THE ORPHAN'S TALES

This gorgeous and lyrical book is
a series of interconnected stories
that flow seamlessly together to
make a truly astounding whole. Valente's prose is lush and evocative, strewn with vivid descriptions and
compelling characters. Inspired by
the tales of Scheherazade, this
volume is a thousand and one
tales for our time.

In the sultan's garden, a little girl survives on the leavings of the residents because she's been exiled because of her strange birthmarks: layers upon layers of stories inked upon her eyelids that she laboriously reads to learn her history. She tells her tales to a curious prince who comes back night after night to listen to wondrous stories about shape-shifting witches, horse goddesses and stars that take the shape of beasts. (Bantam Spectra, Nov., 496 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs