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Book of a Thousand Days

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  34,653 ratings  ·  5,021 reviews
When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.

As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—o
Paperback, 308 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published September 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Do you guys know that feeling when you just have finished an astonishingly excellent book? You feel full of life and understanding. It's why as readers we come back and back again and hope this will be the book that gives us that exhilaration. I guess it's akin to a literary high. This book did that for me and more. It deserves more than the five star rating.

Let's see if I'll be able to give a concise review without confusing people. This story is loosely based on an obscure Grimm fairy tale (
Kevin Fanning
So, so, so good.

As I got towards the end I was planning on giving it 4 stars, but then at the very end it surprised me and it was like the book was about something completely other than what I'd been thinking it was about the whole time. It surprised me, and I love well-executed surprises. Thus 5 stars. Not that there was a surprise ending (I don't like those), just that there was a reframing that totally delighted me. I'll say more about it down below if you want, but I'll put them beneath spo
Hale has proved herself adept at finding obscure fairy tales and reworking them in mouth-watering new ways. Her latest offering is based on the little-known "Maid Maleen" by the Brothers Grimm. A lady and her loyal maid are locked in a tower for seven years as punishment for the lady's refusal to marry the man her father wants her to. The story details their imprisonment in the tower and the adventure that follows. Hale's version is told in diary format from the point of view of the maid--Dashti ...more
Dashti, a mucker maid, is going to be locked up in a tower with her Lady Saren for seven years. Lady Saren refused to marry a man she did not love, so Dashti must prepare for a rigorous and daunting imprisonment. Soon, Dashti finds rats in the flour and mold on the cheese. It becomes a struggle to survive, and Dashti also must deal with Lady Saren’s two completely different suitors. Dashti must make a choice, for herself, and for Saren.

In Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale brings to life the
Sara ♥
Ummm... So I started this book at 2:00 am. (Note to self: don't start books at 2:00 am! Are you crazy???) Yeah, I couldn't put it down! I finished at about 7:00. Then my husband woke me up at noon! How rude! Doesn't he realize that reading makes me nocturnal? ;)

Anyway, I started the book, and was like, "Why is this written from the lady's maid's point of view and not from the lady's point of view. Yeah, that becomes very clear within just a few pages. I really loved Dashti—she was such a fascina
I enjoyed this a lot - so much so that I DIDN'T finish it last night. I wanted to save it so that I would have something to look forward to reading this afternoon. I found myself thinking about the story several times throughout the day and wondering how it might end. I wasn't disappointed. Another great job by Shannon Hale!
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jessica Cave for

Shannon Hale's BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS is a riveting read that allows you to see into the soul of a young girl.

Angry at her for not marrying the ruler of a nearby kingdom, Lady Saren's father locks her and her maid in a tower. He plans to leave them there for seven years. It is Dashti, the maid's, responsibility to keep them fed and in good condition, no matter how hot or how cold it may be.

With evil lords, unresponsive guards, and dreamy suitors kn
This particular story has a fairy tale feel to it... and it was incredibly entertaining.

Seven years they were to stay, Lady Saren and her handmaid Dashti. You’d think the first a strong princess, a brave one… another one of those in your face, I’ll do as I please versions of princesses. She’s not. You’d think Dashti, meek and obedient. She is. Despite said fact, it’s still Dashti who shines in this one because the princess was often times too delicate, too soft, too shy… and just not quite all
Quite possibly Shannon's best book! A joyous read, rich with detail and written in the author's inimitible, poetic style. I not only felt a deep connection for the narrator, but also for the male protagonist, and the Mongolia-like world she created was gorgeous to behold. Lovely, lovely, lovely!
Jun 15, 2009 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls age 13 and up
I loved this Young Adult book! Hooray for Shannon Hale! I probably wouldn't recommend this book to girls under 12, but I think Hale has produced a wonderful heroine for the older teen set. I liked this book better than Princess Academy. I felt the themes were more accessible--everyone can relate to having a crush on someone totally out of your league. And who can’t envision the horror of being betrothed to a grotesque villain or locked up with rats? I loved how the two girls-- Saren, a princess ...more
Kisah yang sangat menakjubkan! Tanpa ragu saya memberikan bintang 5 untuk buku ini.

Book of a Thousand Days bercerita tentang kehidupan yang dijalani Lady Saren dan pembantunya Dashti saat mereka dikunci oleh ayah Lady Saren di menara selama 7 tahun karena Lady Saren menolak perjodohan dirinya dengan salah satu penguasa daerah, Lord Khasar. Kisah ini diceritakan oleh Dashti yang memang pandai menulis dan membaca.

Dashti datang untuk bekerja pada Lady Saren di hari kesatu tanpa mengetahui apa yang
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Goose Girl and Princess Academy, I was excited to see this new young adult novel (another retelling of an obscure fairytale) from Shannon Hale. I was even more excited when I saw that it had been given great reviews so far. Could I possibly enjoy a book from this genre more than Princess Academy? I was anxious to find out.

Well, maybe it was my anticipation that left this book feeling flat. It was readable enough, for sure; the storytelling style (a diary) le
A true heroine rises from the Grimm Brother ashes.
Hale has created a female character worthy to be loved and adored for a long time to come. She is filled with guts, heart, and soul.
This is a tale of imprisonment, courage, love, romance, fantasy, and one spectacular protagonist.
This is a tale of the silenced being given a voice, of the oppressed fighting their way out of darkness, so they can feel the burn of the sun of life on their skin once again.
It is a tale about the power and magic of wor
Carla *Jen7waters*


Shannon Hale you mastermind!!!
I cannot believe I had this GEM untouched on my bookshelf for so long---why, why am I an idiot?? Awww, it was so cute, and lovely, and emotional, and fairytale-like! What am I saying? This isn't just fairytale-like, this IS in fact a fairytale retold, and the original is called "Maid Maleen" by the Brothers Grimm. It basically tells the story of two girls, one a princess (not really a princess, but the daughter of a very rich and powerful lord) the ot
After her mother's death, Dashti the mucker leaves the desolate steppe in search of her fortune (or at least, survival). On her first day as a maid, she is assigned to Lady Saren--who is promptly locked in a tower for refusing to marry the formidable Lord Khasar. Although Saren is silly and clearly too traumatized to think straight, Dashti is so overwhelmed by their class differences that she lets Saren do whatever she wants, even eat all their food. To make matters worse, Khasar shows up outsid ...more
Mary Chen *Nulla in mundo pax sincera*
I read this back in middle school and love it now as much as I did then. There is something so touching and real about Dashti's narration and her bildungsroman journey that I could not help but applaud her courage and commiserate her tribulations. Sure, there are elements that the modern young reader may find tedious, or confusing, but that's just a sign of how well the culture of this pseudo-Mongolian setting is developed.

At the heart of this book is a gentle story of love and healing, and I w
Mike Riley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If I had not started blogging and reading other blogs I don't think I would have ever read a Shannon Hale book. I'd never even heard of her until I read reviews of her books on the Internet. But about 20 or so pages into my first Shannon Hale book I thought, uh-oh, I don't think I am going to like this book. I've heard so much about Shannon Hale and her books but I'm not gonna like them. The problem is that I have never been a fan of fantasy, but before I knew it I was half way through the book ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
As luck would have it, the very day Dashti enters the service of a lady is the very day said lady is bricked into a tower for seven years to learn obedience. Dashti goes along with her to keep her company and take care of her. Between fighting off rats, Lady Saren's torpor, and the unsettling attentions of Saren's two very different suitors, Dashti has her hands full. And that's just the beginning.

I love Dashti. She grows so much in this book! She starts off a simple girl from a simple way of li
Mar 29, 2009 Jacqueline rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a satisfying, well-written fantasy
Recommended to Jacqueline by: my dear LRRH/Shannon Hale friends (love ya guys! :D )
Ever since I was able to read (when I was about four years old, I believe), I always found something admirable about authors. Perhaps it was just so magical the way they picked out words, stuck them here and there, sewed them together, and, voilà! had their stories collected in nicely-bound books. It was as if they were a sort of literary witches and wizards. But now, they also strike me as chefs; some give you a tasty but calorie-packed hamburger with deep-fried French fries that fill you up bu ...more
Bonnie Gayle
Jan 22, 2008 Bonnie Gayle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Grimm's fairy tale reduxes and diary format stories
Shannon Hale is climbing the ranks in becoming one of my favorite authors, and this book helped a great deal, by being an automatic add to my favorites shelf. I read it in 2 days, and absolutely loved it! She has perfected the craft of Grimm's fairy tale reduxes.

Dashti is a mucker, which means that she has grown up in the steppes of Mongolia, in a gher, and also has the power of healing through song.

When she is no longer able to live in the steppes, she goes to town, and quickly is hired and tr
Hale keeps getting better with each book I read. Dashti is a charming and engaging character, Tegus is wonderful, and I love the way Hale takes real beliefs and traditions and adds just a little edge of fantasy to them.

I've read three of Hale's books, and she seems to have a very different (and consistent) way of treating nobility vs. commoners. The three protagonists so far have been solid, intelligent commoners - and the vast majority of her commoners have been in the same vein. Meanwhile, mal
Inspired Kathy
This is my book group pick for this month. It's been 3 years since I read it and I don't remember it so I'm rereading.... Bumping it up to a 5 star book. Loved it second time around.

This is the first book by Shannon Hale I have read. I loved the character Dashti that she created. I love to read fairy tales and I enjoyed this less well know story of two girl locked in a tower.
I really enjoyed this fairytale! Dashti is a great character!!
The Loft
I have been eagerly awaiting Shannon Hale’s latest novel, Book of a Thousand Days (Bloomsbury, 2007), and it definitely does not disappoint. The language sings! It is an imaginative retelling of a little-known fairy tale, Maid Maleen by the Brothers Grimm.

Set in a fictionalized, medieval Mongolia, 16-year-old Lady Saren is locked away in a tower for seven years by her father for refusing to marry the man her father has chosen, Lord Khasar. The story is told, however, by Lady Saren’s mucker maid
This is the thing I love about rereading books, you know you're going to like it. After reading so many nice but kind of disappointing books I was starving for something that was great. Thank goodness Book of A Thousand Days is available on e-book at my library.

The voice of Dashti is so unique and so different from other Hale characters or heroines in general. She is so capable, unpretentious, courageous, and optimistic throughout the book. And you know Tegus, yeah I adored him. Sure it’s fun t
Sigh. I really, really wanted to love this book because I love Shannon Hale and all my Goodreads friends have given it 5 or 4 stars but... I just didn't.

I didn't like Dashti or Saren. Really, I HATED Saren. More often than not I wanted to beat her head against a rock. She's stupid, annoying, and a terrible person. Dashti, the narrator, wasn't much better. While people who like the book would probably say that she's just fiercely loyal, I found her to be kind of an idiot. I think I would've boug
Jun 08, 2008 Tara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holly
Shelves: uta-bookclub, ya, fantasy, 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a retelling of the little known Grimm Brothers tale "Maid Maleen,' but fairly drastically reworked. Dashti was born a mucker girl on the Asian Steppes, but when her mother dies and she has no family left, she finds work as a ladies maid for Lady Saren, daughter of the ruler of Titor's Garden. But when Dashti arrives to begin her work, she learns Lady Saren is to be shut up in a tower for seven years for disobeying her father and refusing to marry Lord Khasar; and Dashti must be shut up w ...more
Caitlin L
I recently finished "Book of a Thousand Days", by Shannon Hale. It's about a shy, yet determined Princess Saren who's dad (the king) put her in a tower with only her newly appointed maid, Dashti because she refused to marry a man and told her father that she was in love with someone else. It's told in the point of the princess's sweet, country maid and it's written in journal form and each chapter is marked with what day it is. I really enjoyed the book, because Hale put lots of description into ...more
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more
More about Shannon Hale...
The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1) Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1) Austenland (Austenland, #1) Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2) River Secrets (The Books of Bayern, #3)

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“Mama used to say, you have to know someone a thousand days before you can glimpse her soul.” 509 likes
“You're better than seven years of food. You're better than windows. You're even better than the sky.” 152 likes
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