Author: E K Johnston
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Length: 336 Pages
Release: October 2015
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am not particularly familiar with the original story A Thousand and One Nights, but this story sounded very promising. A demon inhabiting a king and killing women, magic, desert mythology. It definitely sounded like a fascinating blend.
What makes talking about this novel difficult is the fact that the characters don't have names. Other than Lo-Melkhinn (the king), not a single character has a name. It's written with a first person narrator, who just refers to herself as "I" and her family as "my sister," "my mother," "my sister's mother," and that sort of thing. I thought this might be annoying (and it was, at times) but for the most part it didn't bother me. It does make discussing the book difficult, because you have to explain what you're talking about instead of being able to say a characters name to describe something. Otherwise this didn't really bother me.
The novel was rather long for its content. Not enough happened to warrant nearly three hundred fifty pages. Most of it was flowery (admittedly often beautiful) writing that wasn't really necessary. It could have easily been shortened and told the same story with around two hundred pages. There also wasn't much characterization, instead focusing almost solely on the main character and the magic surrounding the entire situation.
All that being said, I did enjoy this novel. I don't think it was excellent and could be greatly improved, but it was enjoyable. As I said before, I'm not very familiar with the original stories, but I found the concept very intriguing. The magic was also interesting, though I didn't think it was explained all that well. The writing was pretty (if a tad excessive at times) and I found that it was an easy read. Everything flowed well and was easy to follow.
So this was not a brilliant novel, but it was worth a read. An interesting concept with some interesting scenes and characters with lots of potential.