The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams

  • Type: Books
  • By: Daniel Nayeri
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: General Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780593743270
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A picaresque journey along the 11th century Silk Road

We first meet pre-teen Omar as he is fleeing a stoning delivered by the monks of his religious community.   As luck would have it, the orphan boy is rescued by one Samir, the Seller of Dreams, an unscrupulous merchant who has big problems of his own.  There are, you see, several assassins on Samir’s trail, each of whom has accepted a contract to silence the garrulous trickster once and for all.   Samir and Omar (now called Monkey) attach themselves to a trading caravan in hopes of remaining one step ahead of the multicultural killers, whose number includes a Viking berserker, a Mongol gunner, a rogue band of Roman infantrymen, and more.

Though there’s plenty of violence in this unusually affecting story, it’s mostly played for laughs.  Furthermore, Monkey is a plucky survivor with a charmingly deadpan delivery who experiences his first crush (on a smart-mouthed blacksmith’s daughter).  Samir is a lovable rogue with a professional-level gift of gab and an amazing talent for talking himself into and out of trouble.  Complete with memorable side characters, plentiful philosophic meanderings, and loads of action, "The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams" is a real keeper.