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.
Honestly, I never expected to get approved when I requested this book. I was browsing thru Netgalley’s shelf when my eye caught on the cover (yeah, I judge a book by its cover first). I thought it seems pretty & unique. So when I finally got an email stating my approval, I proceeded to download the book & read it as soon as I find the time. I have to admit, I spent a majority of this book wondering what is going on. Even after I finished the book, I only got the gist of it and I fail to fully understand the story.
So, Lo-Melkhiin is a king who has married 300 girls who died immediately after their marriages. One day he came to this village & this girl knew he was going to marry her sister, so she sacrificed herself & got hitched to him instead. On their wedding night, he touched his hand & she felt some kind of energy flowing through her. This energy is what kills the 300 girls before her. But, she woke up the very next day, healthy as a bull. He was puzzled but determined, so he came to her the next night, yet she lived on. Turns out our heroine here has some kind of power that enabled her to turn her dreams into reality. From the King’s Mother, she knew that Lo-Melkhiin wasn’t who he is now. He used to be a kind-hearted & strong hunter. He went on a hunt one day & this strange man came back instead. She despised being married to him but she endured it, knowing that other girls would have to take her place if she died or ran away. All along, she was unaware that her power might be strong enough to save the King & his Kingdom.
You see, even as I try to write this review, I struggle to understand the content of the whole story. Geez I don’t even know the name of the heroine & I just realized it now that I’m writing this. The author has a tendency to not name everyone. The heroine keeps referring to her father’s second wife as ‘my sister’s mother’ A bit mouthful to be read, ain’t it? Not only that, she keeps talking about her brother, her mother, her father’s father’s father, her sister’s mother, her sister’s brother.. I mean, it would be really helpful if the author gift this characters with names. Another thing is that I know not where the heroine’s power came from. I don’t know how she got to be this very special girl who finally saves the kingdom.
Despite all the things I’ve stated above, I like the character of the heroine, she is strong, selfless & clever. I like how the author builds up story & how she chooses to end the story too. So in spite of leaving me baffled most of the time, I reward this book with 3 and a half stars.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing with me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.