Book of a Thousand Days/Editing Update

I just finished Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days this evening and I LOVED it. Don’t know what else to say really, except go pick up a copy right now!! The prose is beautiful and rhythmic, the plot fascinating–and surprising!–and the characters well-drawn. Such a rich work of prose, Shannon Hale completely draws you in, her histories and background compelling, her world believable. It starts out when lady’s maid Dashti and Lady Saren get shut up in a tower for seven years because Saren refuses to marry the suitor chosen for her. Dashti keeps an account of their adventures in her journal, and the imprisonment in the tower turns out to be just the beginning…

That’s all I’m going to say. Don’t want to spoil anything. 🙂

On the editing front, I started Chapter Eleven today. Sadly didn’t get very far, partly because I’m slightly stuck, but mostly because I got super interested in the aforementioned Book of a Thousand Days and had to sit down and read the remaining three-quarters of it before I could think about anything else. 🙂 But. Only two chapters to go before the end of Part One. I really want to make it by this weekend, but that would involve seriously getting my butt in gear. So we’ll see.

Discovered this site about literary agents a couple of days ago. Quite helpful, but rather overwhelming, too. I’m realizing that this is not exactly going to be an easy process. BUT I know it’s possible and I’m determined to do it just the same. The Whale and the Tree will be hitting bookstores within the next couple of years. *gets out her determined eyes*

Other than that not too much to report, I fear. Still enjoying Imrahil. I have my first piano lesson since May tomorrow, and am getting slightly nervous. Hopefully it’ll go well, I’ve been practicing Chopin and Beethoven quite furiously!

It rained tonight, a little. The sky was glorious and dark, with bits of setting sun peeping through and I went for a walk and got almost-but-not-quite soaked. It was quite refreshing. I don’t think anything is as beautiful as rain in the desert. Regrettably, it didn’t last more than fifteen or twenty minutes, but you gotta take what you can get I guess.

And I think that about wraps it up.

Rainy thoughts to you and yours,

Gamwyn

Book Review: Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale

Just finished reading Princess Academy. (And yes, I do realize when I blogged this morning I wasn’t even halfway through yet. What can I say? I didn’t have any hot dates tonight. ;-))

I thought it was charming and sweet, one of those quiet kinds of books that has a nice rhythm to its story and its language. I did get the feeling it was aimed at a rather younger audience than most YA fiction, and there were parts of the storyline that felt a little off to me, especially the characterization of the bandits towards the end. The concept of that whole section was really cool, and I loved the hostages-in-the-snow scene, but the bandits themselves seemed rather flat to me.

Loved the world Shannon Hale created: Mount Eskel and the mining (and trading) of linder stone; the whole concept of quarry-speech, a sort of telepathy using shared memories; and the depiction of life on the side of a mountain, complete with sharing houses with goats!

Miri, the main character, was quite spunky and adorable, though her conflicting desires–did she want to stay on the mountain or be a princess in the lowlands?–did get a trifle annoying sometimes.

I do think the book could have been longer, not that it ended too soon (though I’m always game for long endings), just that it felt a little rushed, a little condensed in parts that could have used more development.

But I did like it. Different enough from other books of the same ilk to have its own unique flavor, yet managing somehow to still feel comfortable (if that makes any sense at all). Towards the end it reminded me of Crown Duel, a book I absolutely adore and have read a billion times, so that is a definite compliment. Princess Academy made me smile, and I must admit I benefited from a few warm fuzzies in the last few pages.

A solid 4 (out of 5) stars.