Maryam Tabibzadeh has released a fascinating historical saga of the love affair between the king of the Persian empire and the princess of Armenia, based on a true story which is set in the 6th century. Husro and Shirin follow the individual lives of three people across three cities, exploring the intimate details of their lives in Iran during this period. Through the loves and losses of these characters and the telling and retelling of the stories, the reader is allowed to experience Ancient Persian culture from the inside. From the architecture of the palaces to the rules governing relationships between men and women, the texture of this rich culture permeates the book and interweaves the realities of the time and place with the lives of these characters. By highlighting the importance of poetry in Persian culture, there are poems/songs throughout the novel which speaks of the love, tragedy, and joy that these characters experience over the years.Speaking from a place of great familiarity with the culture, Tabibzadeh takes the reader through time to experience the feeling of these characters. Tabibzadeh- tells the tale of Parviz and Shirin in a practiced, polished manner, capturing the poetry of the ancient story and its worldview: “That evening, when the night spread its hair, covering the world in darkness, Parviz went home and recited his prayers.”
Describing the sources of inspiration and material for her novel, Tabibzadeh credits “This novel is the translation of beautiful Epic verses written by Nezami the famous Persian poet in the 12th century based on the true love story that rivals the Romeo and Juliette and is sweeter than any other romance you have ever read. I got some facts from another famous Poet Ferdowsi in the 10th century also.