Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review: The One Hundred Nights Of Hero – Isabel Greenberg

The One Hundred Nights Of Hero – Isabel Greenberg

In the Empire of Migdal Bavel, Cherry is married to Jerome, a wicked man who makes a diabolical wager with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in one hundred nights, he can have his castle—and Cherry. 
But what Jerome doesn't know is that Cherry is in love with her maid Hero. The two women hatch a plan: Hero, a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers, will distract Manfred by regaling him with a mesmerizing tale each night for 100 nights, keeping him at bay. Those tales are beautifully depicted here, touching on themes of love and betrayal and loyalty and madness.

Review: This will be a short review because I only have one thing to say about this graphic novel: Read it.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero is a retelling of The Arabian Nights. It stars Cherry and Hero, two women who live in the fictional Empire of Migdal Bavel. In the Empire, stories belong to men. Women who can read or write are executed for being witches. This graphic novel is about the power of stories. Stories have the ability to inspire, to distract, to bring people together, and to spread the truth. In Migdal Bavel, only men are supposed to have access to those powers.

The novel starts with Cherry’s husband admitting to his friend, Manfred, that he has never slept with Cherry. The two men make a bet. If Manfred can get Cherry to sleep with him, the husband will give Manfred his castle and Cherry.

Cherry hasn’t slept with her husband because Cherry is a lesbian. She’s in love with her maid, Hero. Hero hears the men making the bet and comes up with a plan. Every time Manfred attempts to seduce Cherry, Hero will tell him a story. She’s a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers and knows a lot of stories. If everything goes well, Manfred will be so interested in the tales that he’ll leave Cherry alone and not accuse Hero of witchcraft.

“We shall tell all the stories that are never told. Stories about bad husbands and murderous wives and mad gods and mothers and heroes and darkness and friends and sisters and lovers.” - The One Hundred Nights of Hero

There’s a lot going on in this book. The story of Cherry, Hero, and Manfred serves as a frame for the tales that Hero tells. All of the tales are part of a larger tale, but you don’t know how the parts all fit together until the end. It’s intricate but not confusing. If you like books with unusual structures, check this one out.

Hero’s stories are sometimes magical and sometimes funny. They all feature badass women who are rebelling against the roles they are forced to play by society. Migdal Bavel isn’t a kind place. If the characters want to survive, they have to outsmart everybody around them.

“Lesson: Men are false. And they can get away with it. Also, don't murder your sister, even by accident. Sisters are important.” - The One Hundred Nights of Hero

I like the art style in this book. It’s mostly black and white with a few other colors thrown in. Maybe “whimsical” would be a good way to describe it? Or “primitive.” The drawings are strange and not very detailed. Migdal Bavel seems like a primitive Empire, so maybe it makes sense that their art is simple. I know nothing about art. I just know it worked for me. It makes sense with the type of stories Hero tells.

My only complaint is the font. I have terrible eyesight. It was hard for me to make out some of the tiny, loopy letters.

I’m going to end this review now because this is a book you need to experience. It’s impossible for me to do a good job of describing it to you. Just go read it.


  1. This sounds amazing! I hadn't heard of it before, but I'm always on the lookout for great graphic libraries. Off to see if my library has a copy!

  2. Every time I hear about this book I wanna read it more! Magic and story-telling and F/F romance?!?! I NEED to read this!!!! XD

  3. I love so much about your review that I am really intrigued about this book! I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for sharing your review. :)

  4. This sounds fantastic! I've been for a new gaphic novel to fall in love, and this one really sounds like it could just do the trick. I am definitely intrigued, and I like the sample of the artwork! I can see myself having a small issue with some of the font, haha, but that's okay! Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. gah, I saw this on youtube and it looked so cool! But I think I'd have trouble with the font as well :(

  6. This sounds SO good. The font does look really hard to read, but I think I could probably get past it (or you know, have headaches for days, whichever) because the story sounds so, so good- and really unique! Great review, I have to add this one for sure!

  7. I love the cover! It's definitely unique. And so is the synopsis! I haven't read Arabian Nights but now I want to, and then I want to pick this one up. It sounds so good.

    1. I haven’t read Arabian Nights, either, but I know the basic story. You don’t need to know the original to appreciate this book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

  8. I've been meaning to get into graphic novels more, and this seems like a great place to start! Thanks for the post :-)