Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.99 shipping
Book of a Thousand Days Hardcover – September 18, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors--one welcome, and the other decidedly less so--brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.
With Shannon Hale's lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
OK. I absolutely loved this book (yay for full-cast-audio), and it would the BEST ever except for this one scene I didn't like (the way Dashti defeated the bad guy, but at least it worked). That's me, picky.
This book reminded me of Ella Enchanted in the sense that both authors use a lot of emotions to further the plot and side-characters that wreak havoc and the main character's love is in the dark about protagonist's biggest secret. SH, though, had a bigger overall plot involving countries, while GCL's was more compressed on a smaller scale within her own household (stepmother troubles and all that).
Oh, and I loved the worldbuilding here. What other fantasy story mentions a pet yak? The kingdom is ruled not by a king but a Kahn! Also, even the religious system is believable and well developed. The traditions, superstitions, history, and music are all well put together and just make the story even better. And the songs are simple but perfect.
Usually, I don't like journal stories, but SH pulled it off quite well. It's even better than The Goose Girl.
Why did journalling work as a medium for this story, but it doesn't work for other stories? Here are my guesses.
1, a lot of the conflicts lasted longer than one day. So, none of the danger was over when Dashti was penning the day's activities. She and Saren were still stuck in the tower, still starving. Sometimes Dashti even wrote in her journal while something was happening, and she would pause or sketch or wait in fear in the dark. This made the action feel real.
2, inner dialogue and reflections. Dashti often added her own commentary later. Things like, "I shouldn't have thought that about my lady; ancestors, forgive me!" or "Why didn't I say/do this?" or "I'll never forget the way he smells." It's delightful to read. We experience all her joy and regret with her.
3, the journal was a plot point. First, she's chronicling her days in the tower, and the journal would be there to explain why two female corpses are locked in a tower. Later, she's lying about everything, and the journal would get her killed if someone found it. So, it is important. It's like the reader gets to hold a piece of the world.
From the handmaiden Dashti's journal we see the events unfold that not only lead her Lady Saren to the tower, but also Dashti. Determined to keep an accurate recounting of their seven long years in the Tower, Dashti reports vary from the mundane ("My Lady doesn't recall squinting." pg. 24) to the frightening. Each entry is marked by the number of days they have been stuck inside the tower and Hale does an excellent job of communicating both Dashti's hope that things will work out and her despair that they will never see the sky again.
The book is separated into two parts. There is the first part, which speaks of their time in the Tower and the second part, which talks of the after. In the first part Saren does little more than complain, moan and make Dashti's life more difficult then it already is. The moments of peace that descend are too far between and by the end of the second year even Dashti is becoming sick of Saren's whining. The second part Saren becomes slightly less of a burden. She spends much of the first half of the second part still whining and scared, but a gift from Dashti and a job she is good at lifts her spirits a lot. I liked her better for the job, though what she continually asks of Dashti is beyond the pale.
The villain, Khasar, is despicable and terrifying. He sold his soul for a dark power that gives him an advantage, but makes him as inhuman as possible. How Dashti's deals with him is fitting. Saren's beau, Khan Tegus, is both flawed and perfect at the same time. He breaks his promise to Dashti and Saren, but when the true history between him and Saren is revealed is understandable.
The novel has a distinctly asian flair to it--from the pictures that 'Dashti' draws in her journals to the belief system, but it fits quite appropriately. There is a number of ironic twists, but this is basically a story driven by characters. Like every day life not everything that happens to Dashti is 'adventurous' or 'amazing'. We are basically reading her diary and like any other diary there are mundane things that are important to her, but not necessarily life shattering.
Book of a Thousand Days is a wonderful, amusing and thoughtful book that promotes a protagonist who isn't beautiful, but relies on her wits and her inherent good nature to survive. Dashti really epitomizes the old saying 'do good unto others' because proves it daily.
The setting of the story being in Mongolia is unique. The two Kahns viewing for Saren to be their wife couldn't be more different. One is evil and nasty enough to make the reader despise him. While the other is a decent fellow that the reader will root for. In the end there is a happy ending, but I won't go into detail as it is the journey there that makes it so worth while.
Most recent customer reviews
I’d highly recommend this book