Book Of A Thousand Days

Book Of A Thousand Days

Paperback - 2009
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Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2009
ISBN: 9781599903781
1599903784

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FindingJane Jun 05, 2017

Ms. Hale sets her imaginative world in an Asian landscape. It gives an unusual flavor to her novel and a brilliant setting, one filled with strange gods and goddesses, the daily toil of the lower classes and the workings of the gentry, a people supposedly descended from deities.

Even after hundreds of years, Grimm’s collection doesn’t lose its ability to capture the imagination. It’s always exciting when writers take their inspiration from old fairy tales, to see what the gifted author can make of an ancient fable. It’s even better when a writer boldly seizes an obscure tale, one not generally known by the populace. The original story centers around the Maid Maleen, a poor beleaguered princess shut up in a tower for seven years because she wouldn’t marry the man her father picked for her. But Ms. Hale’s fiction focuses mainly on the handmaiden shut up with the princess.

This alteration widens the story in scope. We get to learn about the mucker lifestyle, one that lives in the open air and may stand or fall on the back of a single animal. We learn how a simple mucker girl gets attached to the side of a spoiled and strangely lifeless princess. Dashti is everything you would expect a fairytale servant to be: hard-working, cunning, scheming, skilled and intelligent. She is also loyal, honorable, steadfast and patient. She’s also gifted with a special power, songs that can heal, lull, comfort, soothe and even command animals. I’ve read three of Ms. Hale’s novels and all the heroines within have abilities unlike those of most people; it’s yet another reason her books are so compelling.

Ms. Hale shows us all her corners as Dashti writes in a diary about the travail, trials and mundane workings of her time spent in and out of the tower. So it comes as a surprise to learn that her princess also has her secrets, including one so appalling her regression, timidity, terror and refusal to marry the man her father selected for her makes perfect sense.

Ms. Hale draws us into her worlds. Even if you believe you don’t like fairy tales, even if you prefer heroes to heroines, you can’t help but place your faith in her as she leads you down another flower-and-thorn-strewn path.

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blue_parrot_326
Apr 21, 2017

An amazing book. Keeps the reader very engaged. Couldn't keep the book down till I reached the end of the story. Has many unexpected twists and turns.

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Dukkie
Sep 05, 2016

Taku's comment is spot on. Wonderful story. Geolatin's comment is truthful. It depends on how old you are and how much depth you are wanting from a Grimm's fairytale adaptation of "Maid Maleen."

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geolatin
Jul 10, 2016

I enjoyed reading this as a light read, but I probably won't read more by this author. This revolves around a love story with a predictable conclusion. Deeds of daring-do and fairy tale bravery and loyalty. The characters are mostly flat with little complexity. The most interesting character with a growth arc was secondary to the story. It wasn't a bad book-after all I read it through-but not very complex.

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Taku
Dec 07, 2015

What a gem to find this book in the library. I borrowed it for my daughter and then finished reading it myself within a day. It has been a while since I last couldn't put a book down, but "Book of a thousand days" has been one of these rare occasions when you get completely emerged into the story.

I can only highly recommend this book. It is a quiet story, one that works beautifully without a big dramatic action plot. The focus is on the the main character and the story she tells.

The language is simple yet beautiful in its rich descriptions and the setting of medieval Mongolia is unique and interesting.
The romance in this story is subtle and would be suitable for teenagers.
The book also carries a strong message of (female) strength, no matter your circumstances and social upbringing.

READ IT!!! :)

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CappuccinoCat
Jul 08, 2015

As can be said for all of Shannon Hale's novels, Book of a Thousand Days is a work of art. It brings you into the moment, until you feel as if you are trapped in the stone tower with Dashti and Saren, or wandering the grassy steppes under the wide open sky, or singing to khan tegus. A wonderful tale.

Artpenr May 28, 2013

How do i even begin to explain the things this book is! For sure it will always be a one of my favorite books. Dashti literally is amazing! You feel an attachment for her and the animals Mucker and, My Lord. she is one likeable character she's just so funny and loyal and the amazing all in one! That's the kind of girl she is and what's also amazing is her story it's a thrilling journey into her world and you will not be able to come out. I was hooked as i started to get into it! And oh my Lord Tegus "silver deels" [no spoilers] "i will always love you" i whisper/sing to the book.

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tocch101
Jan 30, 2013

A cute story, but mostly highly predictable. The strength of characters and depth was good.

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shellynaj
Aug 09, 2012

Good book, quick read. The big events were slightly predictable, but there were some interesting details (you know who's going to end up together, but you dont' know how it can happen; you know the villain has to be stopped, but you don't know exactly how, etc).

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theresa
Mar 21, 2012

I love fairytales! And, Hale's version on Rapunzel is a unique and exciting taking on this old tale.

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Laura_X Jun 01, 2016

“Careful with the accusations of insanity, oh my lady whose home is a tower with windows of brick, all for the sake of some skinny-ankled, laugh-prone boy of a khan.”

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Iridollae
Apr 15, 2011

You're better than windows. You're even better than the sky.

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shellynaj
Aug 09, 2012

shellynaj thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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yl
May 11, 2010

From the back cover of the book:

[italics][pale blue] My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years.[/italics][/pale blue]

When Lady Saren refuses to marry a man she fears, she and her maid, Dashti, are locked in a tower with just a tiny flap open to the outside world. As food runs low and the weather changes from broiling hot to unbearably cold, it is all Dashti can do to make them comfortable in their dark prison.

Not long after their confinement begins, Saren's suitors arrive--one welcome, the other less so--and she orders Dashti to speak to them. Impersonating Lady Saren is a crime punishable by death, but Dashti will have to play the role many times if she is to save them both from the tower and the dangers outside. As she takes control of their desperate situation, Dashti begins to understand her own astonishing talents and believe that even a low-born maid can find true love.

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