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A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights

by E. K. Johnston

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4022337,617 (3.76)14



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I took a few days to think on this book before writing this review. It is a retelling of the classic 1001 Arabian Nights. Lo-Melkhiin is a prince in a desert place. He is not a good man. He is on his 300th wife. Most do not last one night. Until our “heroine” takes the place of her beautiful sister to become the new Queen. There is no jealousy, as this was a sacrifice; the queen did not want to see her sister die. Her beautiful sister deserved more. She deserved a husband and kids, and a life ever after. The Queen was the worker bee sister who became the sacrificial lamb.

The Queen does tell stories, which is partially what keeps her alive night after night. The other part, her lack of fear, or her ability to find something more fearsome than her husband.

This book was incredibly slow. It’s paced dragged on worse than a camel going through the desert. And then when it finally got exciting, it wrapped up way too quickly. The reader is left thinking, I spent all this time for that? In general I liked the story, but I didn’t love it. But over the last few days, I have come to see a concern in the story. This is an abuse story. There is no better way to put it. This is domestic abuse that is allowed because he is the King. Yet our “heroine” keeps coming back for more. She is doing it for her family, and so no other girl dies. However, this is not a message I want to read, or I would want my students or other teens to read. Some might say that the Queen finds her power in the end and makes everything better, but at what cost? There is a companion novel that I will eventually read, but for me this is not a novel I shall ever crack the cover of again.

#ReadHarder - book set 5000 miles from my location
#beatthebacklist #basilisk - a book with a fierce monster
#MountTBR ( )
  LibrarianRyan | Jul 5, 2018 |
RGG: Johnston's beautiful writing creates a first-class rendition of the Arabian Nights story.
  rgruberhighschool | May 18, 2018 |
RGG: Johnston's beautiful writing creates a first-class rendition of the Arabian Nights story.
  rgruberhighschool | May 18, 2018 |

There is this air of mysticism to the story and it makes the circumstances so much grittier as a result. You truly get transported to this other world within the first chapter and that was definitely a highlight for me.

However, I think you will either love or hate E K Johnston's writing style. It has an old fashioned feel to it often seen in your classic stories; the words flowing like you are reading an epic. But my biggest issue was the fact that I couldn't tell what was real vs what was just allusion. What I'm trying to say is that I had a hard time deciding whether the magic of it all was actually happening or it if was just the result of the narration.

I was really disappointed in the plot for A Thousand Nights. I truly felt like nothing was happening until the last 50 pages or so. It seemed to be more stories about the Heroine's life back home and I just didn't care--that wasn't the story I wanted to read. I wanted to see how she was going to save the king. Instead, you spend most of your time reading about stories within the story and that just has no appeal to me. I needed a little more stimulation and the book just seemed to drag.

Check out more spoiler-free book and series reviews on my blog SERIESousBookReviews.com as well as read book series recaps!

Full Review: http://wp.me/p7hLUw-26b
Actual Rating: 2.5/5 ( )
  seriesousbooks | Feb 7, 2018 |
E K Johnston's books are magical, and this is no exception. Beautifully-written; elaborate world-building; the most incredible desert atmosphere. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
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Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village looking for a wife. So, when she is taken to the king's dangerous court she believes death will soon follow. But night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, leading her to unlocking years of fear that have tormented and silenced the kingdom, and soon she is dreaming of bigger, more terrible magic, power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to rule of a monster.… (more)

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