Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nobody's Princess

Many grow up on Greek mythology and Homer’s epics if they’re from a household of bibliophiles. I was one of those little girls who stood in front of my mirror and pondered, will I ever look like Helen? Cinderella was ever the afterthought. But as I grew out of my princess phase I maintained a fascination with all things Greek and with the immortal creatures of legend, whether made that way by birth or beauty.

Nobody’s Princess by Esther Friesner is the excellent antithesis to Helen’s centuries of girly-girl portrayal. The Spartan princess is shown as stubborn, fierce, witty, and awkward. This novel gives an insight to the background of a girl far from perfect and sometimes, far from beautiful. Helen begins her story in Sparta, an attractive child hemmed in by life with her spiteful twin and a society that doesn’t allow women to rise to great heights unless on the wings of gods or marriage. Through her own youthful cunning, the Spartan princess discovers her good looks and a fierce determination to provide a great queen to her people. Her self-discipline carries her to places that even a princess would not usually dare go. And what better way to rule Sparta than by the sword?

But all plans for such domination are forgotten when the opportunity arises to accompany her sister to the land of Clytemnestra’s betrothed. This move pushes Helen into a whirlwind of gender prejudices, court politics, and the ever-strong fear of the gods. All the same, our undeniable heroine battles through to conquer and walk the fine line between her gawky adolescence and a destiny that would bring cities to their knees.

Nobody’s Princess is written with brazen ferocity and impeccable research. The characters are likable and real and the setting is well detailed. Greece and all its conflicts lay at your feet with this novel. The flaw most prevalent is that the plot would probably prove difficult for a short time to readers unfamiliar with basic Greek histories and mythology. My only other complaint is that it ended far too fast. Now I have to wait until April 22nd for the next. * le sigh *

All in all, I was quite satisfied with this book and how it portrayed Helen. So I doth be bestowing upon it a 5.7 out of 7 LIGHTNING STRIKES *insert sound effects here* (first time with the new rating system. Deepest thanks to all our valiant voter-types). Now someone just needs to write a book focusing on Cassandra of Troy and come up with an equally grr... cover.

Being fierce and applying for citizenship to Sparta,

*Aella Siofra*

10 comments:

Kiri said...

Coolness.

Medeia Senka said...

Indeed... Do you own that one, Aella or shall I be forced to pillage the library?

sera zane said...

yay lightning! i LOVE lightning! to an irrational degree!

hmmm...i started that book but it disappeared (translation: mom brought it back to the library) and i never finished. didn't get very far.

Bri said...

**KA-POW!!** Sweet. I don't know much about greek history/mythology... we learned about it last year but I forgot most of it.

AHHH!!! SHOTS!! Sorry. I just got like 6 shots and it is so painful. And I feel like I wanna puke. Ugh.

Go look at my blog(s)!! It is ever so lonely.

Anonymous said...

Oh I have seen this one and now i MUST read it! so fasinating! also I could'vee sworn a saw the sequal in the store the other day but I guess not... lol

Em said...

This sounds really good - I'll have to check it out. And I love your header pic at the top of your blog! :)

Ink Mage said...

You've been tagged with a meme, if you'd like to play!

http://inkmagic.blogspot.com/2008/01/evas-reading-meme.html

Medeia Senka said...

Why thank you Em... I'm flattered daahling....

Ink Mage said...

Aella - To play a meme you basically copy the post of the person who tagged you and fill it out with your own answers (and people you tag), then post it to your blog.

Aella Siofra said...

Squeeeeee-

How very exciting. It's a little bit like being interviewed, but not. Very keen. Almost peachy keen I'd say.

Meme-ing,
Aella