Nobody's Princess by Esther FriesnerTuesday, February 01, 2011
Title: Nobody's Princess
Author: Esther Friesener
Publisher: Random House Books
Publication Date: April 24th, 2007
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. 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 a sassy attitude. That same attitude makes Helen a few enemies—such as the self-proclaimed "son of Poseidon," Theseus—but it's also what intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.This is the story of the girl who would grow up to become Helen of Troy, but for now, she's just Helen, a girl who dreams of fighting, running, basically anything that a woman is frowned upon for doing. After finally strong-arming her brothers' trainer into teaching her how to fight, Helen's dream is coming true. She starts sneaking out to go running, train against her brother, and learn archery from her mother.
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 adventure, humor, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for.
Helen goes to Mykenae to attend her sister's wedding, and it is there where she meets her proposed suitor, a boring Mykenaean prince who whines and snivels. Escaping from the palace and from the control of the cruelly clever king, Helen and her two brothers head off to their mother's homeland of Calydon to join in a heroes hunt of a legendary wild boar.
It is there that Helen meets Atalanta, the famed woman warrior with no equal. They soon become friends and Atalanta teaches Helen to ride horseback. However, tragedy ensues and they soon part ways.
This book was a great read! I picked it up thinking that it seemed like a good concept (little is known about Helen of Troy before the whole Troy debacle). Instead, I found myself engrossed in a tale of adventure featuring Spartan royalty who's main concerns include how well she can pass for a boy. I loved it!