Review Shadow Spinner By: Susan Fletcher “She had offered to marry the Sultan when he was killing all his wives”. Shahrazad did, of course. In order to keep the Sultan content, Shahrazad, one of his many wives, must continuously tell the Sultan stories, or else she will also be killed. Shadow Spinner is a story set in Persia, about a young crippled, 14 year old girl, Marjan, and a beautiful princess, Shahrazad, both trying to save themselves from the Sultan. Though it was no harm to Marjan, she had always admired Shahrazad, and would do anything to save her life.
Because the Sultan had been betrayed by his first wife, he refused to trust any women. Every time one of his new wives did not please him, they would be slaughtered by the next morning. This went on for years, until Shahrazad came. She hoped that by telling him stories, he could be happy and would stop killing Persia’s women. As months passed, Shahrazad had been the first to survive more than one night in the Sultan’s harem. Wisely, Shahrazad would cut-off her stories, so the Sultan would be eager to hear the rest of it the next day, and she would live on.
But as time wore on, Shahrazad began to run out of stories to tell, and became worried. If she would repeat any story, the Sultan would become mad, enraged. The princess was VERY lucky to find a local girl named Marjan, though. Marjan knew of one certain story that Shahrazad had never heard of, and when she told the Sultan, he loved it, and couldn’t wait for the next part when Shahrazad cut it off. But when Marjan was asked to tell about the rest of the story, Marjan replied that she only knew half of it.
Marjan began trying to remember where she heard the story, or how the parts went, because she knew that if she did not find the other half in time, Shahrazad would be killed, just like all the other wives of Sultan. In the end, however, after traveling through many flashbacks, Marjan was able to remember the half she needed of the story. The whole story, which tells about a man, Julnar, was betrayed by a woman he once loved. In the end, he had found someone who loved him back, and lived happily ever after. After hearing the story, the Sultan finally realized hat he should forget about what happened before, because he realized that Shahrazad had saved him from his past. In the end, Shahrazad forgave the Sultan for all the sins he had committed, and she and the Sultan were wed. Since Shahrazad could not thank Marjan “enough for all the things” she did in order to help, she let Marjan and her aunt and uncle (whom Marjan lived with) live at her brother’s palace. It really was the beginning of “a new life”, for Marjan. I think that the genre of Shadow Spinner would fall into mystery, because you never knew what the missing part to Marjan’s memory was until near the end.
The author also used a lot of surprising ways of writing, like ending a chapter with something you wouldn’t have thought would happen, and so forth. I also think that the way the author wrote about Shahrazad made her seem very brave, because she was willing to put up her own life on the line, just to save the rest of the women by telling stories for a total of 1001 nights. I think Shadow Spinner would be a very good book to people who like stories, because the way I think Susan Fletcher organizes Shadow Spinner is sort of a story-within-a-story. There are many stories which are told in Shadow Spinner, and not just the obvious one.