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Book of a Thousand Days (audio) by Shannon Hale
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Book of a Thousand Days: 04/04/12

cover art

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale follows the life and times of Dashti, ex mucker turned lady in waiting to Lady Saren. It begins with their imprisonment in a sealed tower, through their escape and settlement in Khan Tegus's estate.

The world Dashti lives in is a mixture of western China, Mongolia, Tibet, European, and Native American cultures. The landscape itself seems to be a blend of the steppes and deserts of western China and the mountains and valleys of Utah. It's a fictional realm with its own history and geographic demarcations but it draws the landscape features of those places.

There's a fantasy element to Book of a Thousand Days beyond it's imaginary landscape and mythology. The villain, Lord Khasar, is able to over run cities and armies with some magical help. The how and what he does is a big part of the book. There is also the power of healing power of song, something that Dashti excels at through her mucker upbringing.

As everything is narrated through Dashti's point of view, the strength of the book rests on her voice. In print, her voice is perhaps a bit too earnest in places but is otherwise credible. In the audio done by Full Cast Audio, Dashti's performance is over the top to the point that it cuts into the enjoyment of the book.

The book is a retelling of the Grimms' "Maid Maleen" which I have not read.

Recommended by Manga Mania Cafe

Four stars

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