At first glance, Book of a Thousand Days looks like a simple, mild, and somewhat odd book. Not too long, not too short, it could be easy to pass it by. But do yourself a favor, and don’t.
Book of a Thousand Days is an intense, heart-wrenching novel by Shannon Hale. The captivating plot surrounds Dashti, a poor “mucker” girl, the only servant of the lady of the land. Trapped in a tower, locked away from the rest of the world, Dashti and her lady are forced to endure terrible conditions and a dwindling food supply.
An unusual love story unwinds throughout the entire story. When Dashti finds herself caught up in a romance forbidden by the law, she tells herself she wants no part of it. Only the reader can decipher what Dashti herself tries to ignore; she is hopelessly in love.
This is not the first time that Shannon Hale has woven her tale so expertly that you can almost taste the intensity. If anyone has read The Goose Girl, Austenland, The Princess Academy, or any of her other popular works, you will know that Shannon Hale is a force to be reckoned with.
Her characters are witty, fresh, and so beautifully written that they instantly come to life on the page. I cheered for Dashti when she found her voice, I seethed inwardly at particularly frustrating moments, and I found tears in my eyes at the final scene.
This page-turner had me reading with a frantic fervor that I could not help. It is hard to tell whether it is the fast-paced and exciting plot, the unusual setting based off Mongolia, or the enticing characters that make this book so addictive.
The descriptions are well drawn, and so detailed that I could completely imagine the setting. Although this book is a take on Rapunzel (the fairy tale theme is one which Shannon Hale seems to enjoy) it is completely original, even if it is somewhat predictable.
Written in the form of a diary, it is easy for the reader to slip into Dashti’s shoes. Shannon Hale also inserts drawings here and there that give the reader a clear mental picture. I found these unique sketches exciting whenever they came up, but I also like to imagine what the characters look like for myself.
Shannon Hale’s whirlwind writing plus her heartfelt characters equals a novel that will sweep you off your feet. So cancel anything you have planned, grab a copy of Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days, and get reading. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Morgan Smith is a 13 year old living with her family and cat, Holly, in a small house in Pennsylvania. She loves pretty much every genre of books, from cheesy romance novels to dry nonfiction stories, but her favorite books are historical fiction. She has loved to write and read for as long as she can remember, and she also loves to swim, sew, cook, and so much more.