9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Shahnameh the book of kings,
This review is from: Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions) (Paperback)
This is a very readable book . It is clear and is written in a fluent English. The poems were translated in a matching style which had enhanced the story even when you have not read the original Persian text. The engraving are appropriately selected to enhance the book.
My only concern is that the author did not provide a map to help the reader to know were on earth those battles were. This is specially crucial for non-Persian and young Iranians who have no knowledge of the geography of the time
This book is invaluable and is a must for all Iranians abroad since they have never had a chance to read Shahnameh in Farsi. They might have read a poem from her and there. But never read the whole story to know what is it about.In the mind of most Iranians the intention of the book was to revive the Iranian language and preserve it.It has certainly done that.
But, the stories of the Kings, in the mind of Iranian both at home and abroad who had never read the original text from the beginning to the end, has created a false sense of glory of the past. The deposed "Shah" was the main advocate of this false legend. When you read this book, in prose not in poems, the truth about medieval Persia penetrates through. It shows the cruel system and the powerful network of the Zoroasterian Mullahs who were controlling every aspect of the country life. Even when the king should die or make a tiny domestic decisions etc. Then One would start wonder if the present Islamic Republic of Iran is any different. The king is missing . But the king in old Iran was only a figure head subjected to extreme manipulation by the mullahs(Does this remind you of Ahmadynedjad ).
The reason Iran was captured so quickly and people accepted Islam was the rigid social strata and the the extreme interference of the Zoroasterian Mullahs(which is the same in the present situation in Iran)in their daily life which had suffocated their minds.