While traveling in Arabia to make allies for the Fables against the Adversary, Snow discovers her ambassador status will not protect her from marriage to the Sultan and death in the morning. The Sultan has married and killed the women of his kingdom, and the Wazir must offer his own daughter Scheherazade in marriage. He decides to offer Snow in her place. Snow discovers too late what has happened and decides to try and delay execution by entertaining the Sultan with stories from her life.
This is the prequel to the series Fables. Some of the major characters from the series are introduced through Snow's tales. We learn about Snow, Red Rose, the Frog Prince, Old King Cole, Frau Totenkinder, and many others. I liked learning more about some of these characters. Having some of their background makes you appreciate more how these characters are being presented in this series. Their stories are not all happy, they are rather dark. The series is meant for adults, but it is also because Snow picks these stories to try and win sympathy from the Sultan. She is there as an ambassador.
The artwork is beautiful, and does an excellent job depicting the emotions of the tales. Some are exquisitely drawn while others are simpler with lots of colors. Each is well suited to the story they convey. It is a pleasure to read this book and the rest of the series simply for the incredible artwork that is included.
This is an excellent introduction to the Fables series. It gives the reader a sense of how the tales are brought together to create a magnificent retelling of the classic fairy tales. There are some clever mixing of the characters and tales, which I appreciate. I do not want to give away anything, so I won't go into detail, but I do not think anyone will be disappointed in the way the stories are presented.
I highly recommend reading this book and continuing on with the series.