When a beautiful Lady refuses to marry the Lord her father has chosen, her father is furious. So furious he locks her in a tower with her maid.
But the maid realises there is something deeply sinister behind her Lady's fear of the Lord, something which means they could be in danger beyond the walls of the tower than imprisoned within them.......
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Day 1): My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for sevenyears.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 91): ..... But I laid her out on the open steppes under the Eternal Blue Sky, with her feet pointed to the Sacred Mountain so her soul would know which way to walk.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: No, this is one for the charity shop.
A bit older than the average reader of this, The Book Of A Thousand Days (you can read the first few pages by clicking HERE) is aimed at a teenage audience, I found myself wondering just what all the fuss was about, just why did teenagers find this book, a Whitney Awards Best Speculative Fiction winner in 2007, so enjoyable?
The story of a lady, Saren and her maid, a 'mucker' called Dashti, the novel is based on Maid Maleen, a fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, and is told in diary format - if only I could decide which made the most mundane reading the one sentence entries OR the entries that went on for page after page?
Expecting something truly magical, a 'spellbinding story of love, fear, courage, and one true heroine' I was disappointed from the start, finding the plot plodding, the pen and ink illustrations poor, unimaginative and unexciting and as for the characters? I did not connect with a single one of them.
No, not even the 'big reveal' (not that I'm going to tell you what that was), as unexpected as it was, did anything to improve my flagging interest. Coming too late in the story, it was just too little too late, a bit of a damp squib really, I think the author could have made a lot more of this.
But what I liked least of all was the lack of detail. Ok, so the illustrations provided some clues (as did the alternative cover pictured right) but it seemed to me that the author had 'borrowed' from so many different myths and legends (she acknowledges that she had to take liberties in her quest to find Dashti's story) that it became confusing (perhaps Hale had taken a liberty too far) as to just what the characters were all about, what made them the people they were. Not important it could be argued but I like to picture my characters in my head and I'm afraid I just couldn't get a clear image of any of them.
The 105th book read for my 100+ Reading Challenge, this was not a novel without its moments, beautiful in places as my Memorable Moment shows, though all things considered I was disappointed with it.