In The Palace of a Thousand Doors Shlomit Cohen-Assif creates a magical world with its own laws. Mirthilia is the name of the kingdom she describes, and in it live a king and a queen, a prince and a princess, good fairies, sorcerers and monsters. It is a better world than ours, because the forces of good defeat the forces of evil and the problems which arise are destined to be solved.
The prince of the kingdom, an infant who is just learning to walk, arouses his parents` concern. He limps when he walks, and the king issues an arbitrary decree saying that if his son limps, all the children in the kingdom must limp. The good fairy comes to the aid of the children and discovers that an evil wizard has sewn shoes for the prince which make him limp. She overpowers the wizard, banishes him from the kingdom and sews the prince better shoes. In another fable, the king, who is too busy with himself, decides to grow a fabulous mustache, and neglects the affairs of the kingdom. The day is saved by a cat who scratches the king`s face. In order to treat the scratch, says the doctor, they must first shave the mustache. Without his mustache, the king becomes once again a balanced man, like before, and even admits that the cat who scratched him did him a favor.
And what of the princess? She is no longer a girl, and on her birthday she receives a necklace on which are strung twenty-seven gemstones. Each stone is an amulet which will protect the princess and bring her love. One day, as she is riding in the forest on her horse, a storm breaks out; the chain is torn from her neck and the gemstones are scattered. The princess overcomes the loss, since she has many other necklaces. In the meantime, the gemstones from the lost chain turn up in the forest from time to time and are collected by various people. And if a young man in love happens to find a gemstone, he strings it on a thread and gives it to his beloved as a gift.
Illustrations: Tammy Zinamon