Saturday, October 3, 2015
Review: A Thousand Nights
Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E. K. Johnston
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: I was lucky enough to get this from the publisher through NetGalley
My rating: 5 stars
Lo-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.
An so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. 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 rises and sets, 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 tu unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.
Far away, 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.
Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. 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 the rule of a monster.
A Thousand Nights is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, and simply because of that many will compare it to The Wrath and the Dawn. That shouldn't happen, in my opinion, as they are completely different books with completely different stories.
One thing about this book, that I didn't even realise until the very end, was that none of the characters had any names besides Lo-Melkhiin. I've never experienced that before, having a nameless heroine. I think it really worked in this book, and it was obvious that everything was thought through.
The element of magic in the story was so fascinating, and it made it really unique. Even though nothing was explained in detail, it didn't matter. I didn't feel like I didn't understand what was happening, we got to know exactly what we needed, but nothing more. The feeling of not understanding everything was so fun and thrilling, and made me want to continue on.
This book is not fast paced at all. It's slow and builds up until the very end. Personally, I didn't mind that at all. I've been reading a lot of fast paced books lately, and I really enjoyed something that was slower for once. But if you need something to happen all the time, I don't think this book is the right one for you.
On of my favourite things about his story was the setting. I could picture everything in my head, and it was all so amazing. I could imagine how the city and the qasr looked like. And the small villages near the wadi, they seemed so nice and like a big family. This story seemed so realistic with the setting, considering the fact that it's supposed to take place in the Middle East. I have to admit that I've never been there, so I may be wrong, but again, it just seemed so realistic, without information being pushed on the reader. Everything came naturally.
I would definitely recommend this to, well basically everyone. Especially if they like fairy-tale retellings, stories set somewhere else than the US or England or people that like fantasy. I know I will be buying this as a christmas present to some of my friends, so they can read it as well.
Here are some of the places you can buy the book:
Book Depository (Affiliate link, worldwide)