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Shadow Spinner

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,098 Ratings  ·  395 Reviews
In an adventure equal to any a storyteller might relate, a crippled serving girl faces the intrigues of the harem, the dangers of the streets, and the anger of the Sultan himself to find the needed ending to an incomplete story.
Paperback, 219 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by Simon & Schuster (first published May 1st 1998)
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Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher is set in Ancient Persia and it is a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights. The original tale is the story of Shaharazad, the young woman who tells stories each night to the Sultan, ending before the climax is complete in order to remain alive one more day. Over and over she does this, for 1001 nights. The original tale is where we get such beloved stories as Aladdin, Sinbad, and Ali Baba and the Fo
Cait (Paper Fury)

Omg, I have such love for this book. SUCH LOVE. I haven't read it in, like 8 or so I was a bit nervous. You know how sometimes you read childhood favourites and they aren't as good? I SHOULD NOT HAVE FEARED. I still loved Shadow Spinner at astronomical amount. It didn't have quite the amount of magic that lured Little!Cait in so effectively. I'm just older and grumpier now. But I still loved it. AHHHH I LOVE PERSIAN CULTURE AND STOR
I must admit I was skeptical when I picked up this book. How interesting could a story be about someone who tells stories? I tell stories, and trust me, a book about my life would be very boring. (And then Janette sat huddled in front of her laptop for the next five hours . . . See what I mean?)

I'm glad to report that I was really wrong in this assumption. It was an awesome book and I liked it all that much more because the characters talked about stories and their importance. They teach things.
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I grew up reading the story about Shahrazad many times and in various "versions", but this take brought a breath of fresh air to it.
Susan Fletcher is a great story spinner who gave more than life to the characters. The ones from the original story such as Shahrazad and the Sultan, were more than 2 dimensional, they felt real, and so were the additional characters she brought in to weave in the "behind the scenes" parts. You will get to know and care for those secondary characters, even though yo
People take what they need from the stories they hear. The tale is often wiser than the teller.

This is one of my all-time favorite YA novels and a really excellent spin on the story of Shahrazad. It's tightly plotted, with an interesting and diverse cast of characters, and ancient Persia is gorgeously described and atmospheric. Susan Fletcher writes books about teenagers who feel real and who you can root for, and Marjan is no exception. ALL THE STARS.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shadow Spinner is a fun 'middle grader' book set in Ancient Persia as a new twist on the story of 1001 Arabian Nights. In the original story of 1001 Arabian Nights, Shaharazad is the Sultan's wife who is keeping herself alive by telling the Sultan a story every night and ending each night without finishing the story so that the Sultan's curiosity will be aroused and he will keep her alive another day to finish the story.

In this retelling, we visit the world of Sultans, harems, palaces and slaves
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reread
This book is how a retelling of any folk tale should be--a diverse and complex story, a world full of questions and truths still relevant to our own time. Shadow Spinner is a retelling of 1001 Nights, a story of a young, crippled, Muslim girl in Persia as she weaves shadows and stories and learns what it means to be brave and to forgive.

I would say the best part of the book is the "Lessons for Life and Storytelling" that appear at the beginning of each chapter. But no, the best part is the vivid
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-blog-pr
The story of Shahrazad has always puzzled me. This King kills his wives day after day and his people just let it happen? They didn't revolt? Monarchies have been tumbled for much less! Yet this slip of a girl manages to stand up to this King and save her people.

She has never gotten her proper due in my opinion.

Fletcher's book however is a decent step in that direction. Though about Marjan, we see what it must be like for Shahrazad. Night after night for years, constantly frightened and stressed
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arghavan by: یاسی
فکر کنم دوم یا چهارم دبستان بودم؛ عملا هر روز این رو میخوندم. عـــاشقش بودم رسماً. :ی
چیز خوبی بود خیلی. :} قصّههاش رو خیلی دوست داشتم. خیلی.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: علاقه مندان به جادو،زیر بیست سال
Shelves: بچگی
خیلی دوستش داشتم و بارها خوندمش.خیلی جذاب بود و کشش کافی داشت.توصیفاتش به اندازه بود،نه کم و نه زیاد.کاخ شهرزاد را هنوز میتوانم پیش چشمم ببینم، کاملا زنده وتازه.(هرچند سالها پیش خوندمش)روایتها هم که محشر بودند.شاید اگر کسی مثلا توی دانشگاه بخونتش برایش جذابیتی نداشته باشد و به نظرش لوس بیاید،ولی برای زیرهجده سال واقعا کتاب خوبیه!
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this years ago, but recently re-read it for my thesis project. It is such a beautiful read.

(view spoiler)
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
There are some true and important messages in this book. This book would make a great read-a-loud, it is exciting and full of adventure, and teaches a few good lessons. I enjoyed that the heroine did not have physical or spiritual perfection but was on a journey.

I really enjoyed the little bits of wisdom at the beginning of each chapter. One quote I particularly liked was, "People will take what they need from the stories they hear." Another quote says, "Sometimes I wonder if the stories you te
I read this aloud to my daughters for school. I don't give out five stars normally. I loved the rich language that the author, Susan Fletcher used. I could smell, taste and see by her rich descriptions throughout the book. I didn't want this book to end. I knew by chapter 22 that this book was going to be five starts. When I started crying the very last paragraph I am already thinking that this might be one of my favorite books this school year. Great book. My girls 10 & 12 loved it as well. ...more
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was ok

The names are the best part, to be honest. To name a few, Badar Basim, Aga Jamsheed, Shahrazad, Marjan. It cracks me up when my mom tried to pronounce them.

The story is REALLY interesting, but the writing, ew. I had to read this for a class and I was trying so hard to not get spaced out away from the book because the writing was so annoying to read. Other than the writing, the characters, and the storyline was unique, intelligent, and interesting.
Pyrate Queen
A thirteen-year-old crippled girl is asked to be part of the Sultan's harem when word gets out that she is a storyteller. Her gift is used to gather stories for Shahrazad, who has run out of ideas and this discovery leads her to fear for her life and of those around her.

A good look at the Persian culture and Muslim way of life but the story gets confusing and at times is slow to move forward.
3:30 AM

(این٫ از آن ریویوهای توقعایجادکن است؛ پس ترجیحا نخوانیدش :D )

انقدر خوب؟ انقدر هیجانانگیز؟
من این کتاب رو از خییلییی سالهایپیش٫ میخواستم بخونم و یادم رفت دیگه. تا اینکه هفته قبل تو شهرکتاب چشمم خورد بهش. از بس کتابش کشش داشت واقعا نمیدونم چی بگم. هیچ کتابی تا حالا باعث نشده بود من تا این موقع شب بیدار باشم :دی
فعلا ذهنم کار نمیکنه چیزی بگم راجع بهش :)) با این ریویو نوشتنم :))
This wasn't a bad book. It was a retelling of Shahrazad's tales from the point of view of someone else in the harem. It was a good, quick read, strong on description, with an attempt at intrigue that I didn't find particular tension-inducing, but not something I feel I have a need to read again. My one serious gripe with the style was how many things were italicized for emphasis. After a while, it gets distracting and weakens the prose.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was okay. Its not my favorite but it had a good plot. I would not suggest this book to others because the story was kind of slow which made it boring. At times their was parts when you really wanted to read it but those where rare. This book is about a crippled girl who loves to tell stories. She would have never guessed that in her whole life she would be asked my the person she most admires to tell her a story. Thats when the adventure starts.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-self
Very good story. Though, the shortsightedness of the Sultan in the practice of killing his wives the morning after their wedding seems implausible, but the characters' survival through the power of words and stories was otherwise a delight.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytales
In this version of the Arabian Nights, a young crippled girl is smuggled into the harem to help Scherazade in her endless quest for new and more intriguing stories. The girl's past, and her future, are just as interesting as that tales she spins, however.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Although the book is based on Persian culture, I found many familir elements from Moroccan culture. While the plot didn't always flow smoothly, the imagery of the harem and the bazaar captured another world. A good high interest, low reading level book for young teens.
Sophie Simpson
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read it for school and actually really enjoyed it.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
اسمش بود گمشده ي شهرزاد!! اينم مال اون وقتاست ، خيلي ازش لذت بردم.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
The reading slump is real. Took me all month to finish this but it was still a great book. A nice reread and it got me in the mood to reread wraith and the dawn and the novellas
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a light, refreshing take on Arabian nights. I read this quickly with much enjoyment, although the book is not very suspenseful.
Zahra Dashti
خیلی دوستش داشتم اون روزها که خوندمش!
Bailey Marissa
It was different, it wasn't that good.
Hannah Walsh
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
A well-written and fascinating book. Now I'm dying to learn more about the Arabian Nights...

Andrea Hussey
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information. Please do, however, be aware that this thread is no longer kept up to date.

Susan Fletcher is the author of a popular trilogy that includes the books Dragon's Milk, Flight of the Dragon Kyn, and Sign of the Dove, as well as of several other novels for young readers.

With a me
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“Marjan. I have told him tales of good women and bad women, strong women and weak women, shy women and bold women, clever women and stupid women, honest women and women who betray. I'm hoping that, by living inside their skins while he hears their stories, he'll understand over time that women are not all this way or that way. I'm hoping he'll look at women as he does at men--that you must judge each of us on her own merits, and not condemn us or exalt us only because we belong to a particular sex.” 10 likes
“There are some stories that you don't tell aloud, that you make up and tell silently to yourself.” 6 likes
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