Review: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

Posted January 11, 2016 in review / 10 Comments

Review: A Thousand Nights by E. K. JohnstonA Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston
Published by Disney Electronic Content on October 6th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 243
Source: Library
One StarOne StarOne Star

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. 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 super duper excited for this book, because it’s a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, and I seriously love retellings, especially classic retellings. PLUS, dude, that cover is seriously to-die for. However, I have seen tons, LIKE CRAZY TONS of bad reviews about this book, and that kinda scared me.

I personally think that this book was very very beautifully written, albeit a little bit hard for me to understand. I guess that was because I’m not used to reading classics, and this book had that classic-ish feel. The words and sentences used seemed so polite and beautiful, but they evoked strong emotions with every page turned. In my opinion, the story started off pretty much on a good start, and I’m not quite sure how I felt about this book the moment it ended. The one thing that I focused on was that we will never know the girl’s name. EVER. Since the story was told from a first-person’s view, it was not a problem. HAHA and for some reason this amused me, because I’ve never been good at remembering character’s name.

The main character was part of the reason as to why I love love love this book. She was humble and strong. I think that the author made her the sole focus of the story, which is impressive and disappointing at the same time. Impressive because I fell in love with this nameless girl, who started out as the “invisible” girl in her village. And I was disappointed too, because I wish the author had put that much effort into the other characters in the book, especially Lo-Melkhiin and the MC’s sister, because I think they would have made AWESOME side characters. Though, we get to know Lo-Melkhiin slowly through his random thoughts, or rather, we got to know the demon inside of him. BUT IT WAS NOT ENOUGH. I would have loved to delve into his thoughts, to know what made him the way he was, to know why he does what he did, and what he thought in the end.

Furthermore, some where near the ending, like around 75% of it, things started to happen REALLY FAST. It was like in a rush, and I was caught up in the storm, and I couldn’t keep up. I was horribly lost for a moment, and had to reread a few times. The elegant words that I appreciated moments before turned into horror when I realized that I have no freaking idea what they’re saying, or what is going on. Like, HI IS THERE MAGIC? NO? WHAT HAPPENED IN THE ENDING? HUH?

So, my one advice for reading this book is that: make sure you have a strong grasp of English and great patience

But don’t get me wrong, I really do like the story. I found it really unique.

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10 Responses to “Review: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston”

  1. I won a copy of this book in a giveaway and I have shied away from reading it because I did love The Wrath and the Dawn so much and from every single review I have read or watched it doesn’t seem like this one is as good, or good at all. I am glad you had some good things to say though because it gave me hope. I am also not a classics reader so I might struggle with that bit. It will be interesting to see what I think when I do finally get around to reading it.

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