When Lady Saren defies her father’s command to marry the vicious Lord Khasar, she is sealed in a tower with only her serving maid, Dashti, for company. In their cramped, dark space Dashti pours her thoughts into a daily journal while pitiless solitude engulfs them.
At first the girl is optimistic: they have food aplenty, candles for light, and even a visit from Lady Saren’s true love, Khan Tegus - though he can only call to them from outside their walls. But Saren is ill of mind, the outside world is changing, and their circumstances soon grow desperate. And even if they do escape, they must still face the eerie malice of Lord Khasar. To survive, Dashti and Saren forge a bond of devotion and deception that will test them to their limits.
Once again, Shannon Hale, author of the Newbery Honor Book Princess Academy, weaves an enchanting and original fantasy that will catch and hold listeners breathless in its spell.
©2007 Shannon Hale (P)2008 Full Cast Audio and AudioGO
"In this retelling of a brothers Grimm fairy tale, Chelsea Mixon ideally portrays Dashti, a servant bound to rebellious Lady Saren, whose role is read by Rozlyn Jakes-Johnson. The tale is told through Dashti’s journal entries, in which she recounts her imprisonment in a sealed tower with Lady Saren, who defied her father’s command to marry. Dashti’s communication with Khan Tegus (Saren’s true love), vanquishing of an evil tyrant, and eventual escape are among the plot developments. The story is perfect for a full-cast reading. All of the actors add layers of meaning, enlivening even the minor characters. Saren transforms from addled to self-assured, Khan Tegus (played by Conor Nolan) from romantic to ruler, and Dashti from subservient to self-confident. Mixon proves especially effective when singing melodic renditions of "healing songs." An enchanting listening experience. (Booklist)
Exotic original fantasy
I don't really have a specific book in mind, but I have a type of book. I read a lot, and once of the things I hate most about books is predictability. There's a point where you've read so much that each book is too predictable to be interesting. I may read them anyway, but I find it a bit boring. Something I've come to appreciate is unusual or original characters and story lines. Dashti, the main character of this book, is not a princess. She doesn't have magical powers. She doesn't have overly amazing powers of deduction that allow her to solve all problems in two seconds. I love Dashti because she is actually like a normal person and is, therefore, relatable. There are books I've read before with characters like that, but another fatal flaw for writers is that they rush a plot too quickly and end up ruining the characterization that would make those characters more likable. Shannon Hale did a perfect job with the pacing of the story, and the narrator, Chelsea Mixon, did will in keeping that rhythm in her narration.
I actually read this book many years ago, long before I knew there was an audiobook version or if I would even like to listen to audiobooks. Chelsea actually does a fantastic job portraying Dashti, narrating just like how I imagined Dashti to speak, the rhythm, the tone. All of it is well done. Because of that, Chelsea Mixon brings a new life to Dashti that isn't found by just reading the book.
I actually received the audible badge for listening to a book straight through, so...yes. Haha.
This book is more of a young adult novel, but it is appropriate for all ages, I think. There is a darker understanding of the truth of the situation there for adults to pick up, but everything in the book is just mild enough that nothing would scare children too badly or be inappropriate for children to listen to. I highly recommend it.
YA literature addict
This was the first time that I had heard a Full Cast Audio production, and I was a bit hesitant. I'm so used to the more traditional style. However, Book of a Thousand Days did not disappoint! I actually found the full cast part to be really engaging and not at all distracting as I had feared.
The story is another Shannon Hale twist on an old fairy tale, but it's my absolute favorite of the bunch. I love the heroine, Dashti, with her courage, kindness, and imperfections. I like that she can be moody and make mistakes, but she is still completely likable and worth rooting for.
The format of the book is that it's her journal, and that part is well done in terms of writing. I'm always frustrated with journal-like books that don't make sense as journals, but here you can see even her silly thoughts and daily problems. The audiobook does lose a bit though as it doesn't (obviously) contain Dashti's illustrations, which are in the hard copy version.
All in all, classic (and wonderful) retelling of a fairy tale with a very engaging full cast production. I highly recommend it.
Excellent production, engaging story and overall Shannon Hale loveliness made this a great choice for the family roadtrip.
The heroism of Dashti was heartwarming
Thanks for the fine work of Full Cast Productions!
Really lovely story. Even though the main character is locked in a tower, there's plenty of action with a traditional happy ever after ending.
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