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 favoriteShannon 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 trained to be the maid to Lady Saren. Unluckily, Dashti pledges to do her lady's bidding the same day that Lady Saren's father decides the fitting punishment for turning down the proposal of Lord Khasar, and instead wanting to marry Khan Tegus, is to wall her up in a tower...for 7 years. Dashti hardly hesitates before she agrees to go into the tower with Lady Saren, because her Lady bids it.
The book takes the format of a diary that Dashti writes from the tower. She finds that Lady Saren is unexplainably terrified of Lord Khasar, and, when Khan Tegus comes to visit, Dashti is shocked to find Lady Saren bid her to talk to him through the tower in her place. Over their several nights of discussions, Dashti discovers that Khan Tegus is a wonderful person, and, despite her efforts not to, she falls in love with him. This leads to several problems, not the least of which is that Dashti and Lady Saren have hardly begun their seven years of captivity in the tower.
There is so much more to this story. It has everything that I look for in a good tale, including a believable sense of place, a unique and fully realized main character, adventure, romance, and more. It has the sadness that turned me off from The Goose Girl, but in this book, it fits into a more realistic and well-rounded world, rather than being overwhelmingly depressing. In the end, I found this more like Ella Enchanted, one of my most favorite books, than any of Gail Carson Levine's follow-ups. ...more
Well, this is probably reread number 8. Three of those were for high school or college classes. I know I can never reach Betsy's esteemed number of reWell, this is probably reread number 8. Three of those were for high school or college classes. I know I can never reach Betsy's esteemed number of rereadings:)
The thing I remark upon the most each time I read it is that because you follow Elizabeth Bennet's journey, it's like you begin the story anew each time you reread it. It's really like reading it fresh each time. You are totally with Elizabeth when she thinks Darcy is rude and unlikeable in the beginning, it's maybe a little harder to find the merit as she does in Wickham on rereadings, but your liking of Darcy grows throughout the book along with Elizabeth's. I think it is the fact that you are totally there with Elizabeth Bennet, and seeing what she is seeing, that incredibly allows the journey of this book to be as moving the 8th time through as the first.
Plus, the romance in it just cannot be beat. A romance for the ages! ...more
I've always really loved this book. Historical time period, plus diary format, plus spunky main character is a winning competition in my view. The onlI've always really loved this book. Historical time period, plus diary format, plus spunky main character is a winning competition in my view. The only problem is that it ends where it does. You get to the end, and you just want to know how things will work out for her, and whether a character who is only obliquely referenced throughout will turn out to be as she hopes. Really, it's as if she ran up against a publisher's deadline. Despite the ending, though, I highly recommend this book!...more