Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale is written like a diary, the entries numbered by days. The story itself is an interesting melding of eastern and western fantasy. I like that the world isn’t a direct correlation to Chinese or Japanese imperialism. At least not anything so directly recognizable.
The plot is such a cool retelling of Rapunzel. Sort of. Which I love. I love when authors give me what I think is a story I know, put it a cool twist on it, and drop me with a swift kick in the expectations. And this book delivers all that inside an intriguing medium of the “diary” storytelling method. Which is challenging. And I love the illustrations (James Noel Smith does them and they are really good).
The villain is well written and evil and scary and yet realistic (in the world Hale created). The magic is there but not blatant. The romance is subtle and kind of funny and not too overwhelming despite it being a love story. That’s talent in my opinion. Hale did an excellent job of making a love story that isn’t overly romantic and sappy. I might be comparing it to some bad romance, but I enjoyed this love story.
I think I read this book in about two days. I probably should have taken longer, but literally as soon as I got through the first little section, I devoured it. I may have taken a long hot soaking bath just for the excuse to read this book (I was about 2/3 of the way through and I wanted to see the ending).