Tuesday 13 October 2015

Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

TitleA Thousand Nights
AuthorE.K Johnston
Published: 22nd October 2015
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

Big thanks to Lovereading4kids for the copy of A Thousand Nights

I had previously heard of the story Arabian Nights and had a vague idea of what the story was, but had never actually read it, so this young adult retelling instantly intrigued me and was really keen to start.

This is not the retelling I was expecting as it moves away from the original story, but what we get is something even better and I was instantly captivated.

What struck me the most was how much care, detail and attention had gone into the writing of A Thousand Nights. It is not a usual writing style you come across today, but this just made the story all the more beautiful. It also added to that sense of culture and tradition you come across in the story.

The writing style of this definitely reminded me of an old style of telling stories and also a little bit of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. It was a stunning way to tell the story but I always felt like an outsider looking in rather than feeling as though I was physically there in the story. I think it will be something that readers will either like or struggle with. However despite that, I do not think that it could have been told in any other way and it felt more as if someone was telling the story to you, which was actually refreshing in a way. I can't deny that the language was just lyrical and that I wanted still wanted to savour every word and took away a wonderful message.

It is not often that I get to read Middle Eastern stories, so A Thousand Nights has definitely left me craving more stories like it.

This is deeply magical and powerful story. It is one that will seep into your bones and stay with you long after you have finished reading.


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