"A charming and agreeable surprise... A welcome gift to Western readers." --Kirkus Reviews "Editor Jayyusi offers a major example of the Arabic folk epics or romances called siras... The siras are full of heroic adventures, exotic landscapes, love affairs, friendships, supernatural dangers, magical spells, and great Arab heroes.... " --Library Journal "This text should find its place alongside the translations of other epic traditions of the world as a text well suited for use in university courses on the Middle East, world literature, epic, and folklore." --Journal of Arabic Literature This colorful panorama recounts the fantastic tales of a sixth-century Arab king and offers unusual perspectives on gender, religion, race, and ethnicity. Composed between the 13th and 16th centuries and presented here in English for the first time.