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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for 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. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the o…

Book of a Thousand Days

by Shannon Hale

Overall Book Review:

Sixteen-year-old Lady Saren is so terrified of the man her father wants her to marry that she’d rather be walled up in a tower for seven years than marry him. When Khan Tegus, the man she loves, comes to the tower, she makes her maid, Dashti, speak to him for her.

But pretending to be gentry, a hanging offense, is only one of Dashti’s worries: there’s something wrong with Lady Saren that even Dashti’s songs can’t heal, and with the rats and Lady Saren’s insatiable appetite, their food won’t last for seven years.

When Dashti hears men outside plotting to break into the tower, she knows she must find a way to save her lady from them.

With her energy, loyalty and courage, Dashti is a heroine every girl should be proud to emulate.

The story has lively, exciting moments, with quieter parts in between, beginning as the two girls are walled up in the tower, slowing down as the back story’s filled in. It speeds up as visitors come to the tower, quiets down after they leave. Things really heat up near the end when Dashti comes up with a plan to vanquish Lord Khasar and she’s finally revealed as Lady Saren’s maid.

Reading Level: 5.1, range 3.9-6.1. 

Of interest to girls.

This review has been acquired and adapted from
Content Analysis:

 This review was acquired from on May 15, 2014 and was not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist.  Nevertheless, it contains useful content information which is included here.  The overall number ratings have been approximated based on this information.

Heroine told of someone who “got a girl with child”; heroine wonders if lady can’t stand idea of being with someone other than her love; mother and daughter smeared themselves with dung, to protect themselves from men; man trying to break into tower says he “gets first go,” heroine plans to fight back, gets knife, plans to cut their “pig parts” before she lets them touch her; when heroine is outside, feels like she’d been “stripped naked, washed, . . ., dried, and dressed again”; mention of people kissing; heroine wonders what her time in the tower would have been like with a different companion—heroine’s near hero as she thinks this; a shaman debases self by staying naked on a mountain top for four days; heroine imagines putting her head on hero’s cheek and breathing in his smell; evil lord takes off all his clothes—before shape shifting; heroine takes off clothes to appear harmless to evil lord, evil lord’s men look away, heroine feels shame; hero kisses heroine on neck, on mouth for a long time, they kiss again; heroine thinks she’d rather face evil lord again, naked than marry hero pretending to be lady; hero and heroine kiss, not graphic.

Father walls up daughter and servant in tower, tells guards to kill them on sight if they get out; father slaps daughter’s face, twice, slaps heroine too; lady believes evil lord will kill her; heroine fears she’ll be hanged for lying; lord suggests killing guard to get lady from tower; evil lord grabs heroine’s arm, slaps it against wall, insists she let him take her arm again, slaps it more; father tells evil lord he can knock down tower and take daughter bound and gagged if he wants; lady wishes she could hit evil lord who throws burning chips into tower, women must put out fires or die, evil lord wishes he could see them trying to put out fires; wolf howls and screams outside tower, giant wolf snaps at heroine, its mouth smeared with blood, cat attacks wolf, disappears; cat kills rat, somewhat graphic; lady starts hallucinating that wall is falling in and wolf is eating through wall; lady believes evil lord will find her and kill her, believes hero also wants to kill her. Heroine and lady find city razed to the ground, bones, dead bodies, some headless; heroine dreams she’s walled up in house full of bodies; someone found dead “in a pile of . . . own innards”; report of evil lord attacking all cities, someone hopes he’ll burn down the one he’s attacking; fighting in city; cook hits workers on head with spoon, screams, curses, and hits worker in face with spoon; heroine dumps water on lady’s head when she’s hysterical; lady claims evil lord’s “a beast” who “tears out the throats of goats with his teeth”; throughout book, heroine believes she could be hanged for what’s in her journal. Man bleeding badly, assassin with animal scratches on his face; cat claws lady, lady orders heroine to kill lady, heroine refuses; boy pushes leader down and kicks leader, he’s hanged; hero wounded by arrow, wound festers, ten percent of his soldiers killed, battles not described; heroine slapped in mouth; lady talks of father slapping her; evil lord threatens to use hostages as catapults; heroine shot at, arrow misses; heroine attacked by wolf, somewhat graphic; wolf hit by arrow, turns and attacks own men who shot at him, kills several men, somewhat graphic, attacks heroine again, dies just as he’s trying to rip her throat out; she screams from pain, tries to walk, cries out and falls, pain like a knife; heroine fears they’ll “remove [her] intestines” while she’s still alive; mean lady slaps heroine in face; her own lady slaps heroine in face; heroine grabbed by mean lady’s warriors, taken to chopping block in yard, one warrior “ready with a sword,” heroine screams and fights, cook threatens them with knife, sword raised to kill her; she’s saved, but condemned to hang, mean lady demands her head.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, imprisonment, birthmark, deception/lying

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Hero suggests drugging guards to get lady from tower—not carried out.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

On May 15, 2014 Compass Book Ratings acquired Many reviews were acquired from and these reviews were not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist. Nevertheless, the reviews contain useful content information which is included.