04 July 2010

Review: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale book coverThe Book of a Thousand Days is a young adult fiction novel written by Shannon Hale. It is the retelling of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, via the journal of Dashti, a Lady's maid. She and her mistress, Lady Saren are locked in a tower for seven years by Lady Saren's father, due to her refusal to marry Lord Khasar.

The tower has been sealed and contains three levels, a cellar containing enough food for seven years, a kitchen with a hearth and chair and a bedroom for Lady Saren on the upper floor. Through the years they suffer through the extreme weather together, both suffocatingly hot and freezing cold, and Lady Saren is miserable and withdrawn the entire time. Dashti is always positive and uses her gift of singing the healing songs to try and tend to Lady Saren. Evidence of this is her attitude towards being locked in the tower, writing that her mother would be happy for her, knowing she has food enough for seven years!

The first half of the book is their time together in the tower and the second is the adventure they undertake when they get out. I found the language of the healing songs quite interesting and would have loved to have 'heard' them in the real world. This was a light and enjoyable read and I would recommend it to any young person who enjoys a good adventure. You'll find romance, adventure and of course some morals you would expect to find hidden in any good fairy tale.

My rating = ***

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