A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

AThousandNightsShe was his next bride, the next bride of a king who has killed so many women. She vows to protect her sister. But, she doesn’t expect the magic that occurs when she spins her tales. It starts out small and grows until she is ready to face her demons.

Doubtless, comparisons will be made between this book and The Wrath and the Dawn because of topic (retelling of the 1,001 Nights) and timing. So let’s start there.

This was the book that I wanted The Rose and the Dagger to be. It had the magic, the spirit, intrigue, love and just enough tension that I wanted to read it all the way through in a single sitting.

This has easily been one of the best, recent, standalone YA novels, at least for me. I loved our heroine and the world development was just enough to enthrall but not overwhelm.

I will say though, this is not a fast-paced, whirlwind thriller. Some of it’s qualities may not be appreciated by a young audience. For example, the writing is incredible, but the plot line is deliberate which may come off slow for some readers. Personally, I still loved it.

It was very empowering for a female reader the authority the main character has, how she takes back her life, manages on her own, and fights for those she loves, these things make her beautiful. Each woman in this book has her own story, her own agency, turning this tale into a feminist battle cry.

Spoiler in the sentences below…skip to next paragraph

The most amazing thing about this story is simply that until someone points it out… like I am about to do now… you may not realize that we are never told the main character’s name. She is no one, anyone, nameless, but still important.


End spoiler


This is the story for the anonymous, the outcasts, the ones who aren’t quite the prettiest or the smartest. And, it tells us that each of us has something powerful inside. Plus, it’s got some really meta-poetic stuff going on. The power of stories to change the world is something that each book nerd can relate to.

I also give mad props to any book with a suave and excellent bad guy.

Overall I give it a 5/5.

Main character: 5/5
Side characters: 5/5
World Development: 5/5
Pacing: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Procrastination and Giggles,
The Red Queen

P.S. #Fempire is my new favorite hashtag and it definitely applies.


2 thoughts on “A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

  1. I agree that it was very empowering, and I really loved the whole concept of smallgods. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as you did, though, and I felt like it couldn’t be compared to TWATD or TRATD because they’re just very different books. This one is VERY literary – I’m a bit surprised it’s marketed as YA because it definitely has appeal for adult audiences as well – whereas Ahdieh’s books I found are more typically YA, with the romance, the magic, the teasing, etc. Glad to hear that you like this book! ❤


    • For me it’s just closer to what I wanted out of an Arabian Nights reselling that TWATD and TRATD but that’s about as far of a comparison as I will make. I agree with you that I’m surprised it was marketed as YA because the message is so deep in the literary elements.


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