Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years because of Saren's refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.
As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. With the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors--one welcome, the other decidedly less so--the girls are confronted with both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.
With Shannon Hale's lyrical language, this little-known classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise."
Book of a Thousand Days is a delightful, compelling tale with a female protagonist you can't help but cheer for. The narration centers around Dashti, and Hale does a fabulous job weaving in world building without a data dump, and using character voices to bring subtext.
I loved the mythology of this- it takes place in central Asia, near the Steppes (yay diversity!). It never explicitly says this, but the detail is there. It walks a line between historical fiction and fantasy, but retains a fairytale-retelling charm (it's a retelling of Maid Maleen). And did I mention the magical realism aspect?
It's sort of a coming of age, with adventure and romance thrown in. If you liked Disney's Mulan, you'll love this. I definitely recommend it for fans of YA, fans of Asian mythology, fans of strong female characters, and anyone who enjoys a fairytale retelling.
I also recommend the audiobook version, done by Full Cast Audio, which sounded more like a radio play and was utterly engrossing.
Labels: asian, audiobook, book love, book of a thousand days, book review, diversity, fantasy, female protagonist, historical fiction, shannon hale, YA