Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book of a Thousand Days

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.


1 comment:

ALC said...

I think this is one of Hale's finest works. I enjoyed reading a young adult novel in a different setting, this time, in Asia. I also appreciated the spin of being narrated in first person by the servant of the princess, and not the actual princess herself. Dashti is a wonderful heroine, smart, brave, and loyal, who tries to the best she can in a difficult and sometimes absurd situation. This is absolutely a recommended read.