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,