Saturday, February 09, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale

When Dashti, a mucker from the steppes with the gift of singing the healing songs, comes to serve the Lady Saren, she does not realize the cruel fate that awaits her. Saren has been sentenced to live seven years in the tower for refusing to marry the evil Lord Khaser, and for holding out for Khan Tegus. But their days in the tower are simply the beginning of an epic that will take every skill and talent the girls have to survive.

A satisfying but predictable fantasy. Based on a Grimms brothers tale, but transplanted to a pseudo-Mongolian setting, the book has a pleasing combination of familiar and exotic elements. The biggest thing in an adventure book, of course, is whether it holds your interest. I found this one hard to put down, grudgingly setting it aside and eagerly returning to see what happened next. Even if the ending was pretty easy to figure out far in advance, sometimes that's a comfort and getting there is the fun.

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