Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Author: Shannon Hale
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: 2007
Personal Rating: 3/5
Yearly Count: 69

Dashti, the maid to Lady Saren, tells her story through her diary entries. It begins when Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father has chosen for her; therefore, banishes her and Dashti to 7 years of imprisonment in a tower. Due to Dashti's loyalty to her Lady, she finds herself in the midst of deception in and out of the tower.

I enjoyed my first Hale book, The Goose Girl, so I decided to give this one a try. Unfortunately, it didn't go over as well. Stories that include gods in nine different realms, singing for healing purposes and other fantasy components are just not for me. (Knowing that this was YA fantasy, I had hoped that those parts would squeak by without me noticing too much. I noticed.) However, Dashti's voice came through clearly and I liked her. She held my interest.

I haven't given up on Hale. I think she's a great storyteller and still plan on continuing with the sequels to The Goose Girl. And, I'm hoping for a good outcome. Has Hale written anything outside this genre?


  1. The only ones I've read of hers are The Goose Girl (which I loved!) and the next Bayern one, Enna Burning (which I didn't enjoy as much, but many people seem to like more). I've really been looking forward to A Book of a Thousand Days. Maybe I'll enjoy it more than you, since I've discovered that I actually do like fantasy.

  2. I think she wrote Austenland, which is not YA fantasy. I haven't read it yet however, so I can't tell you anything else about it.

  3. Shannon Hale did write Austenland, a adult fiction novel very unlike any of her YA fantasy. I've reviewed it on my blog. I liked it well enough but for some reason I can't picture you loving it. I enjoyed A Book of a Thousand Days and was fortunate to have her sign my copy over the weekend.

  4. I really liked this one, sorry to hear that you didn't. I've read all of Hale's books and my favorites are Goose Girl, Princess Academy and Book of a Thousand Days - all YA fantasy. I did not get overly excited about Austenland, though the YA women in my family loved it.

  5. Anonymous7:22 AM

    Joy, I read AUSTENLAND last August and wrote a review of it. I liked it. It had a young New Yorker who is secretly obsessed with Mr. Darcy (or just Colin Firth) and she gets a trip to a Austen-time-immmersion vacation. Fun ensues.

  6. Anonymous9:06 AM

    I think this is the first negative review of this I have seen so far. I loved The Goose Girl and am looking forward to reading Enna Burning and River Secrets which I hope are just as good. I am waiting for the paperback of this to come out and hopefully I will enjoy it more than you did. I hope you don't give up on her :)

  7. Debi ~ You probably will like it more than I did. There's not a lot of fantasy in it, but what's there isn't my thing.

    Raidergirl3 ~ Thank you. :)

    Maw Books ~ "I can't picture you loving it." That made me laugh. Not sure why. I think I'm going to pass. Thanks for your input. :)

    Booklogged ~ I did really like The Goose Girl, which was recommended by you. :) It was a stretch for me, but I'm glad I gave it a try and enjoyed it. This one was just too much for me. Being that I listened it, I had to listen to the songs being sung . . . UGH!!! I don't like when anyone sings on audiobooks. (Pet peeve I guess. I don't sing when I read a song.) That had an impact on my rating.

    Kay ~ Eh, probably not my cup of tea. I wish it were. Thank you for giving me the condensed version. :)

    Rhinoa ~ I'm really not trying to be negative. I rated it a "Just Okay". There were parts I liked and parts I didn't, therefore, leaving it in the middle. :) I think reading it would have been better for me (see my comment to Booklogged). Ultimately, this isn't a genre that I particularly care for, so for me, a 3 is pretty good.

  8. i haven't read this one yet, but my daughters enjoyed it. (they love fantasy novels.) i did hear shannon hale speak last week and found her funny and an absolute delight!

  9. Anonymous2:30 AM

    Try The Princess Academy. I thought it was excellent when I read it last year. River Secrets also was good.

  10. Alison ~ She definitely has a talent and I don't doubt that she's a wonderful person. Glad you enjoyed her talk. :)

    Kkfea74 ~ Thank you. I'll read more by her at some point and will keep your suggestions in mind.


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