Prince of Stars in the Cavern of Time

Ian Dennis, Author Overlook Press $22.5 (480p) ISBN 978-0-87951-298-9
Though published in England as two separate books, this one-volume edition incorporating Bagdad and The Prince of Stars gives coherence to an entertaining adventure story cum political satire. In medieval Bagdad, the Caliphate executes Salim bin Haubut, aka the Moderate Man, the symbol of social common sense. As a result, the left-leaning Ripe Fruit Party foments revolution. The city's empress flees for her life, along with the wimpish heir apparent (the eponymous prince of stars) and various hangers-on. The vestige of the court party is pursued by the vanguard of the ``ripe fruits,'' who hope to wipe out the royal line. After many vicissitudes, the prince succeeds in destroying the revolutionaries, shedding some of his lassitude in the process, and returns to Bagdad as its ruler. This humorous send-up of political extremists is also a parody of Arabian literature, brimming with parables and inscrutable, amusing allusions to the ineffable ``That Which Is Within.'' (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
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