The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of ''The Arabian Nights'' (Once upon a Time Series)

( 97 )

Overview

"ONCE UPON A TIME"IS TIMELESS

In a faraway kingdom, a king has been betrayed. Deeply hurt and bitterly angry, he vows never to be deceived again. Unfortunately, the king's plan to protect himself will endanger all of the realm's young women, unless one of them will volunteer to marry the king — and surrender her life.

To everyone's relief and horror, one young woman steps forward. The daughter of a legendary ...

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The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of ''The Arabian Nights'' (Once upon a Time Series)

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Overview

"ONCE UPON A TIME"IS TIMELESS

In a faraway kingdom, a king has been betrayed. Deeply hurt and bitterly angry, he vows never to be deceived again. Unfortunately, the king's plan to protect himself will endanger all of the realm's young women, unless one of them will volunteer to marry the king — and surrender her life.

To everyone's relief and horror, one young woman steps forward. The daughter of a legendary storyteller, Shahrazad believes it is her destiny to accept this risk and sacrifice herself.

On the night of her wedding to the king, Shahrazad begins to weave a tale. Fascinated, the king lets her live night after night. Just when Shahrazad dares to believe that she has found a way to keep her life — and an unexpected love — a treacherous plot will disrupt her plan. Now she can only hope that love is strong enough to save her.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Olivia Durant
Shahrazad is a bewitching storyteller, a trait she inherited from her mother. After being alienated from her peers as a child, she has spent much of her life in seclusion, only seeing her father and younger sister. In the same land, Shahrayar the king has been deceived. His wife and her lover plotted against him, and both died horrible deaths in retribution. Now he can trust no one. In despair, he makes a vow that he will forcibly wed one maiden every month at the full moon. She will be his bride for only one night and be murdered the following morning so that she is unable to betray him. His kingdom is terrified at the awful change in their formerly kind and righteous ruler. Shahrazad selflessly volunteers to marry him, hoping that she may teach him to trust and love again, thus preventing him from executing any of his subjects. He finds her stories so captivating that he is unable to kill her. However, another conspiracy against him may ruin her clever plans to save the kingdom. This novel touches upon the familiar themes of loyalty, honor, and family. Another fine entry in the Once Upon a Time series, this retelling of "The Arabian Nights" will appeal to any YA reader who enjoys fairy tales, or adventures with a little romance added.
School Library Journal
Gr 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 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416937760
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Series: Once upon a Time Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 150,260
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cameron Dokey is the author of How Not to Spend Your Senior Year and nine Once upon a Time novels for Simon Pulse. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 97 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 98 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    "The Storyteller's Daughter" is a fun and brisk retelling of the class "Arabian Nights." Having read about this classic before, I thought that a modern twist of this story would be refreshing as it was interesting, and indeed it was! For this story, a king named Shahrayar is betrayed by his wife, who was revealed to be unfaithful. He then becomes a completely different man, one who makes a rash decision that he shall take a new wife every full moon, but then execute her to avoid heartbreak / betrayal. The blind daughter of the storyteller, Sharazad then takes a chance, risking her life by marrying him. This story is found to be both moving and gradual, boiling up to the surprising climax later found in the story. The love that can be found between both Shahrayar and Sharazad, is not the typical "fairytale" fantasy. Their love grows as the story continues on with his frustration of not knowing who he truly is and what is in his heart. With the help of Sharazad and her magical words though, his barriers slowly break down and with a strong king and queen, the kingdom thrives . happily ever after! The story has a strong theme of confusion, betrayal, but love does conquer all. Dokey does a wonderful job of retelling this classic, and she cultivates the personalities of each character - Shahrayar, a kind man inside but one who has been burned by his wife, Sharazad, a gentle-hearted woman who has her mother's talent of storytelling which saves her from execution from Shahrayar who was ultimately intrigued by them. Down to the Sharazad's half sister, father, and many more. This story is a must read, so get your rear off the chair, and grab a copy.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A great book

    This book is one of the best in this series. It has mystery, romance, and it's very emotional.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

    Mystifying take on "The Arabian Nights"

    I've recently finished all of the books and so I've decided to review each of them in the following categories: story, characters, and my final comments. (Warning: Spoiler Alert on this whole review) (Story): This book is a retelling of the classic "Arabian Nights" story. In this version, a Persian king named Shahrayar is betrayed by his wife, allowing her betrayal to turn him from a righteous ruler to a bitter and angry man. He then sends out a decree that at every full moon, he will take on a new wife, but then execute her the following morning so she can't betray him. His subjects are horrified, until seventeen-year old Shahrazad steps forward to marry Shahrayar, with a plan to soften his heart up her sleeve. I'd heard of "The Arabian Nights" but haven't read anything based on it. To me, Dokey wrote it in a way that made it seem exotic and adventurous, but there were also moments that were subtle and moving. I also loved the romance between Shahrazad and Shahrayar in that it took time for their relationship to build which made it more realistic. I read it in only two days and each page kept me wanting to know what happens next. (Characters): The main character in the story is Shahrazad, whose story in a way reminds me of Queen Esther in that she's willing to die to save her people from slaughter. She's a storyteller rumored to become the greatest of her time, but she had to work her way to the top, which to me makes her more human. She also loves her father and half-sister and would do anything for them, which makes her mature for her age. Shahrayar is the male lead and I find him to be an interesting character, because by the end of the story he realizes the big mistake he's made and how it's affected him and his people's love for him. (Final Comments): All in all, I thought this book was captivating and I would highly recommend it to any young adult reader.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013

    A Delightful Retelling

    My problem with Dokey is usually that characters A and B fall in love with each other so suddenly that it's jarring. This is not a problem with this book. The plot does not rely on the love story alone, but keeps up the pace with political intrigue and - shocker! - character development.
    I understand that several people reviewing this book have complained that it is too complex or too boring; and, well, if you want nothing *but* fluffy romance or have a detrimentally short attention span it may be true. I, however, believe that it is absolutely worth a try. This book remains one of my favorite light reads. Shahrazad is a wonderful character, and it is very refreshing to read this tale from her point of view.
    Also, I positively adored the introductory chapter. It just resonates with me, somehow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Great book

    I love how she was blind, but she didn't let that stop her. I also liked the story very much it's a great read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Nice book!

    Wonderful, a treat, refreshing, amazing, exleriting!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Story tellers daughter

    Good book should make into a movie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Charming

    I am a great lover of fairy tales, and while I have not read an original version of this story, I knew the premise before I delved into the Storyteller's Daughter. I was not disappointed. The book is a quick read, and as enchanting as you would hope. The suspense of whether or not Shahirazad will live to see another day, and more importantly, whether you will get to hear the end of her story, is well done, and the characters, in a short amount of time, will worm their way into your affections. The Storyteller's daughter will leave you with a smile and a sudden desire to go purchase a copy of A Thousand and One Nights.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good,But A Little Confusing

    I found this book to be one of my favorites in the series. I was a little confused at some parts so I had to reread it over again, but I recognized the stlye of writing right away and was able to recover what I had missed. It is easy to love the characters, even the king. Over all the book is a fatastic add to the Once Upon a Time Series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Nice, if not forgettable

    I like Dokey's writing; some of her descriptions are just so rich that one could get lost in her use of language. Dokey included. This tale meanders amongst characters and in and out of stories. Although this story is ostensibly told by Shahrazad, there is no real narrator, and as a result, it was difficult for me to become personally attached to any particular one of them. In addition, the flowery style of the narration takes some adjusting to.

    That said, there is real content to this story. Romance and intrigue, sprinkled with a dash of betrayal and revenge make for an exciting page-turner. Even people familiar with this classic tale will find themselves holding their breath in anticipation. Nonetheless, rest assured that there is the perfect happy ending, with all of the story's loose bits and ends tidily wrapped up. If you can get past the few technical difficulties, you will likely enjoy this short interpretation of one of literature's most beloved tales.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2007

    ...

    When I bought this book, I was doing research on the different styles of writing, and chose this tale to study. My original purpose was for that study, but in reading it I became drawn into the story. This fresh view of A Thousand and One Nights was enchanting. Her switch between the story of Shahrazad, and the King's special story, was an entirely different style of writing, and brought a new flavor to the tale. This was the first of the Once Upon A Time collection I read, and so far remains my favorite. It too, is sitting on my shelf.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    GREAT BOOK

    GREAT BOOK

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    great read

    This was a really good and heart touching book. In this it isbut very intense for the reader because they know the characters cant blindly trust anyone. Alot of characters had a change of heart and the bad brothers actually won for a while at the end until people stood up for the king and queen. This was a great story but the language the author used waa a little confusing and hard to follow.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    very beautiful story.

    very beautiful story.

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  • Posted February 22, 2011

    Amazing read!

    I found this book while searching around and it is AWESOME! I have started reading the series of books and it's really fun to read because it doesn't matter which book you start on! Cameron Dokey is now one of my favorite authors. She spins a lovely tale that hooked me from the start. I think Cameron could be a storyteller's daughter herself!

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    it was great

    i loved the way it was told

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Indescribably good

    I never read "Arabian nights",which is probably why I found this story good. I thought this was a great story, and it orvides a link between fantasy and history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    This book is an epic fail

    This book stunk because it was boring. It didnt keep my attention, and i love to read. It was a waste of my life, and i was only 100 pages into it. DO NOT read this book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unforgettable

    This novel was amazing, and easily my favorite book. Though it's a quick read, theres so much to the story. The characters and the writting suck you in immediatly, and the gradual romance between Shahrazad and Shahrayar is endearing and leaves you with a wonderful feeling.

    This retelling of "The One Thousand and One Nights" it's colorful, enchanting and full of unique surprises.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    Cover Not Right

    I love this book. I would recommend this book, and all the other books in the series, to anyone who likes fairy tale love stories. I bought it, but the cover is different. There are two covers for this book. The one shown here is the second one, I got the first one. And I like the second one better. So if you're thinking about buying it, don't expect a book that has this cover.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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