Tuesday, September 1, 2015

[Review] A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

Rating: 3 Stars
Series: N/A
Version: ARC
Release Date: October 6, 2015

Goodreads synopsis:
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.

This book is based off of A Thousand and One Nights; a murderous, crazy king marries a girl, who always dies at his hands. Every girl except the main character, who I keep having to refer to as the MC since she doesn't have a name. Main character has to dole out justice and fix the king and discovers the king isn't actually evil and theres something going on.

I don't even want to write this review because I am so disappointed to say the least. This was one of my most anticipated books for BEA 15, but it didn't live up to my expectations. It took me over a week to finish because I just wasn't into it, but I didn't want to DNF it since I hate doing that and I was waiting for it to pick up. I discovered this book on goodreads since it was in the "similar/recommended" category after I reviewed The Wrath and the Dawn. Both stories are based off of A Thousand and One Nights, and I absolutely adored Wrath. But don't get your hopes up, because the characters in Wrath better developed and it moves a lot faster.

The most annoying thing? Half the characters don't have names. The protagonist herself doesn't have a name. Her sister doesn't have a name. She just refers to her great grandparents as her mother's mother's mother or father's father's father. And she uses that so many times. Not annoyed yet? Try reading "my sister's mother" pretty much every chapter. Beyond just names, the characters are all boring or frustrating. The main character? She laments about being away from her sister and her family and how much she hates her evil, murderous husband, yet she saves him and uses a stupid reason as justification for why she just went against her heart and her brain. You know how there are usually supporting characters or sidekicks/friends for the main character? Nah, none of that here. She regards the spinners and weavers she works with as friends, but she obviously does not know their names since they're all just referred to as the spinner or the weaver or the old spinner. I honestly didn't like any of the characters and felt like they were all one dimensional and utterly boring.

One of the more positive things about this story was the plot; it has so much potential and is a very interesting take on A Thousand and One Nights. However, it just went along so slowly and I felt like nothing was going on half the time. No one does anything! It picks up towards the last few chapters and things actually start happening, but by then, I felt like it was too late. It felt like intro, intro, intro, climax, the end. 

Overall, I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. I'm giving this 3 stars only because of all the potential the plot could have had and the sort of satisfactory ending. 


  1. Fairytale retellings are so IN this year! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this. I had high expectations. Characters with annoying personalities is a pet peeve of mine, so unfortunately this book is getting kicked off my TBR list :(

    Ranu @ The Araliya Bookshelf

    1. Yup! I've read so many fairytale retellings this year so far! It's also a pet peeve of mine... if I DNF (very rarely) any book, it's most likely because of annoying characters.