The Khalifah’s Mirror


“I have a story to tell you. It is a tale of adventure, of love, and deception, of destiny, daring, and death. It is a tale of kings, and warriors, and of beautiful princesses; but also of poets, pirates, and priests. It is a story to entertain and instruct, to stir the blood, to inflame the senses, to dizzy the mind and rouse the soul. It is one tale but also many, a tale of past, present and perhaps future too…”

Abu Nuwas, the poet, libertine and spy known as the Father of Locks, is usually in trouble of some kind, but this time his problem is serious: he is about to be beheaded, for treason and murder. The Khalifah grants him a final wish, and Abu Nuwas asks for his friend Ismail the Storyteller, to explain how he came to be condemned. Ismail tells tales of the poet’s adventures, and of his bitter rivalry with a Roman assassin; tales which gradually reveal a shocking betrayal, and culminate in a death that will shake the world.

The Khalifah’s Mirror is published by Dedalus Books.

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