A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Thousand Nights was a story that reads more like a long fable. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for review. I have to admit most of the time I was totally enthralled with this story. Other times I was a little tripped up by some of the world that was created because it was diverse and quite original. It did at times fell a bit slow but nothing that would stop the reader from being a part of the story. One thing I just noticed is that I can only remember one person's name in the story, Lo-Melkhiin. Everyone else was referred to mostly by their position like Sister or Lo-Melkhiin's mother or father. I literally cannot think of the protagonist's name which is odd. I did not realize it when I was reading the story because she also referred to as daughter or sister or daughter of my heart. Strange how when you are living in the moment of the story you do not realize that you don't know the character's name.
Lo-Melkhiin, a king of the lands, has a penchant for marrying and then as soon as his wife dies he goes to the next village and finds another wife to the tune of hundreds of wives. It is so bad that each village literally quakes with fear when he and his soldiers head in the village's direction. In this instance, the protagonist knows that her sister will be chosen and makes the sacrifice to be chosen in her place. It changes everyone in their village, especially her sister who takes on a role that it was not thought that she would take, that of sort of a priestess. With all of the daily prayers from her sister as well as her mother and her sister's mother and likely the prayers of everyone in their village, our protagonist is gifted with a power that has allowed her to live longer than any of the other wives. The reader learns why Lo-Melkhiin is the way he is and why the wives continue to die and we spend the story holding our breath hoping that she makes it another night and hopefully the rest of the nights.
A Thousand Nights has vivid characters that are so well drawn and a world that is so well drawn that I literally missed that I don't remember the names of any of the people or the world but everything in the story still seems to stand out. I would have never thought this story would be something I like as much as I did but, I was drawn to it based upon the synopsis and had to find out what was happening to each of these wives and why. It is a great story with mystery and intrigue.