Today is the start of 100 Week! We are celebrating our 100th review by spotlighting Shannon Hale all week. We will be posting reviews, an exclusive interview, and a book group discussion.
And GUESS WHAT? If you comment on ANY of the Shannon Hale posts this week, you will be entered into a drawing for one of two signed books by Mrs. Hale. You may enter as many times as you wish, but please make comments that are relevant to the posts. THANKS. Winners will be announced one week from today, on November 12, 2007. (Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you, a blog link or email addy.)
BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS by Shannon Hale
Review by Heather Walker
Heather Walker's Blog
I have read quite a few good reviews of Book of a Thousand Days, by the wonderful Shannon Hale so I was expecting good thing.
It was better than I could have ever hoped for. It was perfect.
The book follows Dashti, a lady's maid, and Lady Saren as they are locked up into the tower for seven years and their subsequent adventures as they try to survive in a war-ridden land.
It was a story that made you forget every story you have ever read before. I had no idea what was going to happen with the characters–I was reading something new and raw, with no expectations. I read as if it were the only book that existed in the world.
Why? Because of Dashti. Dashti is the author of the book. The book is her journal. I usually end up understanding characters, relating to them, and liking them. I loved Dashti. I loved her as if she were my best friend, as if she were my sister. As if she were real. I've read many books and stories where the characters are real, but I haven't loved them as I have loved Dashti. I loved Lady Saren as Dashti loved her. I knew these people and I became a part of their world.
The setting was magnificent. Gone with the Western norm, this was set in a world based off of Asia. Gone was the cliched magic of fantasy books. It was Shannon Hale magic in its best: subtle, gentle, feminine, beautiful.
The voice and tone were Dashti. The words were so different from what many books are, but the newness and rawness of the words became part of me. There was beauty, and there was deep, deep sadness in the book. I have never read a book that so adequately portrayed the sadness of life and war–it could have been real. This never seemed like a world of fiction, ever, it was real. Instead of pretty heroines with feisty attitudes, the book offered something heartfelt, real, and full of inner beauty.
I love Book of a Thousand Days. Wow. Wow. Wow. Please read it. It isn't an enjoyable, fun read. It isn't something that you laugh through and are entertained. You do laugh, but it is the deep laugh that comes from sadness. You cry, but it is because you are happy. You see these characters and you join them and can weep for them, laugh with them, and rejoice with them. This book is what any book should aspire to be.
Recommended readers: 12 and up. Some of the material is somewhat dark, involving death and tragedy (there is some kissing as well).
The original review was posted at: http://heatherwalker.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/book-of-a-thousand-days/