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By Ellen Jackson, Visit Amazon's Kevin O'Malley Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Kevin O'Malley,

The recognized Cinderella and her neighbor Cinder Edna every one labored sunup to sunset for his or her depraved stepmother and stepsisters. yet whereas Cinderella had the nice fortune to be rescued by means of her fairy godmother, Edna was once powerful, self-reliant, spunky--and she lived happier ever after! "Nicely executed....This Cinderella send-up is filled with kid-pleasing jokes."--Publisher's Weekly.

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In your absence, your people have flourished and excelled, in order to make themselves worthy of you when you decided to return. ” Sharyar spoke sharply, “You are going to kill them. Womankind cannot be trusted. My intention before leaving was to kill every woman in the kingdom, if you recall, but I have decided instead to be measured in my dislike. I won’t even kill the one thousand I confined myself to in deference to your reproductive philosophy, which, incidentally, I don’t believe any more.

They embraced and made a vow to return to that place in ten years. If the date pit in the ground had grown into a tree when one of them returned, it meant that the other was dead. “Brother, mourn me if you find the tree,” Shahzaman said. “I will,” Sharyar replied, knowing that he would never return to this place. And with that, the brothers went their separate ways, Shahzaman into the unknown, and Sharyar back to his palace to set in place a new and greater order. In their heart of hearts they both knew that they would never see each other again because at that very moment the paths of the mystic and of the earthly King diverged.

It made Sharyar suspicious from the very beginning that his younger brother appeared so ready to undertake this quest; after all, if Shahzaman had truly wondered if there was anyone greater than himself so woefully betrayed, his question had already been answered: yes, Sharyar, my older brother. So it was only Sharyar’s quest after all, and this made him even more bitter, as Shahzaman seemed more and more at ease. And it was now, after the passage of a year and many months, after trudging through sand dunes and barren rocks and fruitless conversations with circular and angular hermits, after they had exhausted all their provisions and lived solely on the flesh of scorpions and lizards, that Sharyar began to suspect that there was no one greater, and that he had been singularly unfortunate and cursed for eternity with this shame.

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