Synopses & Reviews
is a fabulous collection of stories and myths from ancient Persia, written into an epic poem by the poet Firdousi in the 10th century. The Shahnameh's place in Persian literature is equivalent to the Arthurian legend in Europe. The tales describe the beginning of the world, and include amazing birds who bring up orphaned Kings, noble horses who kill lions to save their masters, wars between demons and heroes, a feisty princess who goes to war incognito, and above all the great hero Rostam, who tragically kills his own son Sohrab, not knowing his identity.
Elizabeth Laird is passionate about bringing this great epic poem to the children of western cultures, as well as retelling it for Iranian children living in the West.
"Laird's retelling of revered Persian poet Ferdowsi's 10th-century epic poem (60,000 verses strong, it's the national epic of Iran) takes the form of haunting scenes with a fiery cast of characters rivaling those of the Greek myths. The short prose passages detail the rise and fall of kings, forbidden romance, the wrath of demons, the betrayals of sons and fathers, and magical creatures. Borders of winding vines, dotted with birds and flowers, surround Laird's text, while larger, vivid images are set within borders that recall Persian rugs. Adl's gangly cartoon humans, demons, and animals are given depth by fabric, metallic, and other textural accents. With captivating villains and otherworldly adventure, it's a retelling with obvious appeal to fans of myth, folklore, fantasy, and ancient culture. Ages 7 11." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Zahhak sat hunched on his ivory throne, with his crown of turquoise pressing down on his head, brooding about Feridun, while the snakes writhed on his shoulders.
'I must be protected,' he thought. 'I must gather armies of men, with demons and angels in the ranks, to save me from this boy.'"
from the book
About the Author
is the author of Red Sky in the Morning, The Garbage King, Crusade
and Lost Riders
. She has been shortlisted five times for the Carnegie Medal. She has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, and her son lived for four years in Iran. She met her husband while travelling in India and they lived together in Iraq, Lebanon and Austria. Her other books for Frances Lincoln are A Fistful of Pearls: Stories from Iraq, Pea Boy,
and The Ogress and the Snake: Stories from Ethiopia.
Laird divides her time between London and Edinburgh.
Shirin Adl was born in Harlow, Essex, and grew up in Iran. Back in England, she studied Illustration at Loughborough University, going on to win the Hallmark M&S Talented Designer Award. She also designs greetings cards and makes cartoons. Adl's books for Frances Lincoln are Ramadan Moon and Elizabeth Laird's Pea Boy. She lives in Oxford.
Table of Contents
AT THE BEGINNING OF TIME
King Hushang, the Master of Fire
King Tahmuras, the Tamer of Animals
Jamshid the Glorious, Master of the World
THE WICKED KING ZAHHAK
Zahhak Murders his Father
Greedy Zahhak and his Loathsome Snakes
The Death of the Great Jamshid Faranak Hides her Little Son
Feridun Learns the Truth Kaveh, the Courageous Blacksmith
Feridun Rides to War The Triumph of Feridun
SAM, THE FIRST CHAMPION OF KINGS
The Champion Sam, and Zal, his White-Haired Son
Sam Searches for his Son Zal Goes Hunting
King Mehrabs Beautiful Daughter
Rudabehs Companions Set their Trap
The Falcon Catches the Dove
The Marriage of Zal and Rudabeh
RUSTAM THE HERO
A Champion is Born The Miraculous Baby
Rustam and the White Elephant Trouble Comes to Iran
Rustam Finds his Marvellous Horse Rustam Seeks for a King
The Noble Kay Kobad
THE FOOLISH KING KAY KAVUS
The White Demon of Mazanderan
Zal Hears the News
THE SEVEN TRIALS OF RUSTAM
Rustams First Trial Rustams Second Trial
Rustams Third Trial
Rustams Fourth Trial Rustams Fifth Trial
Rustams Sixth Trial Rustam Finds the King
Rustams Seventh Trial Ulad Wins his Kingdom
KAY KAVUS THE FOOLISH
Rebellion in Barbary The King of Hamaverans Daughter
The King of Hamaveran Takes his Revenge
Kay Kavus Flies with the Eagles
THE STORY OF RUSTAM AND SOHRAB
Rustam Loses Rakhsh The King of Samagans Daughter
Tahmineh The Birth of Sohrab
Afrasyab Plots and Plans Sohrab and the White Fortress
Gordafarid, the Warrior Girl
RUSTAM IS SUMMONED
King Kavus Sends for Rustam The Anger of Kay Kavus
Kay Kavus and Rustam March to War
Rustam Spies on Sohrab Sohrab Looks for Rustam
THE BATTLE OF SOHRAB AND RUSTAM
Sohrab Makes his Challenge
The First Battle Between Sohrab and Rustam
Sohrab and Rustam Return to their Camps
Sohrab Throws Rustam to the Ground
The Final Battle The Grief of Rustam
The Death of Rustam