I originally read this book back in 2009 before I started my book blog.
This was a recent book group pick for my local book group. It had been 3 years since I read it and I didn’t remember it well so I reread it. Originally I gave it 4 stars but I loved it he second time around so it gets bumped up to a 5 star book.
Title: Book of a Thousand Days
Author: Shannon Hale
Released: September 18, 2007
When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.
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.
Book of a Thousand Days was the first book by Shannon Hale I read. I’ve since read everything she’s written. I love her writing.
Fairy tale retellings are something I love to reads. I enjoyed Shannon’s retelling of the little known German fairy tale Maid Maleen.
Maid Maleen from Wikipedia:
A princess named Maid Maleen and a prince fell in love, but her father refused his suit. When Maid Maleen said she would marry no other, the king had her and her servants locked up in tower, with food that would be enough to feed them for seven years.
After seven years, the food ran out. However, no one came to release or deliver more food to the princess and her servants. They then decided to escape from the tower, with a knife that they had. What they found was that the king was gone and the kingdom no longer existed. Without knowing where to go, they finally arrived at the country of Maleen’s lover, and sought work in the royal kitchen.
The prince had been betrothed by his father to another princess. This princess, lacking of confidence in herself, did not think that she would be good enough for the prince. She would not leave her room and let him see her. On her wedding day, not wishing to be seen, the princess sent Maid Maleen in her place.
At the wedding, the prince put a golden necklace around Maid Maleen’s neck as a proof for the marriage. At night, the prince went to the wedding chamber where the princess was waiting. He did not see the golden necklace around her neck. Immediately, he knew that the princess was not the one he was married to. Meanwhile, the princess had sent out an assassin to kill Maid Maleen. The prince, who left the wedding chamber to look for his true bride, was guided by the shine of the golden necklace and came in time to save her. With the golden necklace as the proof of marriage, they were married and lived happily ever after.
If you haven’t read Book of a Thousand Days you should. Dashti, Lady Saren, Khan Tegus and Lord Khasar are all great characters.
Rating: 5 Stars – Even Better the Second Time Around
(Currently just .99 cents)