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“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” More

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Author: Shannon Hale

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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishers, 2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Dashti is the maid to Lady Saren, a princess who refuses to marry the evil man her father has chosen for her. As punishment, Dashti and her princess are locked in a tower for the next thousand days (seven years!). Khan Tagis, the princess’s preferred suitor visits the women. But so does the evil one, as well as some rats. Thanks to the cat, the rats, and the good suitor, the two young ladies survive to escape. Back in civilization, they find refuge in the city of the good suitor and eventually the princess becomes a cook and the maid becomes a princess! This is a classic fairy tale told as journal entries.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 9 and Up; read yourself: 12 and up

Interest Level: 10 and up

Reading Level: 5.3

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the story and I would buy this book as a gift. I thought it was rather weird that the evil guy was likened to a wolf and those characteristics made his whole army turn against him. It was really cool that Khan Tagis started to like the maid just by talking to her and finding things they had in common. Lady Saren was kind of useless until she did something useful at Tagis' castle. She was really the stereotypical princess: crying, whining, selfish. I liked her after she started giving instead of always taking.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: This is a meaty fairy tale that young readers (especially girls) will like.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a nice story, but once you have read it, you'll probably go on to another book. This would make a great gift for a teenage girl.

If You Liked This Book, Try: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale WINTERLING   THE PRINCESS AND THE HOUND   THE PRINCESS CURSE

Educational Themes: Fairy tales are stories meant to be enjoyed as leisure reading.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fairy tale, friendship

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2012

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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