Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
original titleA Thousand Nights
ISBN 1484722272 (ISBN13: 9781484722275)
Lo-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.
Most of us are familiar with the tale of 1001 nights, Scheherazade and her marriage to the king. This is a different take on the tale. More interesting than other retellings I've read.
I found it enjoyable without being overwhelming. The main character, with the exception of LoMelkhiin, are all nameless individuals (annoying). In my head, I assigned each individual a name.
This book totally lacked any romance of any kind. Ok, I can live with that. I liked the way the main character offered herself as LoMelkiin's 301st wife, instead of her more beautiful, exciting sister. She then told a tale every night of how her sister was superior in every way and would never be a wife to LoMelkiin. (This is the nightly story which supposedly kept him interested).
There was a certain degree of magic between the two, this was also what kept her alive.
The ending (no spoilers) was a disappointment.
On a good note, I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book