I recently saw this book as well as the first volume in the planned three-volume set in the Bay Area in connection with an exhibit of art work from various Shahnameh manuscripts currently on display. In all fairness to the publisher and the author , it should be stated that this is a magnificently illustrated art book, not simply a text. The full-color enlargement pictures of miniature fragments from medieval Persian manuscipts are breathtakingly beautiful, and the high price no doubt reflects the fact that this book was a masterpiece and very expensive to produce. It is exquisitely produced and for those who can afford it well worth the cost. The rest of us should urge our public libraries to acquire it as it gives an in depth knowledge of this ancient history which very few of us are even aware of. This book would surely be a collectors prized possession.
In this second of three planned volumes, Dick Davis continues in his effort to provide a fairly broad translation of the Shahnameh. He effectively utilizes the prosimetrum form, a mixture of verse and prose (naqqali in Farsi), where verse is used to accentuate periods of heightened tension. In addition to being a fine literary accomplishement, this series of volumes is quite beautiful and heavily illustrated throughout with reprints from 16th and 17th century manuscripts. The books are very sturdy and make for excellent display.