Angie's Reviews > Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
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Oct 23, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: retellings, ya
Read in September, 2007

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. I finished this one with mixed feelings. The conclusion I came to is that I wanted more. There was so much potential yet I felt I wasn't allowed to scratch past the surface of things. I liked Dashti, but she didn't have to struggle that hard to get what she got. Or at least her struggle wasn't given the gravity it deserved. Lady Saren, who had quite clearly been driven mad by some atrocious event, was so wonderfully vacant and creepy. I wanted to get to the root of her madness. When I finally found out, it was appropriately weird but it wasn't given enough time or depth. I wanted more. More psychological exploration, more emotion, more pages in general. Her previous books are chock full of it and so this one came off a bit...flat. These comments aside, I always recommend Shannon Hale highly and I eagerly await the fourth Bayern book.
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Reading Progress

01/06 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Caroline Potterf Thank you for the review! That was exactly how I felt, exactly.


Angie I'm glad to hear it. I was beginning to fear I was alone in this since all the other Hale fans seem to just love it.


Caroline Potterf :) I know, I was feeling the same...


Lisa The librarian recommended this and I thought the pace of the story was a bit slow but matched the story itself beautifully. I too though wanted "more" (perhaps due to the pace of the way the story was told, it seemed to get right toward the end then rush to be done before it's time).


Judy Totally agree.


Angie Yes, it did feel rushed at the end. Just as things were getting a bit interesting.


Miss Clark You are not alone - I also gave it two stars;) And pretty much for those same reasons.


message 8: by Lance (new)

Lance Greenfield Having read other reviews, I WAS very keen to read this book, until I read yours. I shall keep it on my to-read shelf, but perhaps you would suggest that I read one of Shannon Hale's other books first?
If so, which would you recommend?


Angie Lance, I usually recommend starting with The Goose Girl as that is her first and the first in the Books of Bayern series as well.


Maggie I agree with your well written review. I was waiting for more to develop, more depth.


Stephanie Chayrez I respectfully disagree! I thought this book was so much better than the Goose Girl or any of the Beyern books. To me it read more like a classic fairy tale and less like a young adult novel. Don't get me wrong, I love YA, but it's not, in general, the deepest stuff.


Miriam Re:"she didn't have to struggle that hard to get what she got."

Did we read the same book?

Dashti constantly sacrificed for others, without expecting anything in return.

(view spoiler)


Angie We did read the same book. But as is wonderfully (and always) the case, each book speaks differently to each reader. It's my understanding that the majority of Hale's readers enjoyed this book, which is awesome. But it did not resonate with me. This review was my way of explaining why it did and what I liked and didn't. Your points are completely valid. Yet despite those elements, I failed to connect emotionally with Dashti, and the story as a whole felt thin to me. Mileages vary, and that's okay.


Miriam :) The question was meant to be sarcastic.

I actually appreciate negative comments and reviews. It's great to see honest opinions, and it gives people a better idea of what the book will be like.


Angie So do I! Goodreads is a godsend in that sense. :)


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