A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights

Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781484722275
1484722272
Characteristics: 325 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: 1000 nights

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VaughanPLKelly Apr 08, 2017

This is a must-read for teens and adults who enjoy adapted fairy tales. Johnston takes inspiration from the tale of Scheherazade and the Arabian Nights and spins an interesting tale full of determination on the part of the female protagonist, who is resolved to save her sister. I couldn't put it down, although I wish it were a bit longer, with more time spent on the climax to flush out some more of the details. However, Johnston's prose was enjoyable, and somewhat poetic at times as she wove the strings of the story.

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KimoV
Jan 13, 2017

E.K. Johnston’s beautiful prose sucked me into this retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights. It felt like I was out in the desert, sitting at a campfire beneath the stars as the tale was told. The kind of night when you can feel magic stirring in the air. Fans of Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath & The Dawn and Jessica Khoury’s The Forbidden Wish will enjoy A Thousand Nights.

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akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

A gorgeous, magical story! Johnston’s words are beautiful and powerful, and in that respect similar to her protagonist – her storytelling becomes her power. There were some lines that were so poetic, in that I could see so much in just one sentence.

Although confusing at first, I liked that the reader wasn’t privy to the majority of the characters’ names, except for Lo-Melkhiin and a couple secondary characters (though I think the reader was given their titles, not their actual names). It made me think of when legends and stories are passed down through generations, and told far and wide, the names change but the stories remain the same (just look up the similarities of Mesopotamian myths to biblical stories). Adding to that, this is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, and while Johnston keeps the essence of the story the same, she brings to life her own characters.

The lack of names also creates a sense of mystery – this could be our world but it could also be some other fantasy world, one that only Johnston knows and can share all of its mysteries and secrets. The reader is given a small glimpse of this world – we know there’s something beyond the horizon, but the possibilities are limitless.

There’s not a lot of romance, but I didn’t mind that. The protagonist marries the king to save her sister – and she’s really a prisoner, trying to find some power to defeat the demon that is the king. Adding romance to that wouldn’t work and I couldn’t see that being published in the YA section.

One of my only dislikes was that sometimes I would drift off and get bored. At times the plot moved too slow for me and had me wondering if the author had enough room to wrap everything up. Although enjoyable, it wasn’t quite what I’d imagined.

The ending was really beautiful and completely satisfying! I’ve heard there’s a companion novel to this book and am looking forward to reading that. Johnston is a talented writer and so far I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read by her.

samcmar Jul 06, 2016

I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I requested A Thousand Nights. I knew it was a retelling of 'A Thousand and One Nights', which is a story I admit, I haven't read too many retellings of. What I loved about this novel was the prose and that is truly what sucked me in from the get go.

Everything about E.K Johnston's writing comes across slow, methodical, and precise. No one other than Lo-Melkhiin has a name, There's a real subtle mystery behind that, and yet I was still able to oddly keep track of the various characters in the story. I was intrigued throughout why Johnston did this. I really enjoyed how the narrative was told, especially because we are getting the perspective from a storyteller who is reaccounting her story, and I loved that about this novel. There's always this bit of me that kept asking if the story was true, embellished, or a bit of both, and yet I didn't care at the same time. I wanted to see and know what was happening in this world, and I loved the way in which the narrator paints a lot of the story.

There's a lot to keep you guessing in this story. There's various perspective changes on Lo-Melkhiin, there's political intrigue and strife, a war on the verge of outbreak, and family woes that are in need of repair, and it just keeps you going. This book isn't fast-paced in the slightest, and I think people will hold that against it, but I don't think slow and thoughtful books are necessarily a bad thing, especially if they are building to an excellent climax, which A Thousand Nights certain does. Do parts drag a bit? Yes, but again, there's this thoughtful building that just kept me reading. Even if these characters didn't have names, I still felt connected to them.

I feel like E.K Johnston's book is going to go under the radar due to another huge 'One Thousand and One Nights' retelling, and I do feel that is unfair. The books couldn't be any more different! But I feel like this one, although a bit more literary in tone, has a lot to offer those who are patience readers and those who love to try and put puzzles together. There's so much mystery and intrigue here, topped with Johnston's gorgeous writing. I definitely recommend A Thousand Nights, but be patient with it, as it doesn't reveal it's hand right away.

2
2950010037786
Jun 30, 2016

Amazing and soo unique that I have never read a book like it.
The heroine is strong with out down playing men. Gave a new outlook on how to develop character.

j
jacksonsgf
May 12, 2016

A well-written tale featuring a strong heroine. Loved it.

a
angelicbeats9
Mar 04, 2016

This book is truly refreshing, the way the story is told, like a tale that one speaks to you at a bonfire. I was captivated from the first page to the end acknowledgements. At times I'd catch myself daydreaming of the desert, the qasr and of the wadi. This author is one I will be looking out for.

Kereesa Feb 29, 2016

This was beautiful and sultry, but it didn't totally blow me off my feet. Still a definitely worthy retelling and an author I'll be looking out for in the future.

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MicaelaMuldoon
Jan 08, 2016

Okay, I'm going to get right down to it.

What I liked:
1) Excellent world-building, with a lush desert setting, customs, characters, and creatures.
2) Story divided gracefully between the main character's old life in the desert and her new life in Lo-Melkhiin's court.
3) Interesting re-imagining of how the Scheherazade figure (main character) saves a king and a kingdom. SPOILER: instead of stories, the main character uses the powers she has gained through the prayers of her family back home -- they manage to turn her into a minor deity while she is still alive.
4) Realistic ending full of badassery and creativity.

What I was iffy about:
1) The repetition of day-to-day events, such as grooming.
2) Fairly slow-moving plot.
3) Mixed feelings about the ending because (SPOILER) I feel like the main character could have saved more lives.

Overall, really original, and I recommend it.

n
nidofito
Nov 26, 2015

Such a pretty story.

Although it's slow, rather (beautifully) descriptive and can sometimes leave you confused, it's still pretty suspenseful and satisfying in the end. A nice feminist edge to boot and I like the no-justification style though I suspect it won't work for just any book.

Did you notice how our heroine stayed nameless throughout the book? How cool is that!

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akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

akzfineart thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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CapCateyes
Nov 18, 2015

CapCateyes thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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CapCateyes
Nov 18, 2015

" Lo-Melkhiin is a good man"

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