The Language of the Heart
By Joel Epstein
Ziryab, the Blackbird of Baghdad, born in a hovel to Ethiopian slaves, grew to be the greatest musician of the Golden Age of Arabia. On his way to greatness, he does battle with an evil wizard who hates music, vanquishes demons, outsmarts pirates, and uses the magic of music to rescue princesses and whole villages.
This book is based on the true story of Ziryab, born Ali Ibn Nafi in Baghdad in the year 789 AD. Few facts are known about his life, but much is known about the Golden Age in which he lived: the age of Aladdin and Scheherazade and Sindbad the sailor, a world of Djinni and magic. So it is not unlikely - indeed it is probable - that the magic retold in this tale did indeed swirl about Ziryab, and that the magic of his music proved more powerful than all the other.
For this story, as much as it is about Ziryab, is a story about music - the power of music to move the human heart, the magic of music to bridge from the material world to the spiritual world, the call of music to reach across barriers of nationality, religion and language to unify people. Indeed, Music is the Language of the Heart.