Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Storyteller's Daughter (Once Upon a Time series)

by Cameron Dokey

Summary: 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 discovered 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 forward. Sharhrazad, 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 retore the king's heart. As she tells her talkes a bond forms between them that neither can deny. But will it be strong enough to hold them together when unexpected danger erupts.
My review: This story is by far my favorite of the three that I have read so far. The beginning is narrated in the first person and has the effect of drawing you in. It makes you feel like you are huddled around a gypsy campfire listening to an old woman relate a story that has been handed down for generations. All of the characters, even the "villains" were well written and tangible. Shahrazad's stories to the king were fascinating in their own right but had definite parallels to her own tale woven into them. The fantasy and magic element was light and enhanced the storyline, rather than detracting from it. I have never read the original tale of Shahrazad and so it is difficult for me to compare the two. In it's own right, "The Storyteller's Daughter" was a fun story that kept and held my attention from beginning to end.
My rating: 4 stars (a near tie with The Night Dance) RATED PG
If I could sum this book up in one phrase it would be: Good stories within a good story.

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