Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale

Dashti, a lowly mucker maid, finds herself the lifetime companion of the Lady Saren when she is locked up in a tower for seven years with her mistress. A tower with no windows, doors, or any way to let light in. The darkness takes its toll on them as they wait out the long sentence. Dashti is constantly wondering if, had her mistress Lady Saren decided to marry the Lord Khasar, where would they be? Is the darkness worth it?

Of course, there is more to it than that. Dashti is left to her own devices when she finds that her mistress does not even want to leave. Being bound by an oath to serve and obey her lady, Dashti strives to carry out Saren’s orders while fighting with her conscience and her heart.

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I picked up this book at the library, intrigued by the title. I thought it was…interesting. I can’t decide whether to label it historical fiction or romance. It was sort of a little of both, but not enough on either side to categorize it. The reason it isn’t historical fiction is Hale tried to set it in Mongolia, but in fictional places and no dates are mentioned. That was probably one of the weirder aspects of the story I wasn’t expecting was the ‘Asiatic flare’.

There is one note I would like to make on why I rated the romance section the way I did….there were two seperate parts in which a person was naked. It was more symbollic of submission than anything but *ahem*….it was still there. Nothing descriptive.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Violence: 3/10

Language: 0/10

Romance: 4/10

Audience: Ages 12 and up

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