Author: E.K. Johnston
Publication: October 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
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.
I definitely liked the story overall. But I was a little bit disappointed by the characters and the end of the book.
It's hard to talk about the heroine of the story because her name as well as every other character's name (aside from Lo-Melkhiin). I didn't get mentioned at all. I'm sure there's a reason for this but it was confusing nevertheless.
I liked the heroine well enough, though. She was very brave as she basically volunteered to go to her own dead to save her sister. Lo-Melkhiin was an intriguing character, too. At least the demon inside him was. And said demon had sometimes a chapter in his point of view as well. Those were my favorites.
As much as I liked the heroine and Lo-Melkhii, the story lacked character developement. Not only for the main characters but also for the others.
Also the ending was too rushed. When what I call "the big battle" was taking place, I felt like there wasn't enough of the story left. Before I knew it, it was over. I did like that there was a certain lack of romance. Actually, I had feared there would be a love triangle, but luckily there was none. Phew!
Overall, the story was good but I've read better. To be honest, I wanted to learn more about the demon (and others like him) that had possessed Lo-Melkhiin for so long. But other than that it was okay, and I liked it mostly.
About the Author:
E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.
You can follow Kate on Twitter (@ek_johnston) to learn more about Alderaanian political theory than you really need to know, or on Tumblr (ekjohnston) if you're just here for pretty pictures.
E.K. Johnston is represented by Adams Literary