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.
It was interesting... And I can't find much more to say about it.
I liked the culture and how different it is from everything I've known. The way everyone talks, eats, prays and lives is well described and made me want to know more about such populations. It's kind of idyllic, sometimes, to think about living in the desert with nothing but your family. It's a simplistic way to live, but I was envious quite often.
The story itself isn't all that interesting. It starts off as intriguing, but the fact that it's so slow-paced and all about descriptions instead of actions - don't get me wrong, I love descriptions, it's just that it's annoying to know more about the rooms than the story - makes it quite boring. I had to push myself to finish this, which isn't exactly good. Also, did I understand the ending? I couldn't say.
I think that it has potential, but it wasn't fully used.
(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)