Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

I have been wanting to read this book for a while, so I was very excited to finally get the chance.

Nobody's Princess is the coming of age story of Helen of Sparta, later known as Helen of Troy. Helen is a sassy stubborn thing with lots of spunk and will power. She hates doing the mundane tasks women of her society endure and convinces her brothers' teacher to tutor her in the arts of sword fighting and spear throwing. She journey's with her brothers to distant lands, and the ending leaves us hanging on saying, "What? That's the end?" Luckily there is a sequel (which I have yet to read).

Throughout this book, there are many examples of the author's knowledge of the time period. There are small details in the book that the author explains perfectly without making it seem like I'm reading a text book. For example the tradition of sharing bread and salt with guests is mentioned, and Helen, the narrator, explains this is a sacred trust between guest and host.

I was impressed by the writing and enjoyed the story. My only complaint is that through Friesner's story telling, I grew to love Helen, Polydueces and Castor. If you do a little bit of research on them, you'll find they are not as wonderful and honorable as Nobody's Princess makes them out to be, and that is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. 

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