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: It is the nineteenth century and the kingdom of persia is at a turning point. When a young king, shah naser, takes to the throne he inherits a medieval, enchanted world. But beyond the court, the greater forces of colonisation and industrialisation close in. The shah's grand vizier sees only one solution - to open up to the outside world, and to bring persia into modernity. But the shah's mother fiercely opposes the vizier's reforms and sets about poisoning her son's mind against his advisor. With bloody battles, intrigue and extraordinary characters, the king brings a historical moment brilliantly to life. Reading as fairy tale and shedding light on a pivotal period in history, the king confirms kader abdolah as one of the world's most engaging storytellers.