Friday, July 12, 2013

Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days
By Shannon Hale

After reading Princess Academy, I decided to look up some other books by Hale. I didn't know she was so prolific! I chose Book of a Thousand Days because it was a very different premise: a maid and her mistress are sent to live in a tower for seven years. This raised all kinds of questions in me and I wanted to know more and see what their adventure was like.

As I began to read, I thought that it was probably a fun book to write: put two woman in a tower for a few years and see what happens. Make one a maid and new to the scene. Make the upperclass woman have problems and bring on the rats to begin eating their supplies. Then, let them have visitors (whom they cannot see) and begin writing.

The character of Dashti, the maid, was very intriguing. It is her story, written by her own hand. She has the interesting ability to sing a person's physical and mental pains away -- either a type of healing or a living bottle of ibuprofen. She is unable to cure what ails her mistress. But she is determined to be a good attendant -- after all, she swore an oath -- and make sure they survive the seven years. What happens when it appears those on the outside have disappeared and the supplies are dangerously low?

*Spoiler Alert*
I did not enjoy their adventures outside of the tower (which is the second half of the book) as much. The danger, lies and suspense all leads up to a very happy ending, of course, but I wanted something more. Maybe it would have been better if Dashti had remained the subservient one. She ends up being the one with more power and strength. Lady Saren never is able to confront her abusive father or her abusive fiancé. It seems as though she remained in the tower.

What did this book have to do with my faith? Dashti is constantly talking to, worshipping and honoring the gods. Her internal and written self-examinations are always in the light of who she is and who her gods would expect her to be. I really liked both of those things as they reminded me of how to live a disciplined life: pray always and be willing to have daily confession/self-examination. How often do you pray? Examine yourself?

I recommend this book.

Happy reading!


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