Hey everybody! Need something to read? Of course you do, because it’s gross outside (at least where I live) and you most likely you have time off for Easter/ are travelling/ whatever else you do. So it seems a very fortuitous time to suggest one of my favorite books, which conveniently is not too heavy ( I always think winter is the appropriate time for reading thick tomes like Crime and Punishment) and not too light (don’t worry, summer’s almost here, so you can read complete trash soon). It’s right in the middle, like spring.
Book of a Thousand Days (by the lovely Shannon Hale) is a wonderful book that sadly few people seem to know about. The book opens on Dashti, a peasant from the steppes who, having been recently orphaned, takes a job as a lady’s maid. Soon after she takes the position, she and Lady Saren are sent to a tower to live in isolation after her lady’s father discovered her betrothal to a man he didn’t approve of. While there, they are visited by two of Lady Saren’s suitors–Lord Khasar, a brutal and frightening man who holds a dark secret, and Kahn Tegus, her betrothed, who she has only met through letters. The timid and childish Lady Saren however, is too scared to speak to the men, and forces Dashti to pretend to be her and speak to them through a small opening in the tower wall. She quickly finds comfort in speaking to Kahn Tegus, but both she and her Lady are afraid of what the dangerous Lord Khasar might do to them. On top of this, Lady Saren continues to insist Dashti pretend to be her, and Dashti fears the consequences of impersonating royalty, as it is a crime punishable by death.
The book is written in a diary format, which is usually very boring and hard to connect with. However, in Book of a Thousand Days, the narrative style serves to give us a closer look at Dashti’s thoughts and feelings while still retaining all of the excitement of a traditional book, as she recounts all of the conversations and events of the day so engrossingly that the reader forgets they are not happening as she tells them. The book is written in Shannon Hale’s typical beautiful lyrical style, with well thought out characters, one of my favorite romances, and parts that make me laugh out loud every time I read them. Happy reading!