A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Release Date: 6 October 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
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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.
Honestly, I had trouble giving a rating for this book because even though the story has its pros, there are other aspects which irked me.
One thing for sure, the plot is amazing. The language use and how each piece of information written intertwines itself into the main story are spectacular. I have never read a story whereby all the characters don’t have names (other than Lo-Melkhiin) and surprisingly, I wasn’t confused at all. What captivated me the most are the stories that the girl told and also the occasional point of view from Lo-Melkhiin. From those short paragraphs, you could tell how twisted and evil that guy is. (So much so that I hope I can punch him in the face. :x)
The aspect in the book that I didn’t like was the mundane storyline. I was intrigued in the beginning as there were unsolved mysteries that I wanted to know their answers desperately. However, the plot progressed so slowly that I lost interest midway through the book. I only continued reading because I wanted to know whether the story has a happy ending.
After Lo was revealed to be possessed by a devil, things went downhill from there (due to how slow the plot progressed). The story continued to drag on until finally the citizens decided to rebel and fight back. Some events didn’t really make sense to me. One of such events was when the girl managed to defeat the devils around her with just her own powers. In addition, killing the devil possessing Lo with just 5 words?! If she has that ability, why didn’t she use that earlier! Another thing that bugged me was that I kind of expected the girl to die after curing Lo, but she didn’t. Since previously, she nearly died from using too much of her power and I thought that without the devil’s help to replenish her energy, there was no way that she could have lived…