One Thousand and One Nights 7
May 20, 2009
Uh… huh. So the story that Sehara tells in this volume is one that takes place during the Iraq war. I was not expecting a “modern” story like that. It’s a clever critique given the fact that the current plot of the story is dealing with the Crusaders invading Baghdad. There’s even a nice segue into the story. The English king doesn’t understand why it is that the citizens of Baghdad aren’t more pleased by the fact he has gotten rid of their tyrant king, and shortly after this question, Sehara tells his story.
I was pretty bummed that the next story was taking place in modern times (because, really, Sehara can tell stories set in the future?), but it was actually a really great story, and made me forget that it was supposed to be commentary. A soldier named Joseph winds up with a young boy who is running a suicide bombing mission to an oil field. Along the way, we learn the boy’s circumstances and how it was he came to do what he’s doing. The boy also tells a story-within-a-story about the Tower of Babel when a sandstorm unearths a ziggurat on the way to the oil field. The boy’s circumstances have nothing to do with religion, and actually, religion doesn’t come up as a driving force for anybody in this story. It worked out much different than I expected, and is in turn sad, uplifting, and horribly depressing. It’s got good and bad people on both sides. Notably, the little boy and his sister look like young versions of Shahryar and Sehara.
Now, the soldiers at the beginning of the story are using RPGs. Yen Press has footnoted this, but I actually ran across the term yesterday in Banana Fish and didn’t know what it meant (Rocket Propelled Grenades). The fact that I ran across this term I had never heard before twice in two days, both times in a girls’ comic, kind of blew my mind.
Aside from Sehara talking with the King of England and Shahryar realizing his mistake and turning back around for Baghdad, not much is going on in the main part of the story. It does leave off on a horrible cliffhanger with the possibility of Sehara being taken by the Crusaders, so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next volume and the next story to be told. The fact that the storytelling is good enough to pull off a story about the Iraq War in the middle of a story about the Crusaders invading Baghdad says a lot about how good the stories really are in this series, and how much I like Sehara and Shahryar. I’m a bit sad we won’t get to see better times between the two of them any time soon, though.
This is a review copy provided by Yen Press.