cinderayla and the long lost princess who was captivated by the dragon, Sleeping Sara. It is honestly such a dream to read such a wonderful book about fairytales who wear a hijab like me and the character’s names so familiar and just as much as I absolutely love this book as an adult, I am certain I would have loved it just as much when I was younger.

This book is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I was really excited when I received an ARC of this book. The concept is seriously so cool and right as I predicted it, I couldn’t help but to fall in love with the setting, characters and the plot. I wanted to take in all the words in detail but I was fighting with another side of me that just wanted to devour this book until the very last page.

I really love the characters because they’re so witty, smart and hilarious. I love the fact that even though the classic potrayal of these fairytales centered around love, yet this book highlighted on another side of love and that is friendship. Sometimes you don’t need to be a damsel in distress after all because you’re the hero of your own story. So, you don’t need a man to come and help you because you are more capable of getting out of the trouble yourself.

I really want to recommend this book to everyone, no matter their age. But especially to all the muslim and hijabi girls out there who never see themselves in their favourite fairytales. This is a book about adventure, friendship and most importantly to always believe in yourself and what you’re capable of.

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