Liz Braswell was born in England but now lives in New England. She produced video games for a decade, but now writes full-time. She used to write adult horror stories, but now writes young adult books (not horror). Her newest book, A Whole New World, is a re-imagined fairy tale and hits shelves September 1st.
Most people know the story: Aladdin is a street rat in the city of Agrabah, living on the streets and stealing food to get by. He meets the—disguised—Princess Jasmine and rescues her, but gets captured by the guards and thrown in the dungeon. While there, a mysterious old man makes a deal with him: he’ll get Aladdin out of prison if Aladdin will dare the Cave of Treasures to bring him the lamp. A double-cross ensues from the old man, really the evil Jafar in disguise, and Aladdin ends up with the lamp and the genie, and wants to become a prince so he can marry Jasmine.
That’s not what happens in A Whole New World. Aladdin lives in an Agrabah wracked by poverty, starvation, and despair. When he meets Jasmine and is thrown in the dungeon, he agrees to bring the old man the lamp in exchange for his freedom. Aladdin procures the lamp, but the man abandons him in the cave. When Aladdin frees himself, he discovers that Jafar is now the most powerful sorcerer in the world, and rules Agrabah.
Desperate to make the people and Jasmine love him, Jafar’s grip on the city tightens, aided by monstrous magical creatures. Jasmine must lead the people in rebellion to try to free them from Jafar’s tyranny.
A Whole New World is not the Disney tale readers remember, but it contains elements of it. This tale shows the true story of life in Agrabah, and what could have happened, in a world where the good guy doesn’t necessarily win.
(Galley provided by Disney Press via NetGalley.)