Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Dark Djinn

Person on rope on their way to the cave floor ...
I got the inspiration to use djinn in Burnt Amber from a couple different places. One was Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy and the other (took a couple times to figure out it was coming up for a reason) was a report my son had to do for Language Arts. On both occasions I was surprised by how little I actually knew about djinn and was forced to change my perspective. And when you start to look at stuff from a different angle than you're used to, all kinds of things happen, like 74,000 word manuscripts.

Last week I discussed the strongest djinn, the Marid. The next level down is the Ifrit. Like all djinn, Ifrit may be good or evil, but most of the time they're the bad guys. It was a convenient way to add dimension to my villain too. Strength and cunning are good traits for that. They like to live underground and frequent ruins...especially ruins that are cisterns... and for some reason, their skin is usually a shade of green. Could it be they're jealous of the Marid?

Ifrit are probably the most well know type of djinn. The Final Fantasy RPG uses Ifrit and associates them with - surprise! - the fire element. (oops.., think I forgot to tell you djinn are all made of smokeless fire). There are historic sites associated with them, such as the djinn blocks of Petra and the Majlis al-jinn (above pic), IFrIT software named after them? and even Jeannie's evil Ifrit sister on TV. In fact, the more I look, the more I keep seeing djinn everywhere... in literature and popular culture.
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