Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Sometimes I talk to characters in books. I spent a lot of time talking to Lady Saren, her maid Dashti, and her bethrothed Khan Tegus. I really wasn't sure how their tale would unfold. I expected this to be the lady's story, and in a way it is, but the story is told by Dashti in the journal that she keeps while she and her lady are locked in a tower, a 7-year punishment for Saren's refusal to marry the evil Khasar. Dashti is a mucker, one who knows healing songs, in this reimagined Grimm's fairy tale.

I love the imagination Shannon Hale brings to traditional tales and how she makes the characters so real. While Goose Girl remains my favorite of her books, I think this book may serve as an accessible introduction to her novels... The journal style is very readable, and the story moves along with just enough suspense and a little romance as well. Even though betrothal and marriage is central to the plot, the story is really about identity--Dashti's and Lady Saren's.

At the end, I talked the most to Lady Saren. I didn't like her at first, but I ended up being quite proud of her. Hooray to Shannon Hale for creating more strong female characters! (reviewed from ARC; book release is Oct. 2007)