Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K.Johnston

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K.Johnston
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Part of A Series?: Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: NetGalley

Blurb Description: 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.


From the minute I read the synopsis during the cover reveal, I knew that A Thousand Nights was a book I just had to have. I was so excited, that I kept telling even my non- reader friends that I had found this book, and I knew it was going to be the next IT thing...

Maybe I shouldn't have overdone it like I did, because A Thousand Nights, although really good, just didn't reach that level of brilliant that I thought it would be.

The synopsis sets the story up in ways that I never could, but despite all of that, the story itself was vague, had a lot less magic than I thought it would, but a lot more embroidery and pining over a sister.

Let me elaborate on what I didn't like about the book, before I move on to what I did, just to finish on a high note, because I do think that this book is something pretty much everyone should read.

A Thousand Nights has this gorgeous setting, in a desert in the time of camels and tents, with stories told about myths and the king that kills his brides. A Thousand Nights is the story of a girl, who pays the ultimate sacrifice, to save the person she cares about the most in the world. A girl who was rewarded with magic.

“She was not of my kind, yet there was some power to her that was not human, not quite. She did not die, and I wondered if I might at last have found a queen for whom I could set the desert on fire.”

Magic is not something that people in our world simply receive- especially humans.
But then Kings are supposed to be just men, and not something without a conscience. And as every new dawn comes, the new queen finds herself growing more powerful, instead of winding up without breath in her body, and finds that she has to deal with her husband, the monster, with both magic and love, if she can hope to slay the demon and save the man.

What I didn’t like all that much about the book was the terminology- it took a while- like seventy five percent of the book- to get used to things like ‘sister of my heart’ and ‘Lady mother, we must be quick if we are to save your daughter.’ Even more than that, thinking back as it has been a couple of weeks since I finished A Thousand Nights, I now find myself hating the way things ended. I would have loved a better showdown- girl versus creature- and it sort of ruined the whole thing.

What I did love- the Science and Religion co- relation (BRILLIANLY done, especially in an ancient setting) and the debates (in a kingdom where women aren’t allowed to work- this impressed me!) I also loved the concept of how Gods were created- not a metaphorical all hearing, all knowing God, but that Gods could be anyone- a grandfather, a sister- pretty much anyone, that you would pray too for all that they did while they were alive. What I loved the MOST, however was how everything- from the magic to the very narrations and descriptions were told in this fashion that made me feel like I was being let it on this HUGE secret- like a story in a book that only I could read, which no other book has ever made me feel.

For an Arabian Nights book with magic, kings, queens and love- A Thousand Nights should be your next read!

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