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A Thousand Nights

(A Thousand Nights #1)

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  11,951 ratings  ·  2,475 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
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E.K. Johnston Hi!

It's called SPINDLE. There isn't a lot of info yet (um, that I can talk about, anyway), but there is a Goodreads entry for it that will…more
Hi!

It's called SPINDLE. There isn't a lot of info yet (um, that I can talk about, anyway), but there is a Goodreads entry for it that will at least tell you the basic plot (Sleeping Beauty). Hopefully there will be more I can share soon!(less)
E.K. Johnston Excellent question! Real-life henna lasts much longer, but because she's turning it into magic - which the king then burns through - it's re-applied…moreExcellent question! Real-life henna lasts much longer, but because she's turning it into magic - which the king then burns through - it's re-applied each night.(less)

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Emily May
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
― Virginia Woolf

3 1/2 stars. A Thousand Nights is almost certainly going to be compared to the other YA 1,001 Nights retelling published this year - The Wrath and the Dawn - which is not a good thing. Because, even though their premises and foundations are identical, these two books could not be more different and they really do deserve to be viewed as completely separate creatures.

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
― Virginia Woolf

3 1/2 stars.
A Thousand Nights is almost certainly going to be compared to the other YA 1,001 Nights retelling published this year - The Wrath and the Dawn - which is not a good thing. Because, even though their premises and foundations are identical, these two books could not be more different and they really do deserve to be viewed as completely separate creatures.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a lusty, romantic drama that makes our hearts beat faster. It's pure enjoyment. It doesn't have a message. A Thousand Nights is exactly the opposite of that.

I'm not going to sell A Thousand Nights as something it isn't. It's a slow-paced, dense, thoughtful and literary work that I'm not sure deserves to be in the YA section. Not because teens aren't smart or cannot appreciate this book and its themes, but because there is a certain level of easy readability expected from YA and those of all ages who pick this up might be put off by the pace and complexity.

Compared to The Wrath and the Dawn, the writing and atmosphere are far more well-suited to a 1,001 Nights retelling set in the pre-Islamic Middle East. "Demons" (likely djinn or ifrit, though neither term is explicitly used) roam this dusty desert landscape and one has possessed a king, forcing him to take and kill wife after wife.

But I didn't open with that Woolf quote just to practice my feministing. The original 1,001 Nights story is a sexist piece of beautiful lyricism. There are wonderful things about it, and yet it treats women like worthless bits of garbage to be discarded at the king's will. The "reward" for the woman who is clever enough to keep herself alive by telling the king a story every night is that she gets to marry the murderer.

So Johnston takes that and subverts it. She has tried something very brave here and I was surprised to discover how well it worked: Everyone in this book remains nameless apart from Lo-Melkhiin. The effect is that this becomes a story about the overlooked, the unnamed, the anonymous. And it is these that have the true power in the end - from the unnamed narrator, to her unnamed mother and sister, to the unnamed women in the qasr.

It's a very different kind of retelling that deserves to be read. It is slow-paced, but have patience with it. I don't think you'll regret it.

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village looking for a wife.

She that he chose of us would be a hero. She would give the others life. Lo-Melkhiin would not return to the same village until he had married a girl from every camp, from every town, and from each district inside city walls—for that was the law, struck in desperation though it was. She that he chose would give hope of a future, of love, to those of us who stayed behind.

She would still
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Lola
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Watch your world burn, light of my heart. Tomorrow we will find another one and burn that too.


3.5 stars. I almost steered clear of this marvel, fearing that it would turn out to be far too similar to another very special book: The Wrath and the Dawn.

But I decided to look around to see what others had to say about it. And guess what. My fear instantly dissolved when I learned that this is not a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights but a reimaging of it, rather.

And reader, it’s wonderful.

‘‘C/>
I
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Elise (TheBookishActress)
My sister is no fool and she is not tender-hearted. My sister fights for her home, and takes what risks she must. That is why I put myself before her today—why I would not let you have her. My sister burns, and she does not burn for you.

It's been over two years now since I first read this book, and I still credit it as one of my original favorite YA books, and yes, I still think anyone who shares a book taste with me should read it.

So A Thousand Nights is a more feminist, more thematic ret
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Emma Giordano
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Update 2/20/17 - Lowering my rating from 3 stars to 2 for I feel 3 stars was too generous.

Full review to come on my Youtube channel tomorrow! Unfortunately, I wasn't the biggest fan of this book. I ultimately felt that this book had a severe lack of plot and no character development whatsoever. A lot of my time spent reading was wondering when SOMETHING was actually going to happen and jumpstart the novel, but that didn't come until exactly 100 pages were left in the book. I was kind of disappo
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Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》

“Watch your world burn,
light of my heart.
Tomorrow we will find another one
and burn that too.”




I just want to put this out there: most of my reviews are negative because i don't know how to review books i like. There are some positive reviews but it takes me way too long to work on them. There is so much i want to say!! I HAVEN'T EVEN REVIEWED THE RAVEN CYCLE SERIES! My favorite books are the ones that tend to leave me speechless. Alright, here we go.

Remember this book? Less attractive sister of The Wrath
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may ❀
So, you should know that I’m partial to books set in the desert or retellings of “Arabian Nights” so naturally, I expected to LOVE this book :)
Well
Do I gotta story for you

description
(s)

Sit tight fam, we got a wild ride ahead.
A v coherent list of my thoughts during this book . . .

- This chick doesn’t have a bloody name
- Or if she does, she’s NEVER referred by it
- In fact, NO ONE has a name
- Except the freaky but hot and brooding king guy
- The writing is so weird, you’re never sure if its talking about past, present, or whatever the h
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. Review first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com:

When the dust rises over the desert, the villagers know that Lo-Melkhiin is coming with his guards to choose another wife. He always takes one wife from each village, or each district within a city. And she always dies.

E.K. Johnston’s A Thousand Nights is a young adult fantasy retelling of the Scheherazade framing story for One Thousand and One Nights, the famous collection of Persian, Arabic and Middle Eastern folk tales. Lo-Melkhiin is the ruler over a large area in the ancient Middle
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jessica
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
i almost didnt read this - i was very worried it would be too similar to ‘the wrath and the dawn’ (which i love with all my heart). and although the premises are quite alike, there were enough differences that it was easy not to compare the two. my only problem with this book was that not a lot happens. i think that had there been more substance to it, the characters and relationships could have been developed more, and i would have been more enthralled with the story. but the writing was lovely - the ...more
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
*Decided to round up, but my actual rating's still 3.5!

They were burning up, and they didn't even know they were afire.


An elegantly written novel with a lovely story, A Thousand Nights is a book perfect for all readers looking for an engrossing read.

If I'm being completely honest here, I'm not familiar with the original tale and had to look it up on the internet. So now I know it, and that totally counts. Anyway, A Thousand Nights gives us a unique spin on the original story, mainly summarized by the wordAnyway,/>They
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Simona Bartolotta
3.5

"There was great beauty in this qasr, but there was also great ugliness and fear. I would not be like those men who turned their eyes from one to see the other. I would remember what those things cost."


•First thing you need to know: this is not your typical ya. All the genre tropes you are accustomed to -Mary Sue-ish protagonist, instalove, love triangle, you name it- are happily, blissfully, totally absent, and this is why I don't get the readers' eagerness to compare it to The Wrath and tya.
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Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
Always, it seemed, men would overlook unpleasant things for the sake of those that went well. The statues’ eyes for the melodious sounds of the fountain. The deaths of their daughters for the bounty of their trade.

There was great beauty in this qasr, but there was also great ugliness and fear. I would not be like those men who turned their eyes from one to see the other. I would remember what those things cost.

Amidst the dozens of YA fairy tale retellings, A Thousand Nights stands out. It will immedia
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Sh3lly
Edit December 13, 2016: It's $1.99 on Kindle! Oh I liked this one! Totally worth it in my view!! :)

This is a book I originally requested from Netgalley, but was rejected. :( Well, I finally got a copy and read the entire thing in one day. Apparently, it's based off One Thousand and One Nights, but I have never read that and knew very little of what it was supposed to be about. So this was pretty much all new to me. I knew that a djinn or genie or ifrit would play a role and that it was about a king who went
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☆☽Erica☾☆
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-ya
"My sister is no fool and she is not tender-hearted," I said. "My sister fights for her home, and takes what risks she must. That is why I put myself before her today-why I would not let you have her. My sister burns, and she does not burn for you."


WHAM. FUCK YOU PATRIARCHY.



Seriously, this was really awesome.

A Thousand Nights is a feminist retelling of the Arabian Nights. I've read a bunch of these recently (Uprooted, Cruel Beauty, The Wrath an
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Alyssa
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
What was everyone's issue with this one? Yes, it is similar to The Wrath and the Dawn, in that they are both retellings of One Thousand and One Nights. But... this book was completely different. And I liked it!



***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 6, 2015 ...more
Nastassja

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky
A whole new world
Don't you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath - it gets better
I'm like a shooting star
I've come so far
I can't go back to where I used to be

- Tim Rice (lyrics from Aladdin)

Do you familiar with a feeling when you open a fine bottle of wine and pour in your glass, and, at first, your wine touches with

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Tatiana
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I kind of missed the fairy tale component (no endless stories told every night here). However, it is very atmospheric, and the language is lovely.

One thing though that bothered me. The main character's dress/robe called "dishdasha" plays a large role in the story, but when I tried looking up pictures of dishdashas, every search came back with some white prayer robes for men, and dishdasha is defined as a male dress everywhere...
Kat Kennedy
I have SO MANY thoughts about this book. Can't wait to share them all.
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nina (Every Word A Doorway) by: Chantal (Every Word A Doorway)
“My sister is no fool and she is not tender-hearted,” I said. “My sister fights for her home, and takes what risks she must. That is why I put myself before her today—why I would not let you have her. My sister burns, and she does not burn for you.”

A Thousand Nights is a tale of love. Not the blossoming love between a woman and her captor, but a love so deep like it can only run between sisters. This is a testimony to sisterhood, to the strength of women, and to the magic of belief. Though perhaps peculia
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Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
I have written a review for this twice and it keep showing up as tbr aarrrggghhhhh!

It's bloody good. That's all I'm writing this time.
Katrin D
Full review at: my blog

''I was done with murdering little girls. This one would be my queen.''


I understand why this book isn't as popular as The Wrath and the Dawn. Comparison is inevitable since they both revolve around the same subject and came out at approximately the same time. And where the TWATD became a huge hit, A Thousand Nights was left more or less in it's shadow.

Which, to be quite honest, is why it took me so long to read it. I didn't have high hopes for this one. And I was so wrong.

If I have to j/>
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Jess
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Long Review To Come Closer To Release. Needs another 1001 nights to develop character depth.


Very atypical of me to be doing a mid currently reading review, but I've got to be a bit vocal here. You see, this whole retelling wave that we're all riding on is not my favourite. Why? Because shit like reading back to back stories playing homage to the very same classics in the same year can be fucking confusing. And whether you like it or not, it causes comparisons.

I have just come off a The Wrath and
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Puck
Now this is a (feminist!) retelling that truly had me spellbound. A Thousand Nights is a story written in gorgeous prose and with a charming atmosphere, that tells the tale of how (two) women fight against the power of men and his believes.

In a Middle Eastern land, the king Lo-Melkhiin is known for taking a new bride each day, for all the girls strangely die fast after the marriage. When the king comes to their qasr, one sister is determinate to save her older sister’s life, and so she disguises he
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Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review first posted on my blog

What a magical musical ride! I'm so glad I read most of this while on holiday and I already want to get my hands on the next one :P

It is not often that a book totally enthralls and enchants me from the first page, but that’s what this book did. I just fell right in love with this author’s writing style, setting and of course her characters. Right now I will mention that one of my favourite scenes was when our main character was watching the star fal
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Elena
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5

I'm not quite sure how to feel about this book. It's certainly different. Very different. But did that make me love it?
Not really.
I appreciate this book, I really do. The writing is beautiful, the world is interesting and the story is magical. This book is definitely not your typical YA love story. So when it comes to all these things, this book deserves 5 stars.
BUT
I was bored. I didn't feel the need to pick this book back up and even though I loved how the main prot
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Sara Rebotim
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Definitely expecting so much more of this book , the entire book I was so confused 🤷♀ and the characters have no names 🤔, just the king is called Lo-Melkhiin, the girl he married they call her as “Lady-bless “ or “ Daughter of mine “.
It was very slow , felt so bored and I’m glad it’s finished 😬😬
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Taylor Knight
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I really loved this book. It was written in a way that was really beautiful and it felt like a story. Not like I was reading a book but an actual story and it reminded me of why I love reading so much.
I wasn't totally into the main character though. At the beginning of the book she was saying how much more beautiful her sister was but she had never actually seen her own face. I always find it annoying when characters degrade themselves. She did get a little better though the book but she never
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Sarah Churchill
I'm really sad not to be giving this book 5 stars. I'll start off by saying that I have the UK hardback which is one of, if not THE most beautiful book I've ever seen. Everything down to the purple ribbon bookmark (which does have references in the story) is stunning. Unfortunately I'm not as enthusiastic about the story itself.

I haven't read any Arabian Nights, on which this 'retelling' is based, but I do know that the point of the original was that the girl managed to stay alive by
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Cody
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
ARC Review Copy, more @ Literary-ly Obsessed

A Thousands Nights is a magically written story with a vidid world making it easy to become lost in. In addition to a gorgeous cover US edition, the writing is completely unique in which it refuses to reveal secrets, leaving you with constant ‘what if’ questions, I dove into this book and was completely enamored with this world from the first few chapters… however it wasn’t able to contain my interest throughout.

We begin with Lo-Melkiin who marrie
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E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.

You can follow Kate on Twitter (@ek_johnston) to learn more about Alderaanian political theory tha
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Other books in the series

A Thousand Nights (2 books)
  • Spindle (A Thousand Nights, #2)
“I do fear him,” I said, which was close to the truth. “I fear him as I fear the desert sun and poisonous snakes. They are all part of the life I live. But the sun gives light, and snakes will feed a caravan if they are caught and cooked.” 35 likes
“If you listen long enough to the whispers, you will hear the truth. Until then, I will tell you this: the world is made safe by a woman. She bound the monster up and cast him out, and the man who was left was saved.” 34 likes
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