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Khaled by F. Marion Crawford
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Khaled (1891)

by F. Marion Crawford

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Wow, what an absolutely great plot summary the other reviewer wrote! I might add that it's a fun read too. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Set in the world of the Arabian Nights, this is the story of a hard-working djinn named Khaled. He is so conscientious that, while watching the parade of princes and sultans seeking the hand of the lovely Princess Zehowah, he takes an Indian prince, who was about to win Zehowah’s hand in marriage, into the desert and kills him. Khaled’s punishment is mitigated by the fact the prince was not a Muslim, and would have treated Zehowah badly back home. He is sent to Earth as a man, and his task is to win Zehowah’s love, in order to gain a soul and enter paradise.

Khaled has nothing to offer Zehowah in the way of silks and jewels, but she decides to marry him (her father, a Sultan, lets her decide) as a political union. There is much talk between them about the real meaning of love. Khaled conquers other tribes, and brings Zehowah more gold and riches, hoping to win her heart, but it doesn’t work. Also taken in battle is Almasta, a woman from Central Asia with flaming red hair. She is given to a local sheik, to be one of his wives. The sheik is found dead. Almasta is given to Zehowah’s father, the Sultan, as one of his wives. He is found dead the next morning, without a mark on him. She is then given to Abdullah, sheik of a tribe of Bedouins camping outside the city. Khaled, now the Sultan, makes it very clear that if Abdullah should suffer an untimely demise, Almasta will be the next one to die.

Abdullah hatches a plot to force Khaled from the Sultanship. His men spread out all over the city, spreading whispers about Khaled. They say that he is a Shiite in a Sunni country, that no one knows his father’s name or the name of his tribe, and that he will hand the city over to the Persians. A member of Abdullah’s tribe tells his cousin, the sheik of the beggars inside the city, and a counter-plan is hatched to keep Abdullah under surveillance at all times while he is in the city. At a convenient moment, Abdullah is to be kidnapped, and held until after the time that he told his followers that he will open up the castle, from the inside, and give away the riches within. Khaled knows nothing about the counter-plan, because he expects to be killed by Abdullah’s men, or captured and then killed.

Few novels have been written about the Arabian Nights; fewer still, that are really good and worth reading. If you can find a copy, the reader will not go wrong with this one. ( )
  plappen | Aug 10, 2008 |
One of F. Marion Crawford's two masterworks of full-length fantasy fiction. The other is "The Witch of Prague." In the introduction to this edition, Lin Carter proclaims that work tiresome. I disagree, but I understand. "The Witch of Prague" is Gothic and weird in a particularly Gothic way. There's sort of a philosophical purpose that must confuse some readers, a heaviness of tone that will repel many.

Nothing like that will be found in "Khaled: A Tale of Arabia." This is a tale as if Sheherazade herself spun it, with magic, and religion, and mystery, and romance, and derring-do in equal measure. And one great, unforgettable character, a murderous Christian woman. The eponymous djinn, Khaled, becomes mortal to earn the love of a princess. As one of the genie he had saved this beautiful princess, and thus gained attention of the Asrael, angel of Death. And with the boon of humanity he gets a shot at immortality. It sounds more complicated than it is.

The tale is a delight, and one of the author's own favorites. ( )
2 vote wirkman | Mar 31, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
F. Marion Crawfordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gallardo, GervasioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034502446X, Paperback)

Khaled belongs with the best of anybody's adult fantasy - a charming adroit and thoroughly mature work, an Eastern escapade which is surely one of the oddest tales ever to be added to the enchantments that grow from djinns.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -0400)

Originally published in 1891. This volume from the Cornell University Library's print collections was scanned on an APT BookScan and converted to JPG 2000 format by Kirtas Technologies. All titles scanned cover to cover and pages may include marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume.… (more)

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