Zahra and the Golden Scarab of Balihar by Michael Grayford
Sixteen year-old Zahra spends her days toiling away as a servant in the sultan’s palace, her mind filled with absurd daydreams of marrying Prince Amir. When he requests her as his personal assistant, she thinks it’s only a matter of time before he falls for her amazing charm and wit. But then she overhears the vizier plotting to use a demon’s love spell to make the prince fall in love with his daughter. She rushes to stop him and causes the spell to misfire, making the prince fall in love with her instead.
Hunted by the furious vizier, Zahra flees. The love-struck Amir tracks her down, and his ridiculous fawning makes her realize that love means nothing if it’s not real. To prove his feelings are true, Amir suggests they seek the Golden Scarab of Balihar, a magical treasure holding a jinni with the power to grant one’s every wish, including breaking a demon’s spell.
As they hunt for the Golden Scarab, Zahra realizes her wonderful charm won’t work on things like giant scorpions, earth-born warriors, or living caves. And when they learn the vizier’s demon wants to use the power of Amir’s royal blood to enact a vicious plan of revenge, she realizes she’ll have to use more than charisma and wishes to save the kingdom and her prince… and get her chance at true love.
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