Dashti: Character Connection, Once Upon a Week Edition

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We all have characters we love. Let’s spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Most of you will probably post about how much you love each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write a love letter to Captain Wentworth. Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Draw a picture of yourself in Jamie’s arms. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale is a fantastic book that I just loved. It’s based on a little-known fairy tale called “Maid Maleen.” In that story, Maleen’s father locks her away in a tower for seven years, with only her lady’s maid for company, because she’s been disobedient.

So what would it be like to be that maid? Enter Dashti.

Dashti is a simple girl whose streak of misfortune lands her into service with disobedient Lady Saren on the very day she’s locked away in a tower. With her simple needs, Dashti isn’t too unhappy at first. She’s warm and she’s fed. That’s more than she could say about her life previously.  Lady Saren is a wimp though. She just isn’t the kind of girl that fairy tale heroines are made of. But every fairy tale needs a heroine, so….

Cover of Book of a Thousand Days

Dashti was the biggest reason I loved this book so much. She starts out as a poor, hungry girl who has been thoroughly indoctrinated in her country’s belief that the ruling class descend from gods. She lives to serve Lady Saren. She does anything and everything that she can think of to improve Saren’s life in the tower. But how long can you live with a person before their god-like status loses its shine? Not really all that long. Dashti puts up with it for a while, but eventually the crying and the moping and sighing start to irritate her. She starts talking to Saren and telling her to deal with it. She’s still taking care of her, but she’s questioning why Saren can’t help herself, at least a little.

Things change later on in the book and that’s where Dashti really starts to come into her own. Underneath the subservient peasant exterior is an intelligent, brave, self-sacrificing, loyal woman. She would lay down her life for Saren, but she realizes that Saren is just a girl, not any kind of minor goddess. She sees that there really isn’t any difference between the aristocracy and the peasants. In fact, the peasants might actually be better people because they have to work hard for what they have, while the lords and ladies have everything handed to them. Can you imagine what a shift in her worldview that is? She grows and thinks and observes and becomes a fairy tale heroine in her own right.

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So that’s the best I can describe her without getting into spoilers. For a strong fairy tale heroine found in an unexpected place, read about Dashti.  You will love her.

This post was written as part of Once Upon a Week, a celebration of retold fairy tales, hosted by Today’s Adventure.

Who did you connect with this week? Write a post and link up! Be sure to visit everyone else’s posts too!

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  1. +JMJ+

    I've come across some obscure ones in my day, but Mad Maleen is new! I think I'll check it out before I read this spin-off. (I might be wrong, but this seems the first time I've read of a princess-type figure who is locked up with a companion.)

  2. Hi I did it this week. Which is a shocker, I have so many favorite characters, but for some odd reason whenever I try to do this meme I can never find the words to express my fondness for them. It was really hard again this week, but I did scribble out something. 😀

  3. I havent read this one yet. But I've read a lot of excellent reviews on this.Thanks for highlighting this.I'm adoring her now =)

  4. Great post! I am not familiar with this book or the character of Dashti, but you presented her so well. I really like her already! I like such characters who grow, although life's not easy on them. Also, Dashti's background is intriguing.

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