Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Nobody's Princess
(Nobody's Princess #1)
by Esther Friesner
Summary from Goodreads:

"She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Unlike her prissy sister, Clytemnestra, she takes no pleasure in weaving and embroidery. And despite what her mother says, she's not even close to being interested in getting married. Instead, she wants to do combat training with her older brothers, go on heroic adventures, and be free to do what she wants and find out who she is.

Not one to count on the gods—or her looks—to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and an attitude. And while it's the attitude that makes Helen a few enemies (such as the self-proclaimed "son of Poseidon" Theseus), it's what also intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.

In Nobody's Princess, author Esther Friesner deftly weaves together history and myth as she takes a new look at the girl who will become Helen of Troy. The resulting story offers up humor, action, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for."


Nobody’s Princess a fresh new intake on Helen’s life. Yes, that Helen; the face that launched a thousand ships. The girl who lead two capitals to war and lead men to their deaths. But this story is set before this all happened of course.

Readers are introduced to our heroine, Helen. A spontaneous and temperamental girl who wants to do more than just sit and embroider, and other lady-like work, she wants to go out to and explore the world and do what men are only supposed to do like hunt and use swords.

At first I felt like the book was a bit stereotypical, being very sexist and all but I guess that’s what the author was trying to portray. And the situation seemed vital to the idea that Helen wants to break free from the categorizing of what men and women should do.

I like Helen. She’s not exactly the kind of person who follows the rules and during her time, she’s seen as a girl with too much spunk that is deemed unladylike. Although I noticed that there are several chapters where her voice seemed too mature for her age. There were times that she feels a bit too fictitious and yet there are times that her sarcasm and wittiness just makes me adore her.

There really isn’t much to go around with Nobody’s Princess. I liked the story and the sense of adventure, along with the knowledge about the gods and goddesses, but I have to say that it’s not much of a standout. It was good but I guess it wasn’t as groundbreaking as I expected. 

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