Samarkand by Amin Maalouf


The story of Samarkand is very long, not by the count of pages, but by the extent of time in history that it takes us through. Obviously, as the name suggests, it’s the story of ‘the philosopher of the world’ and a great poet from the East, Omar Khayyam. The book is written in four parts, as it takes us through many emotional moments in the saga of Persian history, clash of cultures, war, triumph and defeat, and serene love. It starts with the poets’ early days, his love affair, solitude and divine life.
‘Samarkand’ stories seem to end midway, when it suddenly takes us to the tales of triumphant exploration on the manuscript of ‘Rubaiyat’, Khayyam’s master piece work to the world, which was ‘hidden’ for centuries as it had changed hands many a time. The manuscript remains intact, even after the invasion by the Mongol, Genghis Khan and subsequently setting ablaze Persia’s best libraries.
The manuscript of Samarkand – “Rubaiyat” ends up in the hands of beautiful princess, Shireen, grand daughter of Shah of Persia, who later reveals it to her long time lover. They read together the quatrains of the text in their secret rendezvous, the sublime beauty of which could only be cherished with spirit and beauty at your side!

“Some wine! Let it be as pink as your cheeks
And my regrets as light as your locks”

Annals from the history of Orient, the scented petals of love, as these help cleanse our souls and intoxicate our spirits to last….for ever!

Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group (September 1, 2003)
Pages 312
ISBN-13: 9781566562935

Reviewer: Kevin

Recommendation: 4/5


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