Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Thousand Nights {by E.K. Johnston}

A Thousand Nights
Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: 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.

I was expecting to like this book a lot more than I did. That cover is gorgeous, and I was so excited for a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, but sadly I felt that it did not live up. (Most people have this issue because they've also read The Wrath and the Dawn, and either felt that it was too similar, or not as good. I haven't yet, if that means anything).

There are no names mentioned in this story, except for Lo-Melkhiin's. While I can understand the point and what the author was trying to do with that, it was a little confusing. However, it did not detract much from the story telling. It is time for Lo-Melkhiin to take a wife from their village, and everyone is sure he is going to take the narrator's sister. So, she takes her place. Our narrator is not as beautiful or graceful or talented as her sister, but she can do one thing: weave stories.

I'm not exactly sure what my problem was with this story. There was nothing specifically big, but just little things that added up. The characters fell flat. If they don't have names, they need to be very distinguished, and I did not feel that. The magical aspect of this story was confusing. I realize our narrator herself doesn't understand what's going on for most of it, but I felt lost and wasn't able to fully enjoy the story.

I did enjoy the parts from our other narrator. Won't say who because spoilers, but I felt that added an interesting dimension to the story. However, for the rest of the story, I felt that it was just flat and anticlimactic. While I did read to know what happened to Lo-Melkhiin, I wasn't excited about any of the other characters. I'm also not sure how I feel about the ending.

A lot of stuff happens in this novel, and although it did keep my attention, and the writing was vivid, I couldn't fully immerse myself in this novel. I think it had a lot of potential, but I don't think it fully lived up to it.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

E.K. Johnston

Website | Twitter | tumblr | Goodreads

No comments:

Post a Comment