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Laila has a secret. She is the granddaughter of one of the most powerful witches of Pakistan, Shakil Kalazar. Ever since she was ten years old and the Kalazars killed her mother, Laila vowed to resist her own supernatural powers and lead a life devoid of witchcraft. She is now nineteen. Everything changes the day that her father is shot, when she realizes that her powers h Laila has a secret. She is the granddaughter of one of the most powerful witches of Pakistan, Shakil Kalazar. Ever since she was ten years old and the Kalazars killed her mother, Laila vowed to resist her own supernatural powers and lead a life devoid of witchcraft. She is now nineteen. Everything changes the day that her father is shot, when she realizes that her powers have become stronger and darker, now that she is able to transfer life energy using transkinesis. That is also the day that Laila meets Mark Mousakes, the young American surgeon who operates on her father. Mark is witty, thoughtful and painfully handsome. As much as Laila tries to avoid Mark, she finds their paths crossing and their mutual attraction impossible to deny. With her mother's killer in pursuit, Laila becomes embroiled in a plot of kidnapping and child trafficking, and a maelstrom of dark and dangerous witchcraft. Laila must now embrace her unique abilities as she sets off for a remote part of Pakistan to face the Kalazars in this gripping tale of magic, sacrifice, family secrets and the power of love.


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Laila has a secret. She is the granddaughter of one of the most powerful witches of Pakistan, Shakil Kalazar. Ever since she was ten years old and the Kalazars killed her mother, Laila vowed to resist her own supernatural powers and lead a life devoid of witchcraft. She is now nineteen. Everything changes the day that her father is shot, when she realizes that her powers h Laila has a secret. She is the granddaughter of one of the most powerful witches of Pakistan, Shakil Kalazar. Ever since she was ten years old and the Kalazars killed her mother, Laila vowed to resist her own supernatural powers and lead a life devoid of witchcraft. She is now nineteen. Everything changes the day that her father is shot, when she realizes that her powers have become stronger and darker, now that she is able to transfer life energy using transkinesis. That is also the day that Laila meets Mark Mousakes, the young American surgeon who operates on her father. Mark is witty, thoughtful and painfully handsome. As much as Laila tries to avoid Mark, she finds their paths crossing and their mutual attraction impossible to deny. With her mother's killer in pursuit, Laila becomes embroiled in a plot of kidnapping and child trafficking, and a maelstrom of dark and dangerous witchcraft. Laila must now embrace her unique abilities as she sets off for a remote part of Pakistan to face the Kalazars in this gripping tale of magic, sacrifice, family secrets and the power of love.

41 review for Laila and the Witches of Kalazar

  1. 4 out of 5

    Salimah Dhanani

    Intriguing, mystical and romantic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samanthia Mauro

    Good read!! I really liked this book! I found it very easy to read. I thought the levels of witchcraft, family and love were clever. Romance with a twist! Loved it and will definitely recommend to other readers!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Cobleigh

    I was engaged in and thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing style was clear and concise and the pacing was consistent and compelling: no navel-gazing here, which is a significant achievement for a first-time author! The prose was always in service of the story; it never felt as though Dhanani was distracted by her own writing skills, which are significant. I liked reading a book about magical realism that is drawn from a non-Western tradition, so it had a strong appeal for me on that alone. I I was engaged in and thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing style was clear and concise and the pacing was consistent and compelling: no navel-gazing here, which is a significant achievement for a first-time author! The prose was always in service of the story; it never felt as though Dhanani was distracted by her own writing skills, which are significant. I liked reading a book about magical realism that is drawn from a non-Western tradition, so it had a strong appeal for me on that alone. I found the romance fun and compelling 95% of the time (except for one rather cliched and rushed scene) and the threat of the Kalazars was palpable throughout the story. It was so refreshing reading a story about a heroine who is a medical student and actually acts like one! There were also many nice touches of humor that felt real. My only high-level criticism was that it's a light read. The pacing is so quick that there's never enough time to really explore anything in depth. Although dark topics are touched upon (child abuse, slavery, the drug trade, self-doubt), the story itself is never philosophically challenging, Laila doesn't seem to grow as a person (other than believing that her hunky-doctor-American-boyfriend is for real), and the villain, Bakhtiar, is too easily and conveniently defeated. Bakhtiar has a semi-interesting backstory in his relationship to both Laila and Mark, and his fighting style is devious and clever (and made a lot more sense than the flashy, throwing-sparks sort of magical dueling!), but ultimately Bakhtiar is a cardboard villain, mostly unmotivated and undeveloped and conveniently defeatable. I think there is a lot more potential to give this story real teeth, but maybe that's just not the kind of story the author wanted to tell, and that's okay. It was fun, it carried me along, and I always mourned when I had to put it down. I chose to stay up late at night to see how Dhanani would end it. By those measures, it was a good book. In short, I want to read more about Laila and her world, and I'll be looking forward to more stories from this author!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    When Laila and the Witches of Kalazar by Salimah Dhanani first came to my attention, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to dive into a new book with a new setting, new people, and basically a new and different culture. At the same time I realized that I needed to change my habits of sticking with stories that are always based on and/or similar to each other in characters, country, and setting. For once, I would be able to travel—story-wise—to Asia and learn the habits of a different culture. Dive When Laila and the Witches of Kalazar by Salimah Dhanani first came to my attention, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to dive into a new book with a new setting, new people, and basically a new and different culture. At the same time I realized that I needed to change my habits of sticking with stories that are always based on and/or similar to each other in characters, country, and setting. For once, I would be able to travel—story-wise—to Asia and learn the habits of a different culture. Diversity was calling me to this book and as soon as I turned the last page, I was not disappointed. RATING: ★★★★1/2 (Full review will be available soon)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Really enjoyed this book. Liked how it was fast pace and didn't dwell on one thing for to long. I wish there was a glossary to explain more about the clothing and the clothes. I can't wait for the next one to come out!! Really enjoyed this book. Liked how it was fast pace and didn't dwell on one thing for to long. I wish there was a glossary to explain more about the clothing and the clothes. I can't wait for the next one to come out!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    The lives of a young woman and man, are about to collide in ways neither of them could have ever expected. Laila Khan is the main character of the book. She is a young woman who lives with her father, and has a “dark” secret that she has been suppressing for just about her whole life. Her mother was from a qabeela, a tribe, known as the Kalazars: which was an affluent witch tribe in the Interior Sindh province of Pakistan. Laila was just a young girl when her mother was killed. It’s not long afte The lives of a young woman and man, are about to collide in ways neither of them could have ever expected. Laila Khan is the main character of the book. She is a young woman who lives with her father, and has a “dark” secret that she has been suppressing for just about her whole life. Her mother was from a qabeela, a tribe, known as the Kalazars: which was an affluent witch tribe in the Interior Sindh province of Pakistan. Laila was just a young girl when her mother was killed. It’s not long after her mother’s death it is realized that Laila herself is a churail. Mark Mousakes is young doctor who is living short term in Pakistan to train a team of doctors in Emergency Medicine. Originally from the United States he is not looking for a permeant residency, or life in Karachi. However, in one glance through a bookstore window, he knows he has to meet this young woman. The novel begins with: A young woman by the name of Laila driving on a humid night in Karachi, Pakistan. She was in route to her father’s local bookshop on the campus of Aga Khan Medical College, when she realizes something not quite right about her surroundings. There was something “dark” about the way the bookshop looked that night when she arrived. To her dismay she finds her “Baba” in a pool of his own blood upon entry of the store. His is rush to the hospital and thankfully saved by a handsome young Doctor by the name of Mark Mousakes. A secret is revealed so shocking it causes Laila to have to come forth with who her “people” really are, and who she is and always will be. As Mark digests what he has learned, he finds himself being more lured to this young woman, for who she truly is; A powerful, devoted, caring young woman. Laila and the Withces of Kalazar by Salimah Dhanani tells an amazing story of how no matter how hard you try to suppress who you are, there is always going to be that one person who is your soul mate, and good always beats evil. Be ready to sit down with a phenomenal book that is fast paced and emotionally driven—you will not want to put it down! Be warned, just when you think it’s all over the powerful Laila will blow you away! I am highly recommending.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Loved this book! Full of mystery, intrigue, mystique and romance. A great choice even for young adults!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Moti Dhanani

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fatima

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sadia Ash

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rahim

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fatma

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Singletary

  14. 4 out of 5

    Darin M. Krupski

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sami Sayed

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Anastasia Mccaskill

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kitty Noorani

  20. 4 out of 5

    Scheherazade

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amdipreta13

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fatima

  23. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

  24. 5 out of 5

    Namirah

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sabeena

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zyva Sheikh

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wajeeh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Romesa Khalid

  29. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Ashleigh ♥ contrary to popular belief i'm not actually mad!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Candice Burnett

  31. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  32. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  33. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  34. 4 out of 5

    Samar

  35. 5 out of 5

    xXQueenofHeartsXx

  36. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  37. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Moore

  38. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  39. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

  40. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  41. 4 out of 5

    Callie

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