May 6, 2010

Two girls in towers, two very different stories

Book Of A Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale

Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father has chosen for her. As punishment, he is locking her in a tower for seven years. Imprisoned with her is her new maid, Dashti. When Saren's suitors come to the tower - one she supposedly loves and one she fears - she orders Dashti to speak for her. Many complications ensue.
Saren is not a very sympathetic character. She's weak, whiny, and frightened most of the time. Dashti, who narrates the story, is stronger and more intelligent. But she is too concerned with caste, making her overly loyal to Saren.
Character flaws aside, the story is very engaging. The supernatural elements (a shape-shifting lord) will keep readers interested.

by Shannon and Dean Hale
illustrated by Nathan Hale

A very strange superhero comic book set in the Old West. It stars Rapunzel and Jack (of the beanstalk) as two outlaws who team up to rid the world of evil Mother Gothel, who has enslaved and starved the villagers. Rapunzel, using her long braids as weapons, battles bandits, coyotes, and a giant watersnake. Jack is her thieving, smooth-talking sidekick. 
The action is fairly non-stop, culminating in an exciting showdown with Mother Gothel. Overall, it was a little too weird for this reader, but kids would probably enjoy it, especially those who like cartoons.

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