Book synopsis(via Goodreads):
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.
***Many thanks to Net Galley and Disney-hyperion for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.***
This insomniac's opinion:
I am fascinated by other cultures so this novel was a perfect fit for me as I was instantly transported into the dry heat of the desert in the very first pages. The characters were fascinating, but it was the culture and the way of life that kept my rapt attention as I turned each page.
If you are able to be nonjudgmental towards a culture that is unknown to you, this is a fascinating read.
Worth staying up all night to read?
It was for me. The descriptions of the heat of the desert sun warmed my bones on the cold autumn nights.
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for Goodreads.