Thursday, October 9, 2014

Legends of the Fire Spirits by Robert Lebling

While doing research for a novel set in Fez, Morocco (and yes it involves jinn), I came across Rob Lebling's excellent book, LEGENDS OF THE FIRE SPIRITS: JINN AND GENIES FROM ARABIA TO ZANZIBAR.
Amazon listing for the book

LEGENDS OF THE FIRE SPIRIT is a fascinating compendium that gives the reader a multi-faceted view of the jinn. It covers many centuries of lore and history, tracing origins of the jinn in mythology and religion. It does a great service in delving into how the jinn appear in Islam, and then introduces the reader to the jinn legends through specific countries in the Middle East, from Morocco to Turkey and Iran. In addition, it traces how jinn have been written about in western literature.

Personally my favorite part of the book is the transcription of an interview with a jinn, as well as the specific descriptions of the various jinn of Morocco. And then there's the wonderful foreward by author Tahir Shah.
Whether you are curious about paranormal beings, or are interested in the topic of jinn specifically, I recommend this book. It is full of detail and covers a wide range of topics, reflecting years of dedicated research by Lebling. This book is truly a labor of love.  Lebling maintains a facebook page in which he updates people on news of the jinn. Legends of the Fire Spirits Facebook Page

When I wrote to him about how the book was doing, he responded,

". The book has done well for such a specialized topic. The UK hardcover edition has sold out, I think, and it went into paperback there last March. There is still a US paperback edition in print by Counterpoint. I think jinn lore is on the verge of going viral.... there have been a few horror films on the subject over recent years. The ScyFy channel was interested in doing a documentary on jinn phenomena, and contacted me shortly after publication, but they shelved the idea for the time being.... I think people are always looking for new concepts to expand their imaginations. Vampires and zombies have done the job. Maybe jinn are next!"

Lebling has also published a novel of the paranormal set in Saudi Arabia. The title is THE ANOMALY: A Novel of the Empty Quarter - you can read it on his blog - here is the link to Chapter One. He is planning to publish it as an e-book once the serial version has been published (the story is complete - he's just doling it out on his blog as a serial). He also has a couple of novels in progress including a post-industrial fantasy set in Arabia.

One of Rob's other interests culminated in his work, NATURAL REMEDIES OF ARABIA. Here is a link to the book on

Rob Lebling and feathered falcon friend - somehwere in Saudi Arabia
I don't know Rob personally, but we both write for Saudi Aramco World magazine. He has a wide range of interests that he shares with readers through his blog, his books and his features in Saudi Aramco World. He currently lives in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and works in public affairs for Sadara Chemical Co., a jv between Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco.