Sunday, December 6, 2009

Book of a Thousand Days

by Shannon Hale

Dedication: "For Victoria

To the girl and the geese nine others said, Nay!
But you poured me some tea and asked me to stay
And built me a cottage at Bloomsbury Place
With pillows on chairs and sun on my face.
Our fifth together is me hugging you;
May dozens more follow before we are through."

First paragraph: "Day 1 My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years. Lady Saren is sitting on the floor, staring at the wall, and hasn't moved even to scratch for an hour or more. Poor thing. It's a shame I don't have fresh yak dung or anything strong-smelling to scare the misery out of her."

Review: Dashti was born a mucker but after her mother's death made her way to the city to find work. Because of her knowledge of the healing songs she was taught to read and write and then sworn in as the Gentry's maid. However, on the day of her arrival to serve Lady Saren there was quite the bustle going on. She sat in a corner for awhile until she was overcome with boredom and she went searching for the lady her self. She quickly learned Lady Saren was being banished to a tower and decided that since serving a Gentry was the best honor ever given to her she would gladly give up her life to accompany this women to be sealed in a tower for seven years. This is "A book of thoughts kept by Dashti, a mucker and a Lady's maid. Containing an account of our seven years in a tower and our adventure thereafter."

Another great book written by Shanon Hale. Lady Saren is something else. I never really knew whether I hated her or just felt sorry for her. There were times when I really loathed her but once again I couldn't figure out if it was just because I was a little bit tired of thinking she was downright pathetic. I think it takes a lot of skill to write a character like that - someone who isn't a bad person but you still have a hard time not hating them.

As for Dashti, she was brilliant. Strong-minded, obedient/loyal, daring, etc. I have a place in my heart for characters like her and I think they all deserve a happily-ever-after but you'll have to read the book to find out if she gets hers.

Click here for Shannon Hale's official website on Book of a Thousand Days.

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