Monday, December 10, 2007

Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale

Dashti is a mucker who has had a hard life. Her father gone, her brothers abandoned her and her mother, shortly before her own mother passed away. Dashti must now learn how to fend for herself. As she heads into town, she sells her possessions to gain employment, and learns how to be a lady's maid.

But on the day she is to enter Lady Saren's service, something awful happens. Lady Saren's father is very displeased at Saren's refusal to marry Lord Khasar, and locks her in a tower for seven years--Dashti along with her. As three of those years pass, Dashti decides no one will save them, and they must do it themselves. With her determination, she is sure they will survive.

This story is based on Maid Maleen, a fairy tale recorded by the Grimm brothers. There are elements of fantasy at play, but the majority of the story is about a girl's determination to overcome circumstances out of her control. The beginning is slow and not well developed, but the rest of the story is worth the beginning.

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