Hello everyone! I am keeping my promise of writing more reviews. I am trying to do one for every standalone I read (not including german books I’m reading for school xD). I will also try and do them for first books in series, but I have read so much already because of not having school until this week that I am already really, really behind. I am also going to start doing weekly updates where I talk about what I am reading and how my goals are going, so that I can check myself against my goals, so be looking out for that.
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.
This is the first book in a ‘series’. Well, this is a standalone, but according to the author there will be a companion released in 2016 about which I could find no information. So sorry about that. This is a YA Fantasy.
Well, with this first thing to talk about we already come across something unique in this book. Aside from one character, no one in this book is given a name. I’m not going to talk in detail about the specific characters in this book so much simply because that is one of the main reasons this book doesn’t have 5 stars or 5+ stars (5+ stars means I have 0 faults, by the way). I felt like the characters could have been developed more.
Her is the only thing I can call the main character! She doesn’t have a name. She has many titles, but none really sum her up. She is brave and loyal, but I couldn’t really say much else about her. She’s smart, maybe? I felt like she needed to be developed more. The book was quite short, so I felt like we didn’t get to know the characters enough. We didn’t really know much about her hopes and dreams and aspirations beyond not letting her sister be married off. I would’ve liked to know more about what she wanted for herself, rather than what her sister wanted for her. I did however find Her family dynamic very interesting with the half sister, brothers, father, mother and then her sister’s mother. I liked the way they interacted with each other and with the others in the community.
Lo-Melkhiin is a tricky one to talk about without spoiling anything. He is a very complex character, more than it appears at first and I personally found him quite interesting. His mother was very interesting as well.
PLOT AND WORLDBUILDING
I liked the political system type thing and the world in which this book was set. I liked the contrast between the priests and the skeptics and I liked the different roles people had. I especially liked the henna mistress, I thought she was pretty awesome: she was probably my favourite character, to be honest.
This book is written in quite a slow pace, especially at the beginning and is quite descriptive about the surroundings, if not about the characters themselves. This slow pace is the NUMBER ONE SOURCE OF COMPLAINT about this book, which really annoys me. I will be doing a discussion post on slow paced books soon, after this and the last book I reviewed had similar complaints. A SLOW PACE IS NOT A BAD THING.
This is a loose retelling of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights with some very unique twists.
I’m not to sure how I feel about the romance in this. I felt like it came on too suddenly at the end and should have been shown differently somehow. However, I also felt like it was dealt with pretty well at the end. Obviously I can’t say too much, since it happens at the end, but it seemed reasonably realistic, although I thought Johnston should have shown more of Her internal thoughts about the situations that happened to do with the romance and shown more of the conflict that would have been there in a normal person when faced with life-changing decisions. If you’ve read this you probably know what I am referring too, otherwise- sorry if that is a bit incoherent, I hope it made some sense.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and found it highly entertaining despite its flaws.
That’s it for this book review! I hope you liked the review. Let me know what you thought about this book or if you plan to read it!