Aliya to the Infinite City

Aliya to the Infinite City

By Author / Illustrator

Laila Rifaat



Age range(s)



Chicken House Ltd




Paperback / softback




A sparkling magical debut, set in a fantastical Egypt full of flying carpets and mythical creatures! At home in Cairo, an unexpected gift arrives for Aliya, promising to grant her greatest wish - to know more about her lost parents. To her surprise, she's whisked off by flying carpet to a parallel Egypt, where she's enrolled at an academy for . . . time-travellers! But while she's there, an enemy is watching - a master of forbidden magic. If they can unlock Aliya's inherited talent, they can change history forever . . .

A stunning adventure story for readers aged nine and up. Shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2021. For fans of Nura and the Immortal Palace and The Kingdom Over the Sea. 'An epic adventure packed with richness, history and a brilliant new magical school!' Zohra Nabi, author of The Kingdom Over the Sea.



Since the death of her parents, Aliyah has lived in Cairo with her grandfather, Geddo. Recently, he has been acting strangely, disappearing for hours on end and forgetting her birthday. When a mysterious gift arrives, things change dramatically. Geddo is taken away and Aliya finds herself whisked off on a flying carpet by a relative she never knew she had. Finding herself in the Infinite City, she is enrolled as a student at the Infinitum School of Time Travel. But she finds herself a target for the evil forces her grandfather had tried so hard to hide her from - Dorian Darke, a master of time who wants to use Aliya’s special skills for his own devious ends.

Offering an absorbing read, Aliya to the Infinite City is a fabulous adventure, full of magic and mystery. Set in an alternate Egypt, Laila Rifaat’s world building is vivid and colourful, seamlessly interweaving cultural details into the story. Mischievous magic carpets, sinister genies and knowledge turbans all feature in this exciting tale!

Discovering that she comes from a long line of time travellers, Aliya has to navigate an unfamiliar world full of mystery and magic. A likeable character, she shows great determination and courage as she tries to uncover details of her family’s past and find her own place in the world. The plot is full of action with many twists and turns keeping the reader well and truly enthralled as the story builds towards its exciting climax, paving the way for more adventures to come. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series!

448 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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