Thursday, 31 March 2016

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Published October 2015 by Pan Macmillan
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 stars

From the blurb: 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. 

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston is a fantasy re-telling of One Thousand and One Nights. It's beautiful, lyrical, and magical. I was captivated for the first two thirds of the story but towards the end I lost interest and I can't put my finger on what changed. It was clear that the story was well researched and written by someone who knows the setting well, and I'd recommend it to all YA readers, especially fans of fantasy and fairy tale re-tellings.

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for my review copy.

The UK hardback of this book is beautifully designed. The jacket has a cutout to show the cover underneath which is equally gorgeous. I just have the ARC, but I painted nails to match the finished copy.

This shade of purple is always hard to match, but I got close by using Ulta3 Eighties Fuchsia. I used acrylic paint for the feather.


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