Trickey's Reviews > Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
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's review
Apr 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-adult-fiction

Hale's more recent books I've read have seemed a little watered down. Her debut with Goose Girl was so good I was hoping for some equally fantastic stuff. This book is set in a different world than Beyern and I have to admit I really liked the setting. Sometimes a "western" author adds some filial piety here and some silk robes there and calls it an "eastern" story. However, from reading her entry in the back, it sounds like Hale did some thorough research and the novel certainly benefits from it.

The main character is awesome, which is why the one part of the book which I found annoying was that her "lady" is the dullest dull piece of mud. I think she's supposed to be that way but when the second (and sometimes only) character is someone you want to poke a stick into to see jump, it's hard to understand 1) why we are reading/and or caring about her and 2) why is our awesome main character tied to this lump of coal?

I really think Hale only keeps the "lady" around so that she can perform her duty at the end of the story to allow for the main character's transformation. I'm sorry, but that's not a reason why I should sit through 100 plus pages of boring character just so she can grant our wishes at the end. Please, please, please young adult novelists of all shapes and sizes, please. Your audience is wider than you think and we appreciate good characters and good plot-lines, not just happy endings.

That said, Hale pulls through again with her weaving of storytelling, music and fictional tradition which makes this book worth reading, even if I guessed the "twist" as soon as I heard it howl.

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