Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher One of the oldest and best known stories in the world is that of three wise men traveling to Bethlehem. They ride camels and follow a star. A census is taking place and many people travel the ancient roads. Among them are two children. Life is not easy for Mitra and her little brother, Babak, who live on the streets in the city of Rhagae, scratching out a living as best as they can by begging, or stealing. But Mitra is filled with hope and ambition, for she and Babak are not what they seem. They are children of royal blood, but their father’s ill-fated plot against the evil tyrant, King Phraates, has resulted in his death and their own exile. Disguised as a boy, Mitra has never given up believing they can rejoin what is left of their family and regain their rightful standing in the world. Then they discover that Babak has an unusual gift: if he sleeps with an item belonging to someone, he can know that person’s dreams. Mitra believes that they can use this gift to find passage back to the city of Palmyra and their remaining kinsmen. But soon Babak and his abilities come to the attention of a powerful Magus — one who has read portents in the stars of the coming of a new king and the dawn of a new age. Soon Mitra and Babak find themselves on the road to Bethlehem accompanying three wise men and their camels. Susan Fletcher, an Oregon author, whose book Shadow Spinner I also love, returns to ancient Persia in this beautiful written saga. I am in awe of how she skillfully wove facts with fiction, coming up with a very plausible tale of what might have happened in ancient time. A spellbinding read.