Abby Johnson's Reviews > Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
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Oct 15, 07

Read in October, 2007

In a land where the Ancestors watch over the people and songs can heal physical and emotional ills, the commoner Dashti has just lost her mother and has nowhere to go. She is taken in by a gentry family and trained to be a lady's maid for Lady Saren, a meek and selfish girl who is locked in a tower for seven years for refusing to marry the man her father chose for her. At first, Dashti is happy to have three meals a day and to eat spiced food (a delicacy only the rich can afford), but when they discover rats in the cellar and Lady Saren spooks at every sound, Dashti realizes that the next seven years may be more trying than she'd thought. If they can make it seven years... When Lady Saren's lover Khan Tegus visits the tower, Dashti is suprised and dismayed to find that Lady Saren seems terrified and orders Dashti to speak to him in her name. Pretending to be gentry is a crime punishable by hanging, but Dashti has taken an oath to serve her lady, so she does it. And that will change everything...

I went into this book with no expectations. What I found was Shannon Hale's awesome style... her words give you pictures of the story. I found a really likeable heroine and an inventively imagined world that is based on Mongolian legend. The story itself is based on the Grimm fairy tale "Maid Maleen" and it is adapted and fleshed out as only Shannon Hale could do it. Highly recommended for fans of Hale's other works and anyone looking for a great fantasy read.

Readalike suggestions: Shannon Hale's other books, especially The Goose Girl. The Fortune's Wheel books by Cynthia Voigt (start with Jackaroo).
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Abby Johnson I am a big fan of "The Goose Girl"... that one's probably my favorite. "The Princess Academy" is also good and we can't keep it on the shelves at my library (well, it's also a Rebecca Caudill [IL state book award] nominee, so that's part of the reason).


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