“The Thousand Nights of IRIS” By Irina Scheherazade Book Review
Scheherazade was a prominent Middle Eastern character and the main storyteller within the framework of the Middle Eastern series of tales called the One Thousand and One Nights. She was a princess, the Queen of Heaven and the founder of thetale, a story which told the history of the fall of her dynasty and the rise of the Persian Empire. She was also the wife of a king and the mother of Xerxes, who rose to prominence later in Alexander the great’s life. It was her memoirs that were so influential that the tale of the Persian kings and their fabulous exploits were put forward as the basis for the first Greek play by Aeschylus, Sophocles’ Antigone and that of Aeschylus’ Theban.
In her tales, scheherazade portrayed a princess who was born to King Xerxes of Persia, the great king of ancient Persia. She was the daughter of Hippias, who was her uncle. When her uncle was bereaving and dying, she resolved to kill him in order to be with her daughter who was away at college. Her uncle warned her not to do so, to prevent further turmoil in their family, but to tell him everything about the Persian story she was to write, as it was to guide her down the path of her career. This enthrallment to the Persian past gave birth to one of the most popular and influential works in world literature.
Of course, the story of the princess who was destined to be the mother of a conquering hero, Xerxes is one of the most famous stories of all time and, in itself, is worth the price of reading just by itself. However, she is but one small part of a fabulous set of characters which comprise the entire cast of characters belonging to the Persian king. In fact, these stories form the basis for the many future sagas of the arabian nights.
One of the things that gives the book of the legendary persian queen such great popularity is the manner in which the author presents her storytellers’ world. There are no great embellishments, no fluffing up, just straight forward and entertaining tale told with great power and authority. There is no magic, no contrivance, no hidden meanings, just straightforward good old fashioned fun. The reader is simply enthralled by the tale and drawn into it’s intricate details.
The writer of the legendary Persian queen is an Australian woman called Irina Scheherazade. She has written a number of other books, most of them in the fantasy and science fiction genres. However, this is the first novel written about the life of the legendary Persian queen. It is not a surprise that she has done such a great job with her debut.
All of the characters are vividly drawn, the descriptions of places and scenes are vivid and interesting, and the overall feel of the book is just like it’s a best-selling book. In fact it is a quick easy read, with little in the way of foreshadowing or elaborate plot to feed the narrative appetite. What makes the book so great is that Scheherazade injects humor and drama into her stories without succumbing to that dry style that many authors have. Her tales are engrossing and entertaining, and even though each seems to last only a few hours or so, you never get bored with them. The legendary Persians are as alive as ever, and they certainly will be when you finish up with the second book of the series, The Thousand Nights of IRIS, called Kingkiller.