Thursday, 8 October 2015

Review - A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Pages: 336
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release date: 8th October 2015

Blurb from Goodreads:

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife.

When Lo-Melkhiin - a formidable king - arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice - leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man.

But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king . . . if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it.

And perhaps she is...

My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley*

2.5/5 stars

The king, Lo-Melkhiin, has had hundreds of wives but they never last more than thirty days.
When he arrives at the protagonist's village in search of a new wife, she knows that he will choose her sister. Not wanting her sister to die, she plans to make Lo-Melkhiin take herself instead and he does.
Every night, she fears that Lo-Melkhiin will kill her but he doesn't. She tells him stories and as they start coming true, she finds that she has a power of her own.
Will she escape Lo-Melkhiin's clutches and return home?
What happened the day Lo-Melkhiin went to the desert and returned a different man?

A Thousand Nights was a mixed read for me.
Strangely, most of the characters didn't have names, even the protagonist - they were referred to as sister, wife, father etc.
I liked the protagonist - she was very protective of her sister and she was clever.
I found the plot quite boring and there were only a few parts where I was interested.
Pacing was a big problem for me - not much seemed to happen and it dragged a lot.
I really liked the writing style - it was quite thoughtful and thought provoking.
There were some dark moments/themes in this and hardly any romance but I thought that it added to the story.

Overall this was an okay read.