The Book of a Thousand Days – by Shannon Hale
Usually, when reading a novel based on a fairy tale, one knows basically how the story is going to turn out. Sure, there may be twists and new, unknown elements and the author may even manage to surprise you, but you know what the bones of the story look like because you’ve read versions of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or Snow White before. So The Book of a Thousand Days, based on a little-known Grimm Brothers fairy tale, was a new experience for me. I honestly had no idea where the story was going or how it was going to work out, which is exciting.
When Lady Saren refuses to marry the frightening Khasar, her father locks her and her maid, Dashti, in a windowless tower for seven years. While in the tower, they are visited by both Khasar and the much more welcome Khan Tegus, whom Saren had planned to marry instead. Meanwhile, the confinement and darkness are starting to work on Dashti and Saren’s minds, the rats are diminishing their food supply, and Saren refuses to tell Dashti what she knows about Khasar that scares her so deeply.
This book is great fun and the journal format makes it a quick read and hard to put down. Romance, friendship, mistaken identity, and a strong heroine make this tale a rich and delightful one. Fans of Shannon Hale’s other books will love this one, as will anyone who loves a good fairy tale.