Still not entirely sure how I should feel about this book. It’s gorgeous and ugly all at once. Love the art - the geometric Islamic stuff is stunning to behold. The story is a bit of a disjointed fairy tale, weaving between the modern world and a 1001 Nights world. But it creeped me the hell out when within the first few pages a 9 year old girl is sold by her father to a much older man, and he has (admittedly implied) sex with her – gotta tell you, I threw up in my mouth a little. And then she has to prostitute herself to survive and then she’s kidnapped and enslaved in a harem, and then she’s impregnated and then her baby disappears, oh and look a bunch of women from the harem are stuck in weighted bags and thrown in a river....it’s all relentlessly grim. I know out in the real world women are far, far too often horribly treated, and it just depresses the hell out of me. I guess there’s a positive ending, but there is a lot of grim shit to wade through first.
I felt like the art outshone the story. On the basis of the art I have to recommend it. But the other aspects I mentioned make me hesitant to give it a whole-hearted endorsement.