Friday, January 7, 2011

The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey

The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey
                                       A Retelling of "The Arabian Nights"
218 pages

     Shahrazad is the blind daughter of the storyteller. She "reads" the pieces of cloth from her trunk with her hands and tells beautiful stories from them. When the king of the land is betrayed, his plan endangers all the women in the area. The only way to save the young women is that one must agree to marry the king and give up her life.
      When Shahrazad is the one to volunteer, everyone is horrified. In order to stay alive, Shahrazad begins to weave an elaborate tale for the king on her wedding night. When morning comes and the story is not finished, the king spares Shahrazad's life for one more night so she can finish the story.
      This continues for many nights and Shahrazad starts to gain the king's trust. Will their new love and loyalty for each other be enough to save themselves and the kingdom from an attack?

    Can you see me now? Not as I am, but as I was?
    A young woman of seventeen years. Straight and slim, my hair and eyes as black as the ebony wood chest that was the only possession my mother brought with her when she married my father. My skin, the color of rich, sweet honey.
    Are you ready to hear my greatest secret? The one that I have never spoken? You know only a small part of my story. What I am about to relate has never before been told.
    "How can this be?" you ask. All have heard of the storyteller so gifted with words that she told tales for one thousand and one nights running. With her gift, her voice alone, she saved her own life and countless others. Through the years, this story has been handed down, with never a hint at anything left out. How, then, can what I claim be true?

    Listen now. Listen truly. Fall under my storyteller's spell.

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