A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

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

The brides of ruler Lo-Melkhiin are chosen by him and don’t live to see the sunrise.  After the death of one, he goes out to the next village to seek another.  When he was due to arrive at her village she knew that he would pick the loveliest one, her sister.  In order to prevent this, she ensures that she is the one to be chosen and taken to Lo-Melkhiin’s kingdom.  The days pass and she does not die, as forces of magic work to grant her power to survive and battle the demon that has taken over a kingdom.

A Thousand Nights is a beautifully written novel full of tales and magic.  The language and the way the author relays the stories throughout the novel is truly lovely.  There is no romantic component, which is a departure from what has come to be expected from this genre.  The focus instead is on the magic and defeating the demon that has consumed the kingdom.  I found this to be a refreshing and interesting take.

While the storytelling is well done, I never felt fully engaged with the story.  There are many characters introduced, however not in a way that made me connect with them.  The name of the main character is never revealed, along with many other characters who are only referred to as “my sister”, “my sister’s mother” and “my father’s father’s father” to name a few.  While an interesting choice, it did result in a disconnect from the overall story.  With that said, I certainly do appreciate the author’s unique approach, and although we don’t learn the protagonist’s name, she is a very strong and fierce character.  A Thousand Nights weaves a magical and wonderfully written story.

Favourite quote: “When men give you their fear, it is easy to steer them on the path you wish them to travel. When men show you their worth, it is easy to determine what you will freely take. When men do both, it is easy to play upon their hearts as deftly as a musician might play upon his pipes.”

*ARC provided by NetGalley.  Publication date: October 6, 2015.

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