Pauline's Reviews > Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
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's review
Apr 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, read-2008, reviews, young-adult-fiction

I loved this book, it is has many layers of emotion. The story has you pondering about how you perceive your social status in the world and why you tend to cling to a particular status and tend not to move above it. “Book of a Thousand Days” is written by Dashti a mucker maid and it is written in a diary format taking the reader from day to day.

Shannon Hale based "Book of a Thousand Days" on the fairy tale "Maid Maleen" as recorded by the Grimm bothers. She changed the story from the original to bring us the story of Dashti the mucker girl.

Dashti is a mucker girl who has lost her family and she becomes the servant to Saren a gentry lady. Saren is locked up in a tower for seven years because she refuses to marry the man her father wants her to marry. Dashti as sworn a vow of servitude to Saren and Dashti refuses to break the vow, so she is also locked up in the tower. Saren's beaux Tegus, who she was secretly betrothed to through letters, that where exchanged when they were youngsters, shows up at the tower to set Saren free, but is unable to accomplish the task. Saren is too scared to talk to him, so she sends Dashti to impersonate her. Over the course of conversing through a hole in the brick tower, Dashti and Tegus fall in love. Tegus has to leave to protect his country, but he never returns as promised to set the girls free. They end up spending 932 days in the tower instead of seven years. Dashti is able to bring about their escape, but the escape brings about a whole new set of problems that they have to face.

Dashti is the leader and the intelligent one between the two, but she is the servant and is therefore in a quandary of how to act with Saren who is gentry and therefore the one to be served. Dashti stays true to her character and grows with each passing challenge.

Saren and Dashti eventually walk their way to Tegus' city and become servants in his household. Over time, Dashti due to her gifts and intelligence moves up in the servitude world and has direct contact with Tegus, who does not recognize her. With war at his city's doorstep Tegus has a lot to deal with and Dashti is able to provide important information about Tegus' enemy with the help of Saren. The way Dashti helps is amazing to read and you can feel her vulnerability as she confronts the enemy.

I love the character Dashti, she made me laugh, she has great compassion for people and she made me think about how to treat other people. The love story between Dashti and Tegus is sweet, even with the happy ever after ending; it is a wonderful story,

This story has made me ponder, laugh and feel sorrowful and compassionate. It was a delight to read.
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