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    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
    Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father betrothed her to, choosing instead another, and for her insolence she is sentenced to live in the tower for 7 years until her father lets her out. And because she made the promise to never leave Lady Saren's side, her maid Dashti joins her to cook and clean and keep company -- and Dashti tracks it all in her writing book. But soon rats appear, and the food dwindles, and the guards that used to deliver fresh milk and meat disappear -- after fierce howlings from wolves and sharp screams in the night. Completely alone and left to starve, Lady Saren continues to despair; but Dashti, clever and hopeful, finds a way out of their tower -- only to discover their old world has been ravished by war. Alone, friendless, and poverty-stricken, they must figure out how to survive on the steppes of central Asia.
    I was hopeful and doubtful about this book at the same time -- I haven't read this author before, but I know she receives much praise; nevertheless from the early pages, the book seemed to be a stretch. However, I pushed through some of the journal entries, and am pleased I did. Wicked kings, wars, dedication, hope, fear, skinwalkers, good and evil, true love -- these roam the book freely and make a well-crafted story that I ended up enjoying more than I thought.

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