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The Seven Wise Princesses: A Medieval Persian Epic
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The Seven Wise Princesses: A Medieval Persian Epic

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Although his kingdom is prosperous, Shah Bahram is restless, haunted by the portraits of seven princesses that he saw when he was young. And so he builds seven extravagantly beautiful pavilions, each a different color, and invites the princesses to come live in them. The wise princesses tell the shah stories that teach him the virtues that a ruler, and indeed every human b ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published August 6th 2002 by Barefoot Books (first published 2000)
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May 02, 2016 Kaion rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, asia, reviewed
NooooOOOOooooOOOOooo, beautifully-illustrated children's books which will lull you into reading hard-to-find eight-hundred year old epics in other languages! It's a trap!

All kidding aside, The Seven Wise Princesses is a very smooth adaptation of Haft Paykar that balances content nicely with accessibility. I'll save the deeper commentary for when I do read Nizami's epic, but this is an interesting variation on the nested tale, with the seven princesses each telling a tale without any real connect
Teri Weaver
Feb 21, 2010 Teri Weaver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mid-east-jewish
This delightful book apparently is the first English translation for children of the poet Nizami’s work titled, “Haft Paykar.” The book is divided into sections of stories told by each of the seven princesses who are: Indian, Greek, Arabian, Russian, Moroccan, Chinese, and Persian. This poet wrote this story as a spiritual and moral tale based on the life of a real person, Shah Bahram V. He relied heavily on Sufi symbolism and beliefs that self-knowledge leads to an understanding of the world an ...more
Aug 28, 2013 April rated it it was amazing
This was actually a shock. It was put on hold for my 4 year old little girl (considering the name her big brother assumed it was for wee ones!) Uhoh...Well it was marked YA when we got it..WHAT? But, she would have none of it...we were reading that book. Well of course we were, there are 7 lovely princesses on the cover! It was actually an very interesting story. I did have to skip and ad-lib in some places for her tender heart, but over all it was a fun story full of new and wonderful folk tale ...more
Oct 31, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it
Again, yet another book from Barefoot Books that we really enjoyed. My kids were fascinated by the way the story was told .. moving from the narrator to the shah to the princesses. It was many stories woven into one book .. and it was interesting to introduce the concept of different voices within one story. And while the princesses did not "do" much; they were full of wise stories with strong morals .. which is more than can be said of many princesses in many books.
Apr 21, 2015 Kienie rated it really liked it
I would have benefited from knowing at least something about the Shah, because I'm assuming at least some of the event are historical. Though maybe I shouldn't.

The stories are condensed, but in a way that still leaves them with rhythm instead of just rushing through. It's not perfect, as in some places it feels like a summary instead of a retelling. And the ending feels very abrupt.

Still, it made me want to read the original epic.
Jun 16, 2013 Maggie rated it it was amazing
LOVE this book. In 100 pages it retells an old tale of a Shah who speaks with 7 princesses in an effort to see if he will marry one of them. Each princess chooses a pavilion of a different colour, and this colour sets the tone for the tale she will tell the Shah. The illustrations are magnificent.
Danielle Stevens
I love this book because of it's wisdom/morals and fantastic stories of dragons, a fortress, good vs. bad, sword fights, and anything to make the reader wonder. This book is perfect to read as both young and old.
Apr 15, 2010 Sherica rated it really liked it
Shelves: eastern-fantasy
beautifully illustrated in the middle eastern manner, using mosaics, repeating patterns, colours, and eight good stories in the style of Arabian Nights
Dec 22, 2012 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Like Fin said, the artwork was amazing. I especially loved the pictures of each of the pavilions. I also loved the love story aspect of it. :)
Oct 07, 2009 Maren rated it really liked it
Rebecca picked this out in the school library. It was a gem--good morals, good story elements, adapted from the classics.
Ɠяαcє O'Ɓяιєη➵Sσмєтιмєѕ Qυιєт ιѕ ƲισƖєηт
This was a really good book. You learn about the different customs around the world.
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