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THE LEGEND OF THE WANDERING KING by Laura Gallego Garcia Kirkus Star


by Laura Gallego Garcia & translated by Dan Bellm

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-58556-2
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Set in the deserts of Arabia, before Islam, this wonderful, fantastical fairy tale, translated from Spanish, is at once fresh and familiar. The story begins when Prince Walid ibn Hujr desires to be a famous poet. For three years in a row, however, the same humble carpet weaver, Hammad ibn al-Haddad, wins the palace-sponsored contest, a humiliation that transforms the well-liked, once-noble prince into an embittered, jealous-hearted shadow of his former self. In retaliation, the prince burdens the weaver with an impossible task: to weave a carpet that contains all of human history, past, present and future. To his astonishment, the weaver does so, but the arduous work blinds and ultimately kills the man. When the miraculous carpet is stolen, the prince, now the king, takes to the desert to find it, and spends the rest of his life trying to make amends for his loathsome actions. This beautifully symmetrical tale of the possibility of redemption, of fate vs. free will, of the necessity of heart in art, will enthrall readers young and old. (author’s note) (Fiction. 10-12)