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When Dashti, A Maid, And Lady Saren, Her Mistress, Are Shut In A Tower For Seven Years Because Of Saren S Refusal To Marry A Man She Despises, The Two Prepare For A Very Long And Dark ImprisonmentAs 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 With The Arrival Outside The Tower Of Saren S Two Suitors One Welcome, The Other Decidedly Less So The Girls Are Confronted With Both Hope And Great Danger, And Dashti Must Make The Desperate Choices Of A Girl Whose Life Is Worth Than She KnowsWith Shannon Hale S Lyrical Language, This Little Known 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 Dashti, a mucker maid, is going to be locked up in a tower with her Lady Saren for seven years Lady Saren refused to marry a man she did not love, so Dashti must prepare for a rigorous and daunting imprisonment Soon, Dashti finds rats in the flour and mold on the cheese It becomes a struggle to survive, and Dashti also must deal with Lady Saren s two completely different suitors Dashti must make a choice, for herself, and for Saren.In Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale brings to life the tale of Maid Maleen Set in an area much like Mongolia, the Eight Realms, Hale creates up a social system very different than our own Some realms are ruled by women, which rarely happened at the time Hale strives to combine reality with magic, and focuses not on the princess, but on the dirty maid Hale questions arranged marriage and encourages independence and hard work through the determined character of Dashti Throughout the book, Hale carries a message of hope and fortitude.Hale succeeded in her message, and inspires girls to be stronger Although Dashti often had an attitude of servitude, she prevails with her competing attitude of perseverance Dashti challanges unfair but long used customs of arranged marriage, a lesson for girls Most adapted fairy tales focus on the princesses, but Dashti is in no way a princess She knows how to work, and Hale attempts to show a different kind of heroine.Book of a Thousand Days is a valuable book in today s world of Clique and Gossip Girl novels It has a message that supports girls for who they are, while telling an entrancing tale Despite not having that much action to attract reluctant readers, after a couple chapters, the book picks up In today s society, any book with a strong girl main character that doesn t do drugs or make bad decisions is extremely valuable.I m very excited about this book because Shannon Hale is coming near me in January The book raises a few questions for me that would be great to ask her.Shannon Hale has also written five other books Austenland, River Secrets, Princess Academy, Enna Burning, and The Goose Girl She has been heralded as one of the best living fantasy authors of the day She won a Newbery Honor for Princess Academy.I adored Book of a Thousand Days because it was a fantasy with not too much magic I m not a huge fantasy person, if only because I like to delve into a character s feelings Many fantasies don t do that, and focus on the magic Book of a Thousand Days has characters with realistic, understandable feelings that draw you in to the fairy tale. This was so heartwarming and delightful and powerful and just wow I loved it so much I can t wait to read of Shannon Hale s stuff now, knowing how her writing style is More thoughts to come in a video review I ve decided that as of next month, rather than filming a monthly wrap up at the end, I will do mini batch reviews instead, that way I can go into depth Do you guys know that feeling when you just have finished an astonishingly excellent book You feel full of life and understanding It s why as readers we come back and back again and hopethiswill be the book that gives us that exhilaration I guess it s akin to a literary high This book did that for me and It deserves than the five star rating.Let s see if I ll be able to give a concise review without confusing people This story is loosely based on an obscure Grimm fairy tale Hale mentions which one it is at the end of the book The premise is that Lady Saren will be locked up in a tower for seven years because she will not marry Lord Khashar Lady Saren takes Dashti who oddly doesn t mind this arrangement She comes from a harsh background and the guarantee of having food for seven straight years while serving someone of royal blood It seems like the gods have smiled upon her Things start to look not so rosy any though, and Dashti and Lady Saren will be caught in a web of lies that will lead to an adventure neither of them could have seen coming.The strongest point of the book for me was the character of Dashti She is resilient, funny, caring, and loyal to a fault The refreshing aspect about her is that she is definitely not your typical flawlessly pretty character It s her spirit that brings forth her beauty, and that may sound cheesy but it s true Like any other character she has her shortfalls, but comes to realize how stunted her view of things was The author does an excellent job of weaving in the Mongolian setting and customs so the reader feels as if this is a real place Since this is written in journal form we really get the mood Dashti s in and the progression of her and Saren s growth Throughout we see some illustrations that aid in the storytelling I imagine this would be a great story to read out loud I LOVED Khan Tegus, and that s all I have to say about him because anything else I would say wouldn t even come close to describing his wonderfulness Shannon Hale has permanently become one of my favorite authors, she was already but now she is cemented, written in black sharpie, engraved permanent Hale is than an author, she is a bona fide storyteller.I will have to retire from this review before I totally botch it up, but I want to conclude that the characters are lovely, the story enchanting, and displays the power of the written word. So, so, so good As I got towards the end I was planning on giving it 4 stars, but then at the very end it surprised me and it was like the book was about something completely other than what I d been thinking it was about the whole time It surprised me, and I love well executed surprises Thus 5 stars Not that there was a surprise ending I don t like those , just that there was a reframing that totally delighted me I ll say about it down below if you want, but I ll put them beneath spoiler alerts to come later.Anyways This is a retelling of a Grimm fairly tale If you ve read any of the original Grimm stories, you know they re fairly brutish and cold Here, the author she doesn t reinvent the archetype, she stays very true to the genre, but she reshapes it and totally give it wings Can I say breathes new life into it without sounding totally cheesy Because that s pretty much what s happening here For me she made the Grimm style of fairy tale wondrous and fun again, like they must have been when people first started hearing them, hundreds of years before Disney came along and ruined fairy tales for everyone, forever.I was worried, on the first page, that this book would suffer from the nondescript slightly awkward person from foreign land voice that afflicts a lot of books in this genre, but that was totally not the case By about page 5 I was totally on board with no worries or qualms.I don t know what else to say about it, except that I flew through it, and was totally stealing every moment I could to find out what happens next possible spoilers belowseriouslyOK It s not just about what happens when you get locked in a tower for 7 years, and what happens after, and the relationship between the servant and the maid It s about books And writing And the power of writing And even though it ends with a wedding to a prince khan or whatever, which is so not my scene, it was all enchanting and amazing.