***I received a this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
SYNOPSIS: Lo-Melkhiin has taken a wife from every village only to kill her after a few days. When he arrives at one particular village, a girl tricks him into picking her instead of her sister and begins to weave him tales to save their lives.
This is a tale that has been told time and time again, but Johnston has added a wonderful and fresh perspective. Although this story starts out as a retelling of the tale of Scheherazade and morphs into something so much more, it is most importantly the tale of two sisters and their deep love for each other. There was something so pure and beautiful about the relationship of the two sisters that it made me smile to think about just how much they loved each other. That love extended to her family as well, but there is something different about the love you share with your best friend. Once our heroine is taken, you would think the story would focus on her time in the palace and the stories that she will tell her husband, but instead we get that mixed with tales from her childhood about her sister. Her sister even populates the stories she tells each night! Another interesting thing about this retelling is how it alternates between our heroines point of view and the demon that has possessed Lo-Melkhiin’s point of view. It adds a Beauty and the Beast element to the story in that our heroine has to break the demon’s hold in order for Lo-Melkhiin to be restored to his original state. There was a perfect blend of love and magic throughout the entire story and it felt nice to read a book about a girl who had to use her wits to save everyone instead of brawn. I also enjoyed the fact that she wasn’t a reluctant savior, but chose her own path always even when others tried to tell her which road to go down. I loved, loved, loved how cloaked in mystery the whole story is! The only important character who is given a name if Lo-Melkhinn. We do not know the name of our heroine, her sister, or Lo-Melkhiin’s demon. It had that feel of an ancient story handed down for generations only to have the names lost in the wind and the frame be rediscovered by some archaeologist. The story about how her father’s father’s father saved his village was beautifully written and made me ache for more stories, but I enjoyed the fact that our heroine’s tales were often just thoughts about her sister and her family. I think anyone who loves a good retelling will savor every word of this magical tale!
Thanks Disney-Hyperion for allowing me to read this book! Buy a copy here!