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The Book of a Thousand Days
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Shannon Hale's BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS is a riveting read that allows you to see into the soul of a young girl.

Angry at her for not marrying the ruler of a nearby kingdom, Lady Saren's father locks her and her maid in a tower. He plans to leave them there for seven years. It is Dashti, the maid's, responsibility to keep them fed and in good condition, no matter how hot or how cold it may be.

With evil lords, unresponsive guards, and dreamy suitors knocking on their tiny window on a daily basis, they have enough views of outside life to keep living through to the next day. But when all signs of outside human life suddenly vanish, they find themselves in a race against time to save the eight realms and their own lives.

I started and ended this book in a single day (despite having household tasks, homework, and a to-do list longer than it's ever been before). I was caught up in the world of Dashti and her dear Lady Saren. Their tale brought me to tears and made me laugh.

This novel was definitely an enjoyable read that kept me turning pages as fast as I could.

Reviewed by: Jessica Cave
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2010
I have recently finished reading Shannon Hale's 'The Book of a Thousand Days' for the fourth time. Fourth time! And I loved it as much as the first time round. Honestly. If that's not reason enough to buy this book, then I don't know what is.

I'm a sucker for a good fairytale and the Brothers Grimm tales have to be the best. However, I wasn't familiar with 'Maid Maleen' - which 'Thousand Days' is based on - but that really doesn't matter. Hale's imagination runs wild in this fantastically fantastic story.

I love how Dashti's tale is structured into her diary entries. It really makes the story real for me; not so much like a novel than an insight into Dashti's life. Because the book itself plays such a big part in the story's events, I think that Hale has done a really cool thing. I really felt like part of Dashti's life, of her world. I felt what she felt, her humilation; her emotions - when she laughed, I grinned like a fool (for which I had to read in private) and when she despaired, I felt sorry for her. Hale is amazing for creating such vivid characters. I actually think that I fell a little bit in love with Khan Tegus!

A word of advice though, if you're anything like me, don't read this book at night by dim light. It made me feel like I was in the tower too. It made the story even more vivid which I guess is a good thing, but I couldn't sleep for ages afterwards - and I don't scare easily!

So read it, have fun and don't mock me too much please.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2009
I have enjoyed Hale's other books in which she roots fairy tale sensibilities in real seeming environments. This book is I think her best. Her world building is excellent and cleverly understated; her characters are more than fleshed out archetypes, but vibrant three dimensional people. I loved the pace and clarity of this story where nothing was unecessary and every thing that needed to be said was said and said well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I honestly thought I'd hate this book, purely because it's based on a fairy tale (Maid Maleen by The Brothers Grimm). Instead, I really enjoyed it, and ended up reading it in one go. It was very unusual, yet strangely compelling.

I loved the characters, the diary format, the illustrations and the unexpected twist towards the end. Looking back, I can see that there were a few hints to the twist, but none obvious enough to make me guess the ending.

Dashti was a brilliant narrator, and I enjoyed every minute of her recollections. She was brave, loyal, intelligent, and a true heroine in every sense of the word. Lady Saren, on the other hand, took me a while to warm to. I found her whiny and selfish, and couldn't understand Dashti's dedication to her. By the end of the book, I liked Saren, and sympathised with her situation. She redeems herself in the final few pages, and, thanks largely to Dashti, gains confidence and a place in the world. I also loved khan Tegus, the lead male character. He was well written and endearing, and his relationship with Dashti was sweet and honest.

Shannon Hale has a lovely writing style, and it's one that keeps you reading straight through to the end. The illustrations were also a nice touch, and added a fairy tale element to the book.

The Book of a Thousand Days was very different to anything I've read before, and was a nice change. I may read more of Shannon Hale's books in the future, and would like to thank her for getting me over my aversion to fairy tales. They're not as bad as I thought!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2009
A great start. Two young girls from the opposite of backgrounds locked away in a tower with only each other and the rats for company. So many questions to ask... a promising start... but the story progresses very slowly until the middle. I admit I lost some interest in the story after a couple of months of them being in the tower.

However, on reaching the middle of the book, things begin to happen and I really started to enjoy this story. The story moves on, offering twists and suprises as the characters change and the final chapters which keep you guessing. I loved the battle of Dashti 'The Mucker' vs Dashti 'The Maid' and the hard choices she has to make. You find yourself willing her on to the end.

A great book to escape to another time and place with. I look forward to reading another of Shannon Hale's books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2010
I only bought this on a whim when I was treating myself to some book bargains. I was very pleasantly surprised to find it a real delight. The story is captivating with people I cared about right from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the story enfolds and I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2009
I purchased "The Book of a Thousand Days" as an impulse buy, and I have to say, I've not read anything so beautiful in a long time.
Simply but expertly crafted, this delicious story had me hooked from the very beginning. Dashti's voice is so relatably and so honest, that I was rooting for her from the very beginning.
I read this book in about a day and a half, fitted in around work, and it was a very pleasant escape. The mythology of the world felt very believable, and I would love to visit the world of Dashti, Tegus, Lady Saren and even Mucker the Yak again!
I will now be seeking out other books by Shannon Hale and I hope that they are all this good.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2009
Hello

If you're about to buy the book of a thousand days - you should. It's a GREAT Book that you will not be able to put down until you read it right through to the last word. I was captured by the maid's strength, willpower to endure the ordeal and survive in the most miserable circumstances. After me being so fascinated by this book, I suggested it to my mum who found it just a excellent as I did.........So why should I take your time by praising this book? Better you just buy it and see for yourself how SUPER this Book is!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
I enjoyed this book immensely. I am a lover of fairy tale's, and this one does not disappoint. I loved how the book is written as a journal by Dashti. What a unique way to tell a story. There were plenty of exciting, sad, heroic, and romantic moments to keep this book going. I love Shannon Hale's writing style, and if you've not picked up one of her books yet..You should start with this one! I know you'll love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2011
Really great book; a real page-turner. I was immediately swept up in the characters and their situation, and absolutely couldn't put it down. Beautifully written characters and description, and an interesting plot, too. Can't recommend this book highly enough, especially for 10-13 year olds (although I loaned it to my mother and mother-in-law and they both loved it, too!).
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