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Book of a Thousand Days

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  39,998 Ratings  ·  5,445 Reviews
Based on a classic Grimm’s fairy tale, this is the story told by Dashti, a maid from the steppes of a medieval land, who sacrifices her freedom to accompany her mistress into exile.

Imprisoned in a remote tower after Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father has chosen, the maid and the lady have almost nothing in common. But the loyalty that grows between the two, the
Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published September 1st 2007)
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Jul 14, 2014 Cara rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Valerie
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
Mar 06, 2008 Kevin Fanning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2007 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retellings, ya
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
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
Laura Petto
Jan 03, 2008 Laura Petto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
Oct 16, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairytales
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!
Jul 01, 2012 Isamlq rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Katie Grace
I definitely liked the first half better than the last half (and I'm still convinced that I've read this before), but it was a good book. I love Shannon's writing style and how it's always so fairytale like and amazing. *needs to reread her Books of Bayern series immediately*
Book of a Thousand Days is quite different from the rest of Shannon Hale’s stories. This one has a completely different structure. It’s written in the form of diary entries from the point of view of Dashti.

I enjoyed reading about their imprisonment in the tower as it was captivating but I was disappointed they didn’t stay in there longer, nor were their troubles all that life-threatening. The characters felt a bit flat this time around. I don’t understand why Saren didn’t want to marry her other
Jun 15, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Oct 12, 2009 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Apr 05, 2008 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
Another retellings to add to my collection, this book was different and intriguing with some of my favourite plot devises ever! I loved the story telling format and the illustrations as well as the strength of the main character, Dashti!
So here I was, so incredibly tired after a long day that I decided I was going to start a light book and go to sleep early... next thing I know it's 3 AM and I'm at 70% of Book of a Thousand Days. I only stopped reading because I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer!

The only Shannon Hale books I'd read before were the Ever After High ones and I found those surprisingly good, so I was eager to read more of her work. I admit what first prompted me to pick this one was that it only had 5-star or 2
Mike Riley
Mar 24, 2010 Mike Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
I still can't get over why Dashti can place her foot out the 'mini' window, hold hands with the Khan and be pulled out forcefully by the Khan but they can never peek out to see each other's faces. Yup, still boggles me. Oh, and the fact that it took 2 years and a few months before she figured out that of course the rats had a way in/out of the tower!

I really tried to shut off my brain while reading this and kept reminding myself that it's a children's book but I just couldn't shut it off complet
Dec 26, 2015 Annadella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is so exquisitely full of grace and tenderness, i love this heroine more than i have ever loved anyone probably
Dec 23, 2012 Britany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this for a book club challenge.

I didn't realize it was a "Young Adult" genre until I started reading it and found myself wondering about the writing style and then there were pictures throughout the book (which I found myself looking forward to)

Apparently, this book is based off of a Grimm Fairytale in which the author greatly embellished into a book of its own, which I found intriguing. A maid and her Lady Saren are looked into a tower, sentenced for seven years.

I found myself wanting to
Mary C. *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
Sep 11, 2015 Kandice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely tale. I love the way Hale is able to set her stories in a place “other” than where we live. She gives enough detail so its obviously not here, but not so much that you need to worry about building a world in your mind. She keeps enough familiarity that the differences simply add to the tale, not detract from it.

Had there not been (view spoiler)
Mar 19, 2008 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, young-adult
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 22, 2008 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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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...

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“Mama used to say, you have to know someone a thousand days before you can glimpse her soul.” 553 likes
“You're better than seven years of food. You're better than windows. You're even better than the sky.” 163 likes
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