Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston [spoiler free]

I have another book review this week! I finished this book a few weeks ago and I originally wasn’t going to review it because I was unsure whether it would spoil the book if I did. A Thousand Nights is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights which is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this book but the synopsis of the book was so intriguing that I couldn’t wait to read it.

I’m going to try to keep this book as mysterious as possible and not give out too many details, because I really feel like it’s the mystery surrounding this book that makes it great. The story is set in a desert, where the King is looking for a new wife (he killed all his previous wives – over 300 of them). The main character sacrifices herself in order to save her sister, and is taken as the new bride. Somehow, she manages to survive each night and the King is captivated by the stories that she tells. This book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – it is extremely slow, there’s no big action scenes or anything like that. That’s what I loved about this book, it was so different due to the pacing and the lack of action, that it just became even more interesting to read. If you don’t mind a slow paced book then definitely give this one a go as you won’t be disappointed.

I mentioned before that this book is very mysterious. The only character with a name is Lo-Melkiin, the King. I don’t actually know why no other character has a name but it does add to the secrecy that surrounds this book. Nothing is ever explained in any detail, which was frustrating at times because I’m the type of person who always wants explanations. What this book lacks in explanation is made up for by way that the book is written, E.K Johnston has done a really amazing job and written the book beautifully. It was really captivating to read from the narrators perspective and how everything is dealt with so calmly. The stories that she tells to the King have much deeper meaning, I would gladly read a whole book of the narrators stories.

I don’t want to give too much away about this book other than what I’ve already said and the fact that I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely worth reading but bear in mind that it is very slow. I gave this book 4/5 stars and I probably would have given it 5 stars if it had been faster paced.

 

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