The One Hundred Nights of Hero

Little, Brown. Dec. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9780316259170. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316259163. F
OrangeReviewStarBeautiful and imaginative, One Hundred Nights of Hero begins, as all good stories do, with a creation myth. The young goddess Kiddo devises a world and delights in watching over its simple yet happy occupants from afar. Her father, the arrogant god BirdMan, doesn't see the point of building a society if it doesn't mean being worshipped for it. He blights Kiddo's universe with a tyrannical BirdMan-centric religion, which promptly leads to miseries we recognize from our own reality. In this troubled realm, a man named Jerome makes a bet with Manfred that Jerome's wife, Cherry, will remain true for 100 nights. If Cherry falters in her virtue, Manfred can keep Jerome's castle and Cherry herself. Fortunately, Cherry's lover/maid Hero is a member of the shadowy League of Secret Story Tellers. Every night, before Manfred makes his attempts on Cherry, Hero transfixes him with a tale. As with any talented Scheherazade, Hero ends each evening on a cliff-hanger. Before Manfred knows it, weeks have passed, and he's gotten nowhere.
VERDICT Greenberg (The Encyclopedia of Early Earth) is a staunch believer in the power of stories, and, like Manfred, readers get sucked into each one she tells. Highly recommended for adult readers, especially those who enjoy mythology and fable.

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