A Thousand Nights by E. K. JohnstonA Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights

byE. K. Johnston

Paperback | September 6, 2016

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"A story threaded with shimmering vibrance and beauty,A Thousand Nightswill weave its spell over readers' hearts and leave them captivated long after the final tale has been told." -Alexandra Bracken,New York Timesbest-selling author of The Darkest Minds seriesLo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.
E. K. Johnston is a forensic archaeologist by training, a book seller and author by trade, and a grammarian by nature. She spends a great deal of time on the Internet because it is less expensive than going to Scotland. She can probably tell you, to the instant, when she fell in love with any particular song; but don't ask her, because...
Title:A Thousand NightsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:September 6, 2016Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1484728475

ISBN - 13:9781484728475


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice! I found the writing to be beautiful and the retelling well done! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-02-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Interesting idea, but quite slow This book had an interesting idea of a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. However I found it to be quite slow and sort of boring, as well as hard to get into it. All in all, not a favourite
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enchanting Tale I quite enjoyed this 1001 Nights retelling. I admired the main character's determination and strength. The magical Arabian culture embedded in the novel was captivating, the imagery astounding. The messages learnt were truly thought-provoking.
Date published: 2017-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! I remember reading this book and not being able to stop, it was that gripping. The twists were surprising and I enjoyed the main character's narration and strength. The main issue I had with it was the overly dramatic writing and excessive detail at times but even though I normally hate that kind of thing this book didn't bother me so much. I was either interested enough to get through it or could skip the parts that I found boring without losing interest in the story. This is one that I will have to re-read at some point and I want to read more from this author.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow, just wow. I was shook throughout the whole book. The way it was written, the fierce protagonist, everything about this book was amazing. I loved the writing style as it kept you captivated throughout the book, it was so well written. The storyline was great too, you have to read this.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A different type of retelling! 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.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Perfect Retelling of a Classic Tale I thought it was a pretty good retelling of Scheherazade. This is a story about a girl who will do anything to save her sister and ends up saving a boy and his kingdom.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 328 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 Here is yet another book to add to the list of books that are perfect, that I just didn’t like. I always feel conflicted when rating these kinds of books. Do I go with five stars because everything in the story fits perfectly together and I don’t think I can find a single fault (especially not after finishing this book weeks ago), or should I rate it three stars based on my personal experience with it? Naturally, I’m going with my I-have-no-idea-what-to rate-this-so-this-doesn’t-necessarily-mean-I-liked-it rating of three stars. Maybe what didn’t click was the fact that this book is supposed to have some deeper meaning/ hidden metaphor, and I’m just not that kind of reader. When reading The Great Gatsby for my English class last year, I had absolutely no idea that any of the supposed symbols (ex. the eyes on the billboard) had any significance/ deeper meaning. I simply thought the eyes on the billboard were just eyes on a billboard, not the eyes of God or whatever Spark notes says all those minute details supposedly mean. I didn’t get a deep, inspiring message from this book; all I got was a book I didn’t enjoy. Like I said above, everything in this book fits the story perfectly. The slow pacing, the characters, and the writing all came together to create a legend-like tale that is a rare find in YA. Speaking of writing, I feel like E. K. Johnston is a very versatile writer. Granted, this is only the second book of hers that I have read, yet her writing style appears to change to fit the story, which I find really interesting (side note: I recommend you check out her other book Exit, Pursued by a Bear. It is one of the few contemporary books I have enjoyed). A Thousand Nights truly reads like a legend that has been passed down through the generations. Also, do not compare this book to The Wrath and the Dawn, the other YA 1001 Nights retelling. They are nothing alike. In fact, I thought I would be comparing the two more, but I don’t think I did so more than once. A Thousand Nights reads more like a classic than a YA book. Overall, A Thousand Nights was ambitious and well executed, but it just wasn’t for me. As a result, I give A Thousand Nights 3 stars out of 5.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Very well written, the writing style was different than what I was used but it was very enjoyable!
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it i love the way it was written inside the story the main character says story from her past and about her ancestors . the story is about how she sacrifies herself for her sister but eventually it turns out she has the power to save her king and her people
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed Feelings This novel was extremely well written. I find that I cannot complain about any aspect of the language or plot itself, as that was all very well done. However, despite the intricate language used, I found myself unable to connect. Nothing stood out to me. Nothing jumped off the pages and wormed its way into my heart. I carry none of the story with me now. It was just something to read, to finish. It wasn't really worth it to me.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved This So glad I bought this, it was so magical.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gorgeous, magical story! 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.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic storytelling This novel so effortlessly embraces the story-telling tradition. There is an infusion of the magical into the everyday world that simply makes sense because mythology and old stories always have that element of the mystical. Beyond that, the relationship between the two sisters is beautiful, and there's so much here about not only standing up for yourself and your community, but allowing your community and family to stand up for you in return. Absolutely would recommend to anyone who appreciates a good fairytale.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and mesmerising, I hope there's a sequel I love books with magic, and twins, and silent manipulation. This book has all three. While some may say that the main character is like any other twin that is overshadowed by her prettier, brighter sister , I think that I loved they way the author described their relationship. Yes, in some ways she has been overshadowed by her sister, but she is a truly strong and resourceful heroine. I recommend this immensely!!
Date published: 2016-10-13

Editorial Reviews

* "Detailed and quiet, beautifully written with a literary rhythm that evokes a sense of oral tale-telling, this unexpected fantasy should not be missed."-Kirkus Reviews, starred review