Although using traditional fairy tales as the basis for teen books has been popular for a while, most of these books have used European tales as a starting point. For example, Alex Flinn has written lots of fairy tale versions, including Beastly (Beauty and the Beast), A Kiss in Time (Sleeping Beauty), and Towering (Rapunzel). That’s why I was delighted to find these two books based on the stories of One Thousand and One Nights.
One Thousand and One Nights (often known in English as The Arabian Nights) is a collection of stories by many authors and can be traced back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian and Jewish folklore. Although collections of these stories can vary in content, the tales are told within the framework of Scheherazade who soothes her evil husband with her storytelling skills.
Marie Lu, author of Legend, described The Wrath & the Dawn as “an intoxicating gem of a story,” and added, “Don’t be surprised if the pages melt away and you find yourself racing through warm, golden sands or drinking spiced wine in cool marble courtyards,” so buckle up for an exciting journey through Middle Eastern culture.
If your only connection to Arabian Nights comes from Disney’s Aladdin and the Prince of Persia movie or video game, you may want to brush up on some of the original stories. The Thousand Nights and One Night by Jan Pienkowski is a beautiful introduction to the most well-known stories. You might be surprised to learn that the stories of Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sinbad the Sailor were not initially included in collections of One Thousand and One Nights. Although they are from the same geographical area, these were added later by European translators.
Why not begin a reading Grand Tour, traveling the globe in search of stories from other cultures? The Wrath & the Dawn can be your first stop along the way.