Review: E.K. Johnston – A Thousand Nights

E.K. Johnston
A Thousand Nights

A desert girl gives up her life to save her sister, promising herself in marriage to Lo-Melkhiin, who had killed 300 girls on their marriage night. Instead, she tells stories every night, and continues to survive despite the odds. When she discovers she can see magic, and that Lo-Melkhiin might not be who he seems, she is even more determined to save the man she thinks she might love.24820300

This novel felt quite shallow, but at the same time it was a really enjoyable retelling of a fable. If you were looking for something new and exciting, I’m afraid this wasn’t it. But in its style, it was good. Far better than Book of a Thousand Nights, which I was disgusted with.

Magic. It makes fantasy worlds work, and in this one the author has effortlessly used it to change the story and make it more interesting. It is not just her storytelling ability that saves her, it is her strength of will. In fact, I don’t even remember her name, but I can remember the way it felt to be inside her head.

The idea that magic can push talents forward, yet also warp them is an interesting one. I’d love to see more of this discussed, perhaps in a separate story. The world-building in this one made me want to read more. The detail to the costumes, all of it came through as a properly interesting and realistic Arabian novel.

How many stars do I want to give this? Maybe 3. It’s hard to decide. It wasn’t as gripping as I might have desired, but I did keep reading it.


Thanks to the lovely folks at Macmillan Children’s Books who gave me a proof copy to read.

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