Book of a Thousand Days
By Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury, 2007. 305 pgs. Young Adult
On Dashti's first day as a lady's maid to Lady Saren, she swears to serve Saren no matter what. Even when she discovers Saren is to be shut up in a tower for seven years as punishment for refusing to marry Lord Khasar, Dashti remains true to her promise. Saren is a trying mistress--she's frightened of everything, incapable of being independent, and even irrational at times. However, Dashti, who has some talent as a healer, is determined to not only keep her lady alive but also to heal her of whatever hidden fears she has. Throughout their time in the tower and after they are free and head to the kingdom of Saren's betrothed, Khan Tegus, Dashti looks out for the best interest of Saren and demonstrates an inspiring resourcefulness.
Dashti's loyalty, practicality, and determination make her a charming narrator. Saren, on the other hand, can be frustrating, at least until Dashti finally discovers the very real cause for Saren's fears. Written in the format of Dashti's diary, the book can move somewhat slowly at times, but also remains true to Dashti's voice. A strong character, some twists and turns, and a handsome young man to boot all add up to a story worth reading.