Skip to main content

A Thousand Nights

Review

A Thousand Nights

Lo-Melkhiin is looking for a bride because he murdered his previous one --- and the wife before that and before that.  His tally of murdered brides is around 300. After scouring villages for the new bride, he finds her; she seems so different than the rest, a suitable match to fit a powerful king. As much as the classic ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS has always been enchanting, E.K. Johnston retells it in a gorgeous way with a supernatural twist with A THOUSAND NIGHTS.

Johnston created something profound yet so simple.  Readers will be hooked from the start with its quick plot. Even though I knew the original story, I worried for that the protagonist wouldn’t survive the night every time Lo-Melkhiin joined her. Each morning, I would be holding my breath, wondering if she made it. 

As much as the classic ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS has always been enchanting, E.K. Johnston retells it in a gorgeous way with a supernatural twist with A THOUSAND NIGHTS.

The absence of names in A THOUSAND NIGHTS irked me.  Yes, readers are blessed with Lo-Melkhiin’s name but we are not given a name for our protagonist, nor anyone else.  Readers’ interpretations of Johnston’s intent can vary --- maybe it was to place an emphasis on the villain, maybe it was to leave creative thinking to the readers. 

A THOUSAND NIGHTS circles around our protagonist, but I wish Johnston had told us more about Lo-Melkhiin and shown us his daily thoughts.  There was some change in perspective between chapters but not enough to quench my questions about the demon inside of him.

The plot moves quickly, enchanting readers with original and unpredictable twists and turns.  It surely kept me on the edge of my seat.  However, the writing, most specifically the dialogue, is disappointing.  The story reads like a winded monologue, as if someone is telling a tale, which was both distracting and fascinating.  When there is dialogue, the monologue continues but --- since there is a lack of names --- the characters address each other by their titles.  For example, calling your sister “sister” is fine and realistic once, but a bit annoying after the third or fourth consecutive sentence of “Yes, sister. I will do that, sister. You’re right, sister.”

Despite the writing, Johnston excelled in bringing this classic to life in a fresh way.  A THOUSAND NIGHTS forces readers to want another thousand nights, wondering what happens after the end. 
 

Reviewed by Jeanna Michel on October 7, 2015

A Thousand Nights
by E. K. Johnston

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 1484728475
  • ISBN-13: 9781484728475