Review: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

Author: E. K. Johnston
21524446Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Source: ebook (given by Netgalley)


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.
And 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 to 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.

*The publisher provided this book in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.*
The very powerful king Lo-Melkhiin is searching for a wife but he already has killed three hundred of them and is now coming to her village. She is going to take her sister's turn and be his wife and she will not be killed.
They take her to the palace and she believes they are going to kill her in that lion's-hole of a court, but night after night she is left alive...
While she explores the palace and her own new achieved magic, she searches for a way to keep living and tries to find out what her husband is concealing, trying to put an end to the monster he has become.
You may have noticed that I haven't, not even once, said the name of our brave main character. In this book there are very few named characters, they're alway's referred by "insert name here" mother, sister, father (...) but you do learn the girl's name at the end of the book. It might seem strange to you but it was a fact that I only acknowledged by the end of the book, you won't miss the names.
The first thing I had to do while reading this book was to stop thinking there were sweet romantic moments coming... they're not coming (at least for a while) and the second was to get rid of my dammed preconceptions (it'll be the best thing you'll do).
Character wise this book is very complete and, as it is a retelling of the Thousand and One Nights, was fateful to the original characters while being innovative and inserting new elements to the story itself, making it more appealing.
One of the things I liked the most about this book was the main character's strength and knowledge, to me she was so strong and fearless, even though she was married to a monster!
This indeed a magical book and if you're prepared to get rid of all your feelings start reading it now!!!
Perfect for everyone who loves retellings and bittersweet but amazing stories.


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