Okay, this is a book that works for practically any age. I could see younger kids liking it, and even as a high schooler I really enjoyed the book. Shannon Hale never disappoints. It's kind of like a twist on a fairytale, but takes it so much farther than that. A good book for a rainy day. Mkay, this is Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.
Dashti is a maid to Lady Saren, a part of the royal family of a realm named Titor's Garden. When Lady Saren learns that she's being forced to marry a man she fears, she flatly refuses. In retaliation, her father locks her and Dashti in a tower to "teach her obedience." The tower is guarded by soldiers, and there is only a tiny flap open to the outside. As time passes, the food starts to run low and Saren withdraws into herself. They are visited often by suitors--one welcome, the other decidedly not. Saren orders Dashti to speak to them, even though it's a crime worthy of death to impersonate royalty. Dashti must play the role again and again in order to save them from both the tower and the dangers outside. She starts to learn how to take control of the situation in order to help her Lady and herself, and surprises herself with her talents. She begins to believe that even a lowly maid, can get a happy ending.
So yeah--it's kind of a fairytale but with a new perspective. I really liked the mentality of Dashti, who's one of those unlikely heroines you can't help but love. It's not one of those cotton-candy-and-twittering-birds type stories, which I like; too much happy just gets boring, y'know? The characters are very structured and unique, and most are instantly likable. I would recommend this to anyone. Go give it a try at Kettleson, Blatchley, or Mt. Edgecumbe.