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HARPENDORE


Many moons ago a great king sentenced his innocent wife to death, but every night she tells the king a story, leaving the tale unfinished until the next night so that the king would spare her life to hear the ending. This lasted for one thousand and one Arabian nights, until the king finally released her. This is just one of those tales ‌


Look out for more

The Adventures of Prince Camar and Princess Badoura Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp Gulnare of the Sea Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor The Enchanted Horse The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water The Merchant and the Jinni The Tale of Zubaidah and the Three Qalandars The Adventures of Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad The Three Princes, the Princess and the Jinni Pari Banou The Fisherman and the Jinni The King’s Jester


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HARPENDORE


Published in Great Britain in 2016 by Harpendore Publishing Ltd 34 Priory Road, Richmond TW9 3DF, United Kingdom The name Harpendore® is a registered trade mark of Harpendore Publishing Ltd Text by Kelley Townley copyright © Harpendore Publishing Ltd 2016 Illustrations and cover illustration by Anja Gram copyright © Harpendore Publishing Ltd 2016 Arabian Nights Adventures™, names, characters and related indicia are copyright and trademark Harpendore Publishing Ltd, 2016™ All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Harpendore Publishing or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organisation. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to Harpendore Publishing at the address above. You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose the same condition on any acquirer. A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 978-1-911030-02-7 (paperback)

Designed by Anne-Lise Jacobsen www.behance.net/annelisejacobsen

www.harpendore.co.uk


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C Chapter 1

The Strange Lady

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Chapter 2

The Kingdoms Under The Sea

Chapter 3

The Ill-Tempered Sea King 49

Chapter 4

The Great Sea Battle

Chapter 5

The City of Enchantments 95

Chapter 6

The Rescue

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69

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Chapter 1 The Strange Lady

T

here once was a sultan of Persia called Osman who ruled over the beautiful kingdom of Khorassan from his palace overlooking the sea. Osman had fought many fine battles and won many glorious conquests so the people under his care lived in peace and tranquillity. He was proud of his achievements but they had left him little time to have a family; he had no wife and no children. He lived in a wonderful palace right by the beautiful sea but had nobody to share it with. One day, as Osman watched the

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clouds roll across the sapphire sky, he was told he had a visitor. ‘My Lord,’ said a servant, ‘there is a merchant at the door who says he seeks your wise counsel. He brings with him a veiled lady.’ Osman was greatly intrigued. ‘Bring them in!’ he said. When the merchant entered he bowed low to his ruler and said, ‘Sire, I have with me a woman who is lost and I do not know how to help her.’ The veiled lady with the merchant looked weary and sad. She was wrapped in a simple cloth but even so Osman could see she was unlike any woman he had met before. She was tall and slender with the grace of the waves about her. The merchant

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The Strange Lady

removed her veil and Osman felt the breath leave his chest as he beheld this extraordinary woman. She had delicately pale features and big bold eyes that stared at him, all framed by jet-black hair that fell to her ankles. ‘It seems Your Majesty sees what I see,’ said the merchant. ‘I am but a simple man of simple means; may I leave this great lady in your care, Your Highness?’ Osman could only nod, mesmerised by the woman. He called for attendants to wash and change her, bring her food and drink, and provide the best rooms for her to stay in. The apartment chosen for her was one of the most beautiful in the whole palace, large and spacious with

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beautiful decorations. The main room had doors that opened right onto the golden sands, mere steps from the sea at high tide. While the lady recovered from her travels, Osman sent her many presents: beaded dresses, exotic perfumes, pearl


The Strange Lady

necklaces and bracelets. At the end of three days Osman dressed smartly and styled his hair neatly so that he might call upon the lady. He found her alone in her chamber, magnificently dressed in a lilac gown with her long black hair beautifully brushed and oiled. She was sitting upon a sofa positioned in the open doorway to the beach so that she


Gulnare of the Sea

could stare out at the sea. Osman stood tall and proud, ready to be welcomed into the room, but the lady did not move. He frowned and coughed to get her attention. She turned her head and saw it was him and then turned back to look out to sea again, as if he had been the most insignificant person in the world. ‘What bad manners she has!’ thought Osman. It was clear that she was a great lady by her delicate grace and her softskinned hands, but where on earth had she come from to show such little regard to a sultan? Unsure what to do, Osman could either turn and walk away or he could join her watching the sea. In the end he dropped his kingly

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stature and dragged a chair over to the doorway. Still she did not acknowledge him. He felt awkward and a bit silly sitting there next to a woman who ignored him but after a while, as he watched the water roll in and out, he began to relax. It was actually very pleasant to sit and watch the waves as the birds circled and the sun shone. So nice in fact that he returned the next day and the next. He would talk to the lady about his day and they would sit in comfortable silence together. He enjoyed their time together immensely. The only thing that worried him was that maybe she did not. ‘My dearest,’ said Osman, ‘I come every day to sit with you and yet you never say anything in return or even

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acknowledge that I am here. Are you unhappy? Would you rather I did not come? Is there anything I can do to make you happier? Please, I beg you. Show me a sign that I do not keep you here against your will!’ But the fair lady continued her astonishing reserve, keeping her gaze fixed upon the water through the open doorway. After they had dined together in absolute silence Osman went to the women who looked after the lady and asked them if they had ever heard her speak. The women bowed their heads and said, ‘Sire, we have neither seen her open her lips nor heard her speak since she arrived. At your request we have cared well for her: combed

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and styled her hair, dressed her every morning and undressed her every night, waited upon her in her chamber and delivered her food and drink, and yet still she has never uttered a word. Not one “please” or “thank you” or even a scold. We have often asked, “Madam, is there anything you wish for? Do but ask and command us and you shall have it,” but still she remains completely quiet. And this is all we can tell Your Majesty.’ Although Osman was relieved to hear it was not just him that got the silent treatment, he was very worried that something must be terribly wrong with the lady. He tried everything to bring her out of her shell, every game and amusement to bring her to life

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but nothing worked. One day he even offered to kiss her. She did not push him away but she still did not speak. ‘Would you like to get married!’ he asked in desperation. ‘We could be husband and wife and watch the sea together until we grow old!’ Again she did not resist and so a wedding was planned and a dress was made and together they became a married couple, but still she did not speak. A year past and Osman had almost given up hope of ever hearing her voice. ‘My queen,’ he said sadly as they sat and watched the rolling of the mighty waves one evening. ‘If you love me won’t you please show me a sign? It breaks my heart to think you might

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be unhappy.’ To his utter astonishment the lady turned away from the sea to look at him. Not only that but her usually rigid features broke into a genuine smile that lit up her entire face. Osman looked at her in shock and excitement and the lady’s cheeks flushed pink with the attention. ‘Dear husband,’ she said softly. ‘Now that I have spoken I have so many things to say that I don’t know where to start! However, I think the first thing I should do is thank Your Majesty for all the kindness you have shown me, for all the favours and honours you have so graciously given me.’ Osman just stared at her in awe and

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she blushed even more. ‘And the second thing I should tell you, my love, is that we are soon to have a child.’ At this Osman fell to his knees at her feet and put his head in her hands and kissed them. Then he jumped up and down and paced the room. Now it was he who was speechless! Next he dashed out of the room but in such a manner that he might soon return and he marvelled at her peal of laughter as


The Strange Lady

he called for his Grand Vizier. As soon as the man arrived Osman ordered him to distribute a thousand pieces of gold among the poorest people of his land by way of returning thanks to Heaven for this most wonderful of news. Once he had calmed down Osman returned to his wife. This time they sat facing each other. ‘Dearest love,’ he said. ‘Do not answer if you do not wish, as the fact you are talking now is more than enough


Gulnare of the Sea

for me, but I am desperate to know of your past. Tell me, my dearest soul, what were the powerful reasons that kept you silent for so long?’ The queen sighed. ‘I thank you for your patience. My behaviour may have seemed extreme but you must put yourself in my position. I have suffered a great trauma: my home destroyed, my family torn apart and then I was lost in a foreign world where no one understood me, nor me them. No longer free, I was passed from one master to the next until I was finally given to you. I yearned to be with my family again but I was also very afraid of what might have happened to them. All I could do was sit here every day and watch the sea.’

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The king began to feel very bad. He had thought a lost woman with no money or family would be very happy living in a palace married to the sultan, but he had not thought about the terrible sadness in losing your home and your family. ‘I am sorry,’ he said. The queen nodded. ‘I thought I would always hate you,’ she said. ‘He who would presume to share my company without invitation, without even knowing my name!’ At this Osman hung his head in shame. ‘But you have shown me much kindness and I have grown to love you.’ Osman looked up hopeful. ‘You do? But that is wonderful because I love

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you too!’ ‘You cannot truly love me,’ said the lady sternly, ‘because you do not know who I am.’ ‘Then tell me, please,’ said Osman, ‘and I will fall in love with you all over again.’ ‘We will see,’ she said, and she began her tale.


Chapter 2 The Kingdoms Under The Sea

‘M

y name is Princess Gulnare, Rose of the Sea. My father was one of the kings of the ocean. When he died, he left his kingdom to my brother, Saleh. Although young, Saleh was a good king and ruled well, until another king decided to invade us with a mighty army. We were completely unprepared and he stormed into the castle and took over our kingdom! We were just able to escape without capture! ‘My brother vowed to fight back against the tyrant and rescue our

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people from his control, but he worried for my safety. “Dear sister,” he said, “if I should fail in my attempt to win back our kingdom they will come looking to hurt you in revenge. To prevent this, and to secure you from all affairs of this war under the water, I wish to place you on a remote island above the waves, in the land of men.” ‘At this I fell into a violent passion. “Brother,” I said, “I am just as responsible for the people as you are. They are our father’s people and we are here to protect them! I can no more abandon them than you can. If you fail, I fail! We will succeed together or lose together!” ‘Needless to say my brother would hear none of it. We fought bitterly

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about it until at last I was dragged kicking and screaming away from my family when it needed me the most. I broke free of the folk who carried me and I washed up ashore with nothing but moonlight on a beach in your lands. ‘Unused to life on land I struggled to adapt. A man came and spoke words at me that I did not understand. He took me with him and gave me shelter and food but then grew angry with me when I didn’t do what he wanted me to, so he gave me to another man. Gave me! Like an object or a piece of meat! Although gentler, this man also said things to me that I did not understand, using sounds that were meaningless to me. After a while he

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too grew tired of me and gave me to you.’ The sultan looked sheepish. When said like that it did sound bad. ‘As for Your Majesty,’ Gulnare continued, ‘you took me and confined me in these rooms knowing nothing about me. Every day I have sat and stared at the sea thinking any moment I could get up and dive back in. I could return to my family and my home, but I am scared about what I might find there. Did they win? Did they all die? And yet every day you came to sit with me, speaking your strange words until they began to make sense, and every day I have wanted to leave a tiny bit less. And now we are to have a child together and I feel no more the pull

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of the sea.’ ‘Dearest Gulnare, my beautiful wife,’ said Osman, holding his wife tenderly. ‘What wonders you have told me! And now I can truly say I love you even more for the bravery and courage you have shown. But please, will you tell me more? I have heard of the people from the sea but believed it to be a myth! How is it possible for you to live or move in the water without being drowned?’ Queen Gulnare laughed. ‘It is not so difficult. We can walk and move through the sea with as much ease as you can upon land. We can breathe in the water as you do in the air. Down below the waves there is a whole nation of other people. We have day

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and night, farms and traders, parties and funerals. The ocean bed is much more spacious than the dry earth so there are a great number of us. In fact there are a large number of nations, differing in manners and customs,


The Kingdoms Under The Sea

just as upon the land.’ Osman was fascinated. ‘Tell me more.’ Gulnare thought and said, ‘The palaces of the kings and queens are very sumptuous and magnificent. Some of them are made of marble or rock crystal which is bountiful below the waves. And then they are decorated with mother-of-pearl, coral, gold, silver, and all sorts of precious stones that are plentiful also.’ She lifted the pearl necklace that Osman had given her. ‘Although only the poorest person would ever wear the common pearl.’ Osman looked horrified and the queen laughed. ‘Do not worry, dear husband. I understand to you this was a great gift.’


Gulnare of the Sea

‘I will find you a much better gift!’ he declared in earnest, but the queen pulled him back into her arms. ‘You wish to know how we travel?’ she asked, and Osman nodded eagerly. ‘We are all so fast in the water that we can transport ourselves wherever we please in the twinkling of an eye, thus there is little call for carriages or horses. But for special occasions we breed fine seahorses that parade and entertain us. Some of us take great delight in riding them, showing others our skill and dexterity in races and pageants. Others use them to pull highly decorated chariots of gold and mother-of-pearl, decorated with shells in all the colours of the rainbow.’ ‘You speak of this world with such

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joy,’ said Osman. ‘You must miss it dearly.’ The queen looked wistfully out to sea. ‘I do. But do not fear, with a child on the way I will not leave you. Maybe though it is time to send a message to my family?’ Osman stood up. ‘Of course! We must! It is only proper that I should formally ask for the hand of Princess Gulnare in marriage from her family – even if it is a little late,’ he admitted. ‘I am sure they would very much like to meet the father of their newest relative too,’ smiled Gulnare. So while Osman called for his Grand Vizier to make preparations for the royal sea visitors, Queen Gulnare gathered some supplies with which to

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make the call. She asked one of her women to bring her a brazier and lit a small fire in its metal dish. Then she took a piece of aloeswood, which is an aromatic heartwood, heavy with resin, that smokes and releases a wonderful smell when it is burned. As the smoke rose she spoke in a tongue Osman had never heard. The wispy trails did swirl and turn about until they formed shadow-like versions of dolphins and fish which flew through the air and then dived into the waters. ‘Now, we must wait and see if they come,’ she said. They did not have to wait long. Within a moon the seas began to churn and froth and the waves grew high and dramatic. Queen Gulnare

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rushed out onto the beach in great excitement while Osman hung back at the edge of the doorway and worried for her safety. ‘Stay there awhile,’ she called to him, a beaming smile on her windswept face. And so he stayed, quite gladly, although quite concerned for his wife as the sea grew wilder until a great wave rose above them and Osman called out in fear as it crashed down upon the sands to reveal a legion of shiny armoured warriors not unlike Queen Gulnare herself with their sharp, white features and long black hair. As Osman watched in awe the soldiers seemed to assess the situation

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and once satisfied another wave broke onto the beach to reveal among them a tall, handsome young man wearing a costly looking suit of shimmery blue with a tiny silver crown


The Kingdoms Under The Sea

upon his head. Beside him was a lady, advanced in years but of a majestic air, dressed in a fine gown of pearly white to match the ghostly stripe in her otherwise black hair. ‘Mother! Brother!’ cried Gulnare and she dashed forwards to embrace them. The aged sea queen mother cried salt tears to see her daughter safe and well.


Gulnare of the Sea

Her brother hugged her tightly also and said, ‘We are so delighted to have found you again! But what is this? You have grown fat!’ Gulnare laughed. ‘I am with child!’ she declared, and with sudden anger the mighty sea king lost his smile and drew his sword! The legion of warriors quickly followed suit. ‘Who did this!’ cried the sea king. ‘I will have his head!’ From the doorway of the queen’s chamber Osman shook with fear as he watched the sea people exchange words he did not understand and saw blue fire erupt from the outraged sea king’s nose and mouth! Gulnare did not seem worried however. ‘Worry not, dear brother. Come here

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and meet my husband!’ All the sea people turned and looked towards Osman intently, and suddenly he wasn’t too sure about meeting his wife’s family after all. Gulnare skipped ahead, however, and pulled him out regardless, presenting him to her brother and king. King Saleh of the sea was young but he had a great royal presence. ‘How dare you take my sister’s hand without asking me first!’ he roared. Osman understood enough to sink to one knee and beg forgiveness but Gulnare pulled him back up. ‘It is hardly his fault,’ she said. ‘I did not speak to him until yesterday.’ Osman looked between the siblings and hoped his wife was not making

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things worse as the sea king looked crosser and crosser. ‘You got married without talking to each other!?’ her brother cried. This time the queen mother shuffled forward. ‘My dearest daughter,’ she said, ‘truly we are just glad to find you safe and sound. Pray let us sit and you can tell us all about it.’ And so the strange party were given seats and tables right there on the beach while servants brought out food and drink for them all to enjoy. A vast array of tasty dishes: roasted lamb, buttered chicken, fragrant rice, hurige pancakes, mango pickle, fresh ginger and the like, but no seafood – as Osman suspected that any such food he could provide would never rival the

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sea people’s diet. King Saleh continued to eye Osman suspiciously throughout the meal as he chewed his land-born lamb, but as Gulnare told them her tale he began to laugh and soften towards the great ruler of the land, much to Osman’s relief. ‘Ask them how your kingdom fares,’ he said to Gulnare. King Saleh looked pleased that his sister’s new husband should ask this question and raised his cup to the man. ‘There was a great battle but we have retaken our kingdom and all is well. Will you return with us, Gulnare?’ Osman could guess what the sea king had asked as Gulnare sighed, then

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smiled wistfully. Under the table he reached for her hand and squeezed it. She turned to look at him. ‘I am delighted to hear our home is once again safe,’ she said. ‘I miss it dearly, but truly I have found something here I never knew was missing. I am happy and wish to stay with my husband.’ The queen mother cried but she smiled too. Osman was worried and confused – did Gulnare say yes or no? King Saleh looked away and sniffed, as if he did not mind either way, but there was a tear in his eye. ‘Very well. If you are truly happy then you should remain,’ he said. Gulnare threw her arms around her husband and declared with a kiss that

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she was indeed truly happy. The sea people returned to the sea the next day and Osman had to admit to a feeling of relief – they were imposing people full of power and majesty. Gulnare rubbed her round belly happily. ‘They will come again when the child is born,’ she said, and Osman felt a twinge of panic. ‘You had better start teaching me your language and customs,’ he said, already counting the days. Sure enough, shortly after Sultan Osman and Queen Gulnare had their baby the sea people returned. The kingdom of Khorassan was in full celebration for the new little prince who was named Beder. Flags lined

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the streets and the people danced and sang all day long. Osman beamed proudly as Gulnare’s family once again appeared out of the sea to behold the new baby. ‘He is a fine-looking prince!’ declared King Saleh, and Osman beamed even more. The sea king then scooped the child into his own arms and rocked him. Osman turned to Gulnare. ‘Your brother is very good with children … um, where is he going?’ Osman was suddenly filled with fear as King Saleh walked straight towards the waves with the tiny baby still in his arms. Then he entered the water! Osman dashed forward but the shiny armoured warriors blocked his way. He

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watched in alarm as the sea king kept on walking until both he and child were completely submerged. Osman cried out in despair; surely his son would drown! ‘Do not fear,’ said Gulnare. ‘My brother would never harm our child. It is right and proper that little Beder should embrace the sea as soon as possible so that he may know both equally. See now how his uncle returns, and brings him safely back to us.’ The sea frothed and out came the sea king carrying young Beder who remained as calm as when he went in. Osman reached for his son as soon as he could. ‘Sir,’ said the sea king, ‘did you suffer a great fright when you first saw me

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plunge into the sea with the prince, my nephew?’ ‘I did,’ he admitted. ‘Never forget,’ said the sea king, ‘that your son is as much from the sea as he is from the land.’ Osman bowed low and then King Saleh called forth a gift he had brought. It was a huge chest woven from seaweed filled with diamonds and rubies the size of pigeons’ eggs and emerald wands each as long as a forearm. It is impossible to express how greatly Osman was surprised at the sight of such riches, but it would go a long way in ensuring the peace and prosperity of his lands and people. Gulnare’s family stayed for as long as they could but eventually they had to


The Kingdoms Under The Sea

return to their own kingdom. Osman desperately wished he could visit the underwater world of the sea people to see its wonders for himself but alas, although the sea people can come on land it is not possible for land people to go beneath the waves. With tears in her eyes Gulnare stood next to her husband with little Prince Beder in her arms and waved her family goodbye. It was going to be a much more different life for her than she had ever imagined.


The Arabian Nights tales are some of the most enduringly entertaining stories ever written. Compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age, numerous tales depict legends, sorcery and magic intermingled with real people, places and events. Some tales are framed within other tales while others are perfectly self-contained. The result is a superb collection of richly layered narratives; whether adventure, historical, tragic, comic or romantic, they have delighted audiences for centuries. Arabian Nights Adventures is a wonderful collection of children’s books that brings this rich heritage to life. Instead of a vast compendium of stories, each book in the series is devoted to a single tale from The Nights. The best tales have been selected. There are traditional favourites such as Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, and less well-known gems such as Gulnare of the Sea, The Enchanted Horse, The Merchant and the Jinni and more. Kelley Townley provides masterful contemporary renderings of these ancient treasures while Anja Gram’s illustrations are full of the spice, wit and magic of the stories themselves. The series style is


fresh and vibrant and the print inside is clear and beautifully typeset. When placed on bookshelves the distinctive spines reveal a wonderful image that grows as new stories are added: a design made specially for one thousand and one nights’ tales! And with the highest of editorial standards and attention to detail, this series will delight readers everywhere and bring the Islamic Golden Age gloriously to life.

Kelley Townley trained as a teacher and gained her MA in creative writing with distinction from Bath Spa University. She may be found either writing children’s stories – happily losing herself in the dream world of the human imagination – or plotting new ways to engage readers, which are the same things really. Kelley lives near Bath with her family, the writer’s obligatory cats and an ever growing number of woodlice.

Anja Gram has illustrated numerous children’s books and magazines. Her highly distinctive style captivates and endears readers around the world. She lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.


1

The Adventures of Prince Camar and Princess Badoura

2

Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp ISBN 978-1-911030-01-0

3

Gulnare of the Sea

ISBN 978-1-911030-02-7

4

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

ISBN 978-1-911030-03-4

5

The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor

ISBN 978-1-911030-04-1

6

The Enchanted Horse

ISBN 978-1-911030-05-8

7

The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree ISBN 978-1-911030-06-5 and the Golden Water

8

The Merchant and the Jinni

ISBN 978-1-911030-07-2

9

The Tale of Zubaidah and the Three Qalandars

ISBN 978-1-911030-08-9

Adventures of Harun 10 The al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad

ISBN 978-1-911030-09-6

Three Princes, the Princess 11 The and the Jinni Pari Banou

ISBN 978-1-911030-10-2

12 The Fisherman and the Jinni

ISBN 978-1-911030-11-9

13 The King’s Jester

ISBN 978-1-911030-12-6

ISBN 978-1-911030-00-3


The complete Arabian Nights Adventures series and individual titles are available from leading bookstores or may be ordered direct from the publisher: Harpendore Publishing Limited 34 Priory Road, Richmond TW9 3DF, United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0)20 3667 3600 Email: enquiries@harpendore.co.uk Website: www.harpendore.co.uk TO ORDER: Please quote title, author and ISBN, your full name and the address where the order is to be sent. Contact us for the latest prices (including postage and packing) and availability information. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to: ‘Harpendore Publishing Limited’ All our titles may also be purchased online via our website at www.harpendore.co.uk For a complete list of titles and the latest catalogue visit www.harpendore.co.uk


A mysterious lady is brought to the palace of a great sultan, but she utters not a word and does nothing but stare at the sea – all day, every day. As her story unfolds we are treated to a sumptuous tale of sorcery, enchantment, magical transformations and adventure. With twists and turns in abundance, the story of Gulnare remains one of the enduringly entertaining tales from The Arabian Nights. Prepare to be spellbound by this sparkling new retelling full of sea kings, sorceress queens, magnificent underwater kingdoms and raging under-the-sea battles!

Look out for more Arabian Nights Adventures www.harpendore.co.uk

ISBN 978-1-911030-07-2 978-1-911030-02-7 ISBN

HARPENDORE

9 781911

030027

Gulnare of the Sea (preview)  

Book 3 from the Arabian Nights Adventures series

Gulnare of the Sea (preview)  

Book 3 from the Arabian Nights Adventures series

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