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The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights (Once Upon a Time #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  8,864 ratings  ·  587 reviews
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 leg
Paperback, 221 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Simon Pulse (first published September 29th 1997)
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4.5 stars

If you didn't happen to catch it from the title, this is a retelling of The Arabian Nights. You know, the one about the woman named Shahrazad who keeps herself from getting killed every morning, by spinning the world's greatest To-Be-Continued story every night. Well, this is her version of the tale.
And it's good. Really good.
The best part is that it's beautifully written, but the author doesn't bore you to death by describing every grain of sand in the desert.
I'm definitely going to
I would wager that everyone belonging to GoodReads would say that they love books, and love reading. Those of us that are librarians have decided to devote ourselves to the cause.
Why is the Story so powerful?

In the hands of storyteller Dokey, the maiden Shahrazad who must please the king with her nightly story becomes a metaphor for the Story itself. Will you turn the next page-- or not? Will you open your heart to the story-- or not? Those who do, find that the double power of Story is that it
This is definitely one of the top 5 in the series-so far. It has rejuvenated my faith in the series. Although I couldn't give it 5 stars it was pretty close.

I was relieved when Shahrazad (I think that’s her name) marries the King before the first quarter of the book ended, since it usually takes longer for Dokey to let the adventure start. So I got to see more of the guy-the-girl-is-supposed-to-fall-in-love-with. I've only read one other book with this retelling so it was a fresher retelling to
Though I'm only giving this book 3 stars, I liked it overall a lot more than you probably think is 3 stars' worth. Give me a moment and I'll try to explain.

Dokey attempts a revisionist version of the classic tale of Shahrazad, incorporating some material from The Arabian Nights, omitting a lot of it, and then creating an elaborate frame that allows all of the characters you'd care about in a happy fairy tale version to be sympathetic, despite doing things like proclaiming that they're going to m
Maia B.
I love fairy tale retellings. I mean, I love them. I love seeing what authors do with the old stories, how they twist them and pull them apart and add feisty heroines and princes with a bit more depth than the average Grimm paragon. It helps if the retelling comes with lovely writing, romance, and a dollop of humor - but adds something entirely new to the old tale.

And as fairy tale retellings go, this is a good one. The writing is not lovely, but it's interesting and fits with the plot and the s
The Storyteller's Daughter is the retelling of the Arabian Nights story, so now you know the plot . . . or do you? The narrator is Shahrazad, the storyteller of a thousand and one nights. You think you already know the story but she says that you really know only a small part, and what she is about to relate has never before been told.

The book's prologue is probably my favorite part -- Shahrazad comes alive, speaking poetically and directly to you about the nature of stories and catching your in
Previously I have read "Beauty Sleep" by Cameron Dokey, and I liked the story. So, I was excited to read another fairy tale retelling by Dokey. Unfortunately I found this retelling of "Arabian Nights" hard to get through and pretty boring.

Shahrazad is the daughter of a great storyteller. When the King is betrayed by his wife, his heart turns to stone and he vows to marry a young woman each new moon and kill her the next morning. That is unless a young woman comes forward voluntarily knowing she
I'm new to the YA fantasy genre so I'm not really sure how to review in comparison to others in this genre. It was a easy, enjoyable read without a ton of filler. The story was simple and straight-forward. Something I think my daughter could and probably should read. (If I could get her into reading).
This was a very odd re-telling. Told more like a bible verse or parable, it had a lot of "and so it came to pass" and "remember, seek that which you are meant to be and not what you are not" kind of stuff.

This is not my favorite way to read a story. It's a personal preference, but I feel like it keeps me away from the characters. As I'm a character reader, this takes away from my enjoying the story through the character - instead it just feels like....a story. Something on paper that never come
Lady Knight
Cameron Dokey does a splendid job with her retelling of the Arabian Nights! I loved every page of it and read it cover to cover in a couple of hours. Definitely one of my top favorites in the "Once Upon a Time..." series.

Shahrazad is the daughter of the vizier and a storyteller. Shahrayar is the crown prince. After his father's death, Shahrayar divides the kingdom between himself and his brother, and as the years pass great peace comes to the land. However, both brothers soon discover that their
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! Shahrazad's own story is told, along with the stories she weaves, against an authentic ancient middle-eastern background, complete with desert heat, tribal loyalty, exiled kings who are locked away instead of killed, and women who use their beauty and skill-- and sometimes cunning-- to control the men they love, and thus the history of their kingdoms. (One quote: After finishing a very long story..."I notice that once again it is the women who are ...more
I'm not the target audience for this book. Right now, I looked at all the wonderful reviews of this novel and wonder if the people read the same book I did. Maybe I'm too picky.

Go read any translation of nights instead of this.

I have problems with this book. The first is that the character of Shahrazad makes no sense. All of sudden she's blind. All of sudden she's a wonderful story teller who understands people even though she avoided people by locking herself in her room. By the way, Shahrazad,
There are so many wonderful reviews about this book that I think maybe I missed something. I'm afraid I just didn't enjoy it. I struggled through every page thinking that maybe it would get more interesting. I just never found what others did. It is nonsensical to believe that Shahrazad could have such insight into people without ever having spent any time with any. The stories that were found in the cloth featured wise, strong women yet in the world around Shahrazad none of those women really e ...more
Surprisingly, I enjoyed this one even more than Beauty Sleep. I wouldn't necessarily call this a fairy tale and the writing style was a little different, but it was the characters that I really enjoyed the most. I also like stories when the hero and heroine must rise above the challenges they face, including ones they've unknowingly created for themselves. Like many fairy tales, it has a little treachery but unlike most fairy tales, however, this one has some blood being spilled. This is defini ...more
Once Upon a Time’s The Storyteller’s Daughter
(Cameron Dokey) Dec. 1-2, 2014

A fairy tale that is new to my hearing. I was hesitant to read it because I’m not a big fan of fairy tales, but I really don’t know what I have eaten that made my mind open up this book. I guess I just want some new taste of magical story with moral lessons. I’m now planning to read this Once Upon a Time series or collection of fairy tales. I’m expecting to discover new fairytales which I haven’t seen or learned before. I
This series of books (Once Upon a Time) usually have too much sensuality in it for my taste, but this particular book of the series is excellent. I have read several of the series and this one was so good I read it again right away!! (I always do that with books I love--go back and reread my favorite parts!)

It is a fractured fairytale (that's what the Librarian called it--must be the new genre description for this sort of book....which is kind of fun to witness the birth of a genre...)--and I t
This was the first of the Once Upon a Time series that I have read. I've heard good things about Cameron Dokey as well, but I just didn't get into this book. I felt the writing style was inconsistent. It seems to jump back and forth between a more old-fashioned formal storytelling language and modern slang! I enjoyed the relationship between Shahrazad and Shahrayar, but wanted more to be explained. Why did her eyesight return and her storytelling end and her mothers never did? Nothing in the pro ...more
I've always been a fan of fairytales, but "The Arabian Nights" never really caught my interest until now. Cameron Dokey has woven the original story into her own storytelling style and created a wonderful retelling of this tale.

Shahrazad is seventeen years old and the daughter of the greatest storyteller of her time. But now her famous mother is dead, and she lives with her father, the king's vizier, and her ten-year-old half-sister Dinarzad.

Suddenly, Shahrayar, the king of her homeland, is betr
"My tale was one of a king so foolish he almost lost everything for not being able to see what was right in front of him."

The entire story can be summed up in that one statement. After being betrayed by his wife, a king forgets how to love and trust. He closes his heart to the world. But since his kingdom needs a queen, he comes up with a plan to marry a maiden every month and kill her the next morning. A one night queen (It is ridiculous, I know!). The people of the kingdom, who till now loved
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 sto ...more
Alexandra Ray
After reading a book in this Once Upon a Time series by a different author with which I was less than impressed, I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this book. Cameron Dokey, however, put my mind at immediate ease with her beautiful writing style, and in 218 pages she weaved an even more beautiful story.

I wasn't familiar with the story of One Thousand and One Nights beyond what was presented in Wishbone, so again I didn't know what to expect. All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed re
Based on the Arabian Nights this story is that of a king (Shahrayar) with a curse that he shall never love again, instead he will take one wife every full moon that will be killed in the morning. Then the blind Shahrazad steps forward and makes a plan to tell the king a story that will take many nights to tell, he will love it so much he'll keep her alive to hear the end. With stories in the story this is a book that keeps your attention until the last page.

It has a strong female lead that is w
As I've written before, the "Once Upon a Time" series has been a bit iffy to me. I've enjoyed the concept more than the execution, overall. Because of that, I was probably more lenient with this particular addition. I would probably be harsher towards it, otherwise.

The Storyteller's Daughter is one of the stronger books in the series, I think. It's not perfect. The writing style is a bit muddled. There is some head-hopping. The stories within the stories are a little transparent. The book held m
This book was not at all what I was expecting (which I thought would be a flat, plain retelling of a fairytale I wasn't very interested in... hmmm why did I decide to read it in the first place if I was that much of a pessimist...uh right, back to the review!) What a wonderful surprise this book turned out to be. In the first few pages it sets the scene, tone and depiction of character. The story (and subsequent stories in the book as told by Shahazad) were just magical. Page turning. Exquisitel ...more
Angela (:
Aug 01, 2013 Angela (: rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Angela (: by: Buddy read with Sonia! (:
Cameron Dokey's retellings are always creative and fun to read. This is no exception, but it fell short. As much as I enjoyed it, it lost me somewhere along the way. In the beginning, I was very confused with the names. They're all so similar: Shahrazad, Shahrayar, Shazaman. I got the hang of it after a few chapters, thank goodness.

I loved how the book started out. Dokey's writing really is beautiful. The prologue completely caught my interest. A story is alive, as you and I are. It's so fitting
Shahrazad, the daughter of the King's Vizier and a famous storyteller, grows up living in the palace, but is never quite like the other children. After her mother dies, she lives an even more secluded life. When the king's wife betrays him, he vows to never let it happen again, so he proclaims that he will marry a new wife every month and kill her in the morning. Shahrazad volunteers for this position with the hope of ending the killing. She tells the king a story every night, but never finishes ...more
Ashanti Davis
The Storyteller's Daughter is a wonderful story, by far my favorite book. Its a different but more remarkable telling of the Arabian Nights. The book portrays a faraway kingdom, where 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. Sharazada steps forward. Now Sharazada is the daug
I wasn't as impressed with this one. I felt that some aspects of the story were being repeatedly rammed down my throat while others just didn't flow smoothly to make as much sense or to at least be coherent to the story as a whole. Interesting tales that she told, but I find myself slightly bored with them (probably because I wasn't in a mind-set to analyze all of them--I want fluff with these fractured fairy tales!--so I was just reading them to get them over with). The imagery at spots seemed ...more
First off, I missed that this was a YA book when I put it on my list and was super excited to read it. I was surprised when it came into the library and was a tiny paperback from the teen section! Usually this does not bother me because I read 'Beastly' recently and loved it. I think that the only reason I was thrown off guard was because I was expecting it to be an adult book... Anyways... enough rambling... here is what I thought of the book.

The story is a classic one, the storytellers daughte
Sonia Mcintosh
Shaharazad has inherited her mother's storytelling gift and although never accepted by her father's people she uses her gift to bring sanity to the king. Betrayed by love King Shahrayar swears to marry and then the next morning kill his wife so that she has no opportunity to betray him. Shaharazad offers herself up as a bride to save others from death. Her stories woo the king, and attempt to restore his heart. His book brings that character of Shaharazad alive rather than just the stories she t ...more
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Fairy Tales, Kind...: The Storyteller's Daughter 2 9 Nov 28, 2014 08:03PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 12:18PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 01:04PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 4 Jul 07, 2014 04:01PM  
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Cameron Dokey is an American author living in Seattle, Washington. She has a collection of over 50 old sci-fi and horror films. Cameron was born in the Central Valley of California. Cameron grew up reading classical literature and mythology, perhaps due to her father, Richard, being a teacher of Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Western Literature.

Cameron has one husband and three cats, and is th
More about Cameron Dokey...

Other Books in the Series

Once Upon a Time (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
  • Scarlet Moon: A Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute
  • Spirited
  • The Night Dance : A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Golden
  • Water Song: A Retelling of "The Frog Prince" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty Golden Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) The Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)

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“For surely a king is first a man. And so it must follow that a king does as all men do: the best he can.” 34 likes
“I will not fail,' the water bearer's daughter vowed. 'But worse than failing is not to try at all. For then there can be no hope of success.” 20 likes
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