Monday, March 14, 2016

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Buy here*
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 325
My rating: 4 stars
Ages: 13+

To save her sister from the man who has killed hundreds of wives, she instead becomes his wife. Expecting to be killed every night, it is only the stories of her sister that keep her alive. Then she discovers that there is a power that makes her stories come true—a power that may just be able to saver herself and everyone she loves.

The first thing I want to talk about (and probably the thing that wowed me the most about this book) is how Johnston was able to create a world that was so different, but at the same time so believable. Maybe "believable" isn't the exact right word . . . She was able to create a world that was foreign and strange without having that strangeness take me out of the story. It was just a culture and land that I had never heard of before or experienced. I feel that there are many authors out there who create complex worlds with some many precise details that I get lost trying to figure out how it relates to the things I know, which takes me out of the story. Johnston's world drew me into the story. I didn't even notice until I was about 75 pages from the end that the main character didn't have a name.

I thought this was going to be another Scheherazade story, but while that tale influences this one, it becomes its own story very quickly. I really liked the main character/narrator. She showed a strength that we rarely see or applaud; a quiet strength that relies on thought, love, and courage, instead of physical fighting prowess.

The writing could be a little hard for younger readers to get past as it is written in a more formal, "higher" tone.

No language and little to none sexual contexts.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

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