A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston | Book Review #118

25337864Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next. And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. But back in their village her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air in it’s place. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun sets and rises, and she is not dead. Night after night Lo-Melkhiin comes to her, and listens to the stories she tells and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong. The words she speaks to him every night are given strange life of their own. She makes things appear. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to rule of a monster.

I was given a copy of A Thousand Nights via Disney-Hyperion on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The fact that I was given a copy in no way depicts how I feel about this book.

A Thousand Nights is written by E.K. Johnston, and this is actually the first book I’ve read by her! I was pleasently surprised by my love for some of the characters.

The way that A Thousand Nights was written is nothing short of magical. The story flows so effortlessly, and so beautifully. In fact, there were only a few times that I felt that I was in fact reading a story, and not actually living in this one. There’s almost a lyrical style to her writing.

The beginning of this book is definitely a slow one. I honestly think that the story doesn’t really start rolling, or get all that interesting until about halfway through the book. The first half of the book is very slow. You could tell that the story was building up. While I was reading the book though, I really thought that the book would amount to nothing at all. I thought and felt that the book would remain static throughout. However, I reminded myself that A Thousand Nights is a retelling of Arabian Nights / One Thousand and One Nights, and since I had read a similar book I knew that the story wouldn’t end in a boring way.

A Thousand Nights started to pick up during the halfway point. In my opinion though, things really started rolling and picking up pace around the 60% mark. I’m so glad that the story’s pace picked up because if the story continued to be slow I wouldn’t have finished it as quickly as I had.

By the end of the book, the story had moved so quickly, so efficiently that I was honestly left feeling giddy, and I wanted more of this story. And even though I feel this way about A Thousand Nights, I’m glad that this book is a stand alone novel. I’m glad because if there were to be a second book, I feel like the story would outrun and exhaust itself.

Something that I hadn’t noticed while reading, is that none of the characters are given a name except for the antagonist. It’s really something special that Johnston managed to write a whole story where the none of the characters have a name that we know of. I guess that’s beautiful in a way. That we can read the story, and place people we already know in these characters places.

With A Thousand Nights being a retelling, of course there are going to be similarities that occur in this novel. A Thousand Nights is actually pretty blunt and to the point, but there’s the fairy tale vibe to this story that I can’t explain.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book, and getting to know the characters.

Thank you for reading my review on A Thousand Nights! If you’ve read this book, or plan to pick the book up, tell me what you end up thinking about the book, would you? I’d love to hear what you thought.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this novel, you can click the beautiful cover above, and you’ll be lead to A Thousand Nights on Goodreads! — I also suggest that you look closely at the cover! It’s honestly so beautiful. 


[(September 5, 2016) EDIT: Turns out, A Thousand Nights is not a standalone.]

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