Synopses & Reviews
Mitra and her little brother, Babak, are beggars in the city of Rhagae, scratching out a living as best as they can with what they can beg for or steal. But Mitra burns with hope and ambition, for she and Babak are not what they seem. They are of royal blood, but their father's ill-fated plot against the evil tyrant, King Phraates, has resulted in their father's death and their exile. Now disguised as a boy, Mitra has never given up believing they can rejoin what is left of their family and regain their rightful standing in the world.
Then they discover that Babak has a strange gift: If he sleeps with an item belonging to someone, he can know that person's dreams. Mitra believes that they can use this gift to find passage back to the city of Palmyra and their remaining kinsmen. But soon Babak and his abilities come to the attention of a powerful Magus one who has read portents in the stars of the coming of a new king and the dawn of a new age. Soon Mitra and Babak find themselves on the road to Bethlehem...
The acclaimed author of Shadow Spinner returns to ancient Persia in this spellbinding saga a tale filled with the color of the caravansaries and the heat of the desert, a tale that reimagines the wonder and spirit of a lost age.
"This richly imagined novel invents a backstory for the famous Nativity tale of the three wise men Melchior, Balthazaar and Gaspar who follow a star in search of the prophesied king. Fletcher (Shadow Spinner) centers the story on Mitra, a Persian teenager, and her young brother, the fragile, kindhearted Babak. The pair was forced to flee after their father's unsuccessful coup attempt against the reigning monarch, Phraates. Mitra successfully disguises herself as a boy and a beggar until Babak unwittingly reveals his ability to foretell the future through his dreams. His prophetic visions attract unwanted attention, most perilously from Melchior, an out-of-favor Magus who kidnaps the boy so Babak can dream exclusively for him, despite obvious risks to the boy's health. (He grows weaker with every dream.) There's a bit too much going on two romances for Mitra, multiple escapes and recaptures, squabbling Magi and the pace occasionally advances as languidly as a camel journey from Persia to Bethlehem. But Mitra is feisty and honorable, and Fletcher, with lush and often poetic language, somehow ties her many strands together, drawing a subtle parallel between the humble circumstances of the unnamed baby's birth and the empathetic suffering of Babak, a prince in exile. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Fletcher focuses more on emotional than physical landscapes....Absorbing." Kirkus Reviews
"The characters are vivid and whole, the plot compelling, and the setting vast." VOYA
Mitra and her brother Babak are exiled royals living on the streets as orphaned beggars. Babak possesses a strange gift of being able to know someone's dreams, and soon they find themselves on the road to Bethlehem in this biblical epic.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Susan Fletcherandlt;/Bandgt; is the acclaimed author of the Dragon Chronicles, composed of andlt;iandgt;Dragon's Milkandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Flight of the Dragon Kynandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Sign of the Doveandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;i andgt;Ancient, Strange, and Lovely andlt;/iandgt;as well as the award-winning andlt;iandgt;Alphabet of Dreamsandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Shadow Spinnerandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Walk Across the Seaandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;i andgt;Falcon in the Glassandlt;/iandgt;. Ms. Fletcher lives in Wilsonville, Oregon. Visit her at SusanFletcher.com.