Firdaws? preserved the pre-Islamic tradition of stories of Iranian Kings to the present. His work is the archetype of Persian language, influencing overwhelmingly the formation of Persian literature. The creation of the Sh?hn?ma influenced the storytelling tradition in Iran, for it shaped systematically the preexisting repertoire of Iranian storytellers. This book focuses on various aspects of the Book of Kings: the historical background of the creation of the Sh?hn?ma; its tradition from the Ghaznavid period to the 20th century; the concepts of Islam and nationalism which are of fundamental importance for understanding storytelling in modern Iran; the social aspects of storytelling in modern Iran; and the modern and traditional aspects of the art of storytelling performance.