The Storyteller's Daughter

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9780743422208: The Storyteller's Daughter

How do all great stories begin? With "Once Upon A Time..."

Once upon a time, there lived a king whose heart was heavy. He had been betrayed by the woman he loved. Though the queen's schemes were discoverd before she could deprive her husband of his life, her dying curse killed something deep within him: his ability to love and trust.

And so he makes a terrible resolution: He will take a bride for one night only. In the morning she will face a horrible fate. Then he will choose another. Nothing can change his course, until one brave woman steps forwward. Shahrazad, the Storyteller's Daughter.

Steeped in the ancient art of her mother's people, Shahrazad embarks upon a perilous course. With words alone, she will seek to restore the king's heart. As she tells her tales a bond forms between them that neither can deny. But will it be strong enough to hold them together when unexpected danger erupts?

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-10-A story inspired by the magical and romantic tale of Shahrazad from The Arabian Nights. When betrayed by his queen, Shahrayar's heart turns coldly to stone. He vows to take a new wife once each month, at the full moon, but to keep her only one night, killing her in the morning. Shahrazad, the 17-year-old blind daughter of the king's vizier and Maju, a blind storyteller, concocts a plan to reach the king's heart. She will begin a story each night that will not be finished in the morning. Three stories-within-a-story run through the retelling, all with parallel themes and morals. This is a delightful retelling, tweaked by the author to create a fresh, often quirky feminist who is not afraid to speak her mind. Indeed, the king remarks, with humor, that wise women people Shahrazad's stories, but the kings and princes are idiots. Dokey's style blends just the right amount of old-fashioned phrases and figurative language with touches of contemporary tongue-in-cheek humor. The author actually manages an element of suspense in the present-tense retelling, even though readers familiar with the tale will know its outcome. There's plenty to tantalize teens: tower imprisonments, decapitations, intrigues of the court, an attempted coup, riots, fighting, and, of course, the blossoming love between Shahrazad and Shahrayar. An appended note includes more about the tale and the author's retelling. Pair this title with Susan Fletcher's Shadow Spinner (Atheneum, 1998) for two different versions of the story of Shahrazad.
Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Cameron Dokey
Published by Simon Pulse (2002)
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