A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights

Book - 2015
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Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, 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: Los Angeles, California :, Hyperion,, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781484722275
Characteristics: 325 pages ;,22 cm.
Alternative Title: 1,000 nights.


From the critics

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Apr 09, 2020

I keep trying to get everyone to read this one. It is so beautifully written and I could not get enough. The setting and the characters are so rich and exquisite. The legend comes to new life!

JCLBeckyC Sep 16, 2019

Fast-paced, feminist, nuanced retelling of the classic collection of folk tales from the Middle East, otherwise known as Arabian Nights. I could not put this book down. E.K. Johnston is a fantastic storyteller. I didn't know I could be so enthralled with an adventure story.

Dec 20, 2018

This book is forgettable, I honestly don't remember what happened as a whole. I remember the ending - the collection of all the stories into one powerful force - but I must admit that the ending was a little hard to understand and that's why I remember it. Overall this book was okay - I would recommend it if you're in a dry spell, but not if you know there are things you would rather read.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

May 12, 2016

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

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.

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Dec 02, 2016

akzfineart thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 18, 2015

CapCateyes thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Nov 18, 2015

" Lo-Melkhiin is a good man"


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