Read Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner Online


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 ZeuShe 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 Zeus" Theseus—but it 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 adventure, humor, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Nobody's Princess
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375849848
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nobody's Princess Reviews

  • Rachel
    2019-03-08 08:24

    I have to say, this book did not work for me at all. It's a retelling of the story of Helen of ancient Greece. Somehow the modern voice applied to her narration just made the story feel totally shallow. "Like, oh my heck, it's the Oracle of Apollo!" Okay, it wasn't that bad, but the modern language took away the credibility of the story for me. Another problem was that the character's "voice" didn't change to adjust for her age at all. She spoke the same way at 6, at 10 and at 14. Again, hard to suspend the disbelief. Usually I really love books for young adults that feature a strong young woman but Helen came across as a tired cliche. Of COURSE she would rather be a warrior than a wool-spinning princess. The worst part? There's a sequel! The story was really only getting started when the book ended. Usually when a book has a sequel I feel I must read it no matter if I loved the first volume or not, but I think I can skip the next one, "Nobody's Prize." Give me a break.

  • Slumbering Rose
    2019-03-12 08:06

    The description says you'll find yourself rooting for Helen. I beg to disagree. I felt just the opposite. Helen is a spoiled, stubborn, selfish, impulsive, immature, bratty child. She is inconform with everything. She gets her way with everything. She is smarter, slyer, and altogether better than everyone else at everything by the ripe old age of fourteen (she is actually much younger throughout the first half of the book, yet that doesn't impair her knowledge or skills at all). The other characters serve as foils or teachers for Helen. Okay. Obviously Ms. Friesner wanted to make Helen a strong female character, which is all nice and well, but most (if not all) of it is much too unbelievable. In fact, it seems Ms. Friesner wanted to glamorize every female—excluding Clytemnestra, Helen's twin sister in the book and biggest foil. Helen is perfect; Helen is unhuman. Root for her? Nay, I wanted to bash her on the head.

  • Kit
    2019-02-24 10:29

    eh, more crappy ya novels. seriously, what is up with that? ya novels tend to be better than just slapping random words together, right? there is a most definite lack of direction in this, and the characters lack depth, but fine, again, ya novel. is it possible to stop introducing such immature characters and trying to make them pass for mature? just a thought. that doesn't sound unreasonable, right?another point is, of course, that nothing really happens throughout the course of this book. and the text is GINORMOUS--if this was a word doc in traditional times new roman size 12 font, this would barely hit 100 pages. no plot, no character REALLY, just a half-baked premise--is this what you intend to feed your young adult readers? the main character annoyed the hell out of me. she tried to make her sound like she wasn't being a complete selfish ass by going off and doing whatever the hell she wants, but fails miserably, because, in the end, her character helen goes anyway, and to hell with the people who care about her. this is all on the whim of a childish need for adventure, which makes perfect sense, of course.too many things to complain about. it would be stupid to rant about a book i don't even much like. i'll end the post shortly, but first, i need to get something straight too. why did the boar hunt last like 2 seconds? it was also never fully explained why 2 girls were able to defeat the boar when 30 or 40 so grown men couldn't, and died doing it. fine, so they're good, but inhuman they are not. and too much of the mythology tried to pass as dialogue, with one character telling it to another--used WAY too much, it is simply not a storytelling device anymore, it was turning my brain into mush. i seriously CANNOT stand it a second longer. maybe i'm just not wired to think like a young adult anymore.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-12 04:35

    Do you like heroines who are strong, independent, and self-sufficient? You may want to meet Helen. She's not your average princess. Sure, her mother and father are king and queen of Sparta. And sure, she may grow up to be "Helen of Troy." But Helen is a young firecracker of a character. She is not going to stand around learning how to do needlework while her two brothers, Castor and Polydeuces, get to have all the fun of learning to ride and hunt. She's not going to miss out on all the fun of learning how to use spears and swords. Disguising herself as a boy, she fools everyone but her brothers and their teacher, Glaucus. Fortunately for Helen, he bought into her theory of how the future queen of the country needs to be able to defend herself. Now, being an adventurer and hunter like her brothers isn't all fun and games. Helen is learning it takes hard work, sacrifice, and a strong mind. Some may call her pretty. But Helen pays them no attention. She wants one thing in life: freedom to live HOW she chooses. Beauty can be just as much of a hindrance as a help in that regards.

  • Lesley
    2019-03-02 05:21

    I don't know what's wrong with me. I want to like the books I read and yet I'm constantly disappointed. Then I read the reviews and other people did like them. So I think the problem is me. I can definitely see recommending this book to fans of re-told Greek myths, especially ones featuring strong heroines. But here's what I wanted: If it's supposed to be historical fiction, I wanted to know more about what it would have been like to be Helen of Sparta (before she became Helen of Troy) if she were a spunky feminist who wanted to learn how to use a sword and travel the world. How realistic would this have truly been? If it's supposed to be myths brought to life, then I wanted it to stick to the original stories without adding Helen to stories she wasn't a part of. Also, I'd prefer a concentration on one main story so there's a building of tension, a climax, etc., instead of a rambling account of several different unrelated events. Man, I am picky and demanding. I did like the probable realistic explanations for the stories that have come down to us as hyperbolic myths. But I couldn't quite get my bearings in terms of the sensibility: Do the characters think like ancient Greeks or like modern Americans? Either is fine, but I felt like it bounced back and forth.

  • Sella Malin
    2019-03-05 08:24

    This book was pretty good...Some parts were exciting, while others were kind of boring. I thought the idea was pretty interesting, since I love Greek mythology, and I'm fascinated with the legend of Helen and Troy...It was cool to see this author's view on Helen's childhood, though it wasn't written that well. There were only a few things that bothered me. The author italicizes words way too often, about ten times every page, and so that was quite frustrating. Also, the author had a tendency to go off on a rant about things that weren't that important or significant to the plot. Lastly, the author left out a few things that were supposed to have happened to Helen when she was at a certain age. For example, she was never kidnapped by Theseus at age ten, but rather passed that year with nothing like that happening, which made me feel exasperated. Other than that, it was pretty good. It left off at a cliffhanger, and I'll probably read the sequel...

  • Jessica
    2019-03-10 09:28

    A fascinating look at not just the childhood of Helen of Troy, but of the era in which she lived. The historical notes at the back of the book talk about how Helen would have lived not in Greece's Golden Age, when Homer was writing the Iliad, but centuries before in the Bronze Age. It put a whole new spin on the story: reading and writing were nonexistent, as was money, and the women of Sparta really would have been huntresses in their own right. Very intriguing! My only complaint is that there were a few too many "training montages" if you will, when Helen was learning some new skill.

  • JoselynMoreno Burke
    2019-03-10 05:16

    I loved it so much, to tell a story like that was so cool and I found myself devouring the book in a couple of days.The fact that I love greece and sparta to begin with was a plus to this book, I was rapidly immerse on all the mythology and names and cities.I can't wait enough for the second book to see how this all will end or start and I thinks this series is one I would grow to love.One of the things I really liked was that Helen was no damsel in distress, she is a strong female that wants everything the world can give and more. The way she fights for what she wants and believes is right is inspiring so I hope every girl embrace her as a role model and fight back for what they want.More reviews

  • Althea Ann
    2019-03-12 03:25

    An historical novel about Helen of Sparta (before she grew up and became Helen of Troy)? Sounded compelling to me! Especially because Sparta is such a fascinating, complex and often-problematic culture.Unfortunately, I got the impression from this book that it was written as a generic Western-princess-fairytale, the publisher thought it was too bland, and encouraged the author to put a Grecian gloss over the thing. It's still generic and bland - and at no point does it feel like it takes place in Sparta.Helen is a spoiled brat who reads like a modern pre-teen. She spends most of the book whining.Helen's big thing is that she wants to train with her brothers, doing physical exercise instead of sitting in the house spinning and weaving with her mother and sisters. Later, she meets an oh-so-unusual horsewoman and has to sneak around to learn to ride, secretly.Here's in thing: in Sparta, spinning and weaving was done ONLY BY SLAVES. No upper-class Spartan woman did that sort of work, let alone a "princess." And - could we POSSIBLY call the garments worn by Spartan women 'chitons' not 'dresses'? Speaking of clothing, Spartan women frequently did not wear clothing - when they were doing the strenuous exercise and physical training that ALL young Spartans, male and female, participated in. A young Spartan woman would have had a time of it getting OUT of having to exercise, not getting TO exercise. Not only that, but upper-class Spartan women frequently rode horses, bred horses, and owned horses. OK, I don't mind having preconceptions challenged by a novel. Perhaps the past wasn't like our concepts about it. Open my horizons. Challenge me. But - nothing about this book's setting felt 'Spartan' - or even 'foreign' at all. It was more Ren-Faire Medieval than anything. I have no problem at all with stories that show young women struggling against the sexist expectations of their society.The problem here, though, is that this ISN'T a Spartan society. It's Our society, with a pseudo-Medieval, pseudo-Greek gloss on it.The end result was that I felt that this book ends up being the opposite of empowering, because by showing a culture far removed from our own being sexist in so exactly the same ways as our own, instead of showing that sexist stereotypes can be overcome and defeated, it actually reinforces the message that these ideas about women are universal throughout the world and history and therefore are likely true.Don't get me wrong - I don't demand that every book have an 'empowering' message. But I felt like this one meant to, and it backfired.The reason I like to read historical novels is to feel like I have been transported into another culture, another way of living, another way of seeing the world. Based on those criteria, this book was a complete failure.It went to the top of my to-read list because I saw the sequel at the discount store, and I was wondering if I should buy it. The answer is "no."

  • Merphy Napier
    2019-02-17 06:12

    I don't have a lot of thoughts on this one. I really like Hellen a lot and enjoyed following her throughout the story. I also loved a lot of the side characters and the characters were really what kept me going. But the plot was kind of a mess. It felt like we were jumping from one thing to another and they were barely connected. I mean, she was needing to escape a neighboring Kingdom because she thought she was going to be forced into a marriage, then there was a wild boar hunt, then another thing and another and another.... the plot kept changing and it was this build up to these big dramatic things and then they would be over in two seconds and it sort of felt like, "well then what was the point?" I mean, it felt like there were a handful of different plots that this story could have focused on and spent the entire book centered around, but for some reason, the author tried to do them all. And it felt really weird in pacing and all over the place. I gave it three stars because the characters were great and the plot had a lot of potential, but this really isn't something I'd recommend unfortunately.

  • Asghar Abbas
    2019-03-06 02:09

    Don't judge me. I can still feel you judging me with your judgy little eyes, hehe. After seeing Manu Bennett in the ill fitting Shannara Chronicles, I was missing the sublime Spartacus. I noticed that this book was published in 2007 and that reminded me of 300 a silly but fun movie. So I succumbed and picked this novel up. Nostalgia would kill you, so put down that pipe. While not quite the adventurous fun ride it was pretending to be, I did enjoy and even liked some aspects of it. Plus MC training with the sword reminded me of Arya, so there's that. Interestingly enough, the endnote was way more, well, interesting than this short novel itself. So read it just for that.

  • Cecilia
    2019-03-06 10:19

    What a lovely retelling, and this is just the beginning of Helen's story! In the original myth, you do not hear a lot about Helen - only that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Indeed, she is forever remembered as Helen of Troy. Even I did not remember that she came from Sparta. The most beautiful woman came from Sparta? How interesting! I am glad Esther Friesner decided to investigate further into Helen before she became "of Troy."What I really enjoyed about Nobody's Princess is the cameo appearances and mentions of other noteworthy Greekers such as Theseus, Atalanta, and Heracles. In myths, one tends to forget that some of them could have happened at around the same time...and possibly the same place.While they worship and pay respects to the Greek gods and goddesses, the Olympians do not make an actual appearance. I suspect they never will. Friesner seems to be focusing on making this myth as realistic as possible. While there may be boasts and rumors about dragons and hydras and Golden Fleeces, the characters themselves admit that these are great exaggerations.Nobody's Princess focuses on a young Helen - still in her pre-pubescent years, I believe, on the cusp of womanhoood. I am eager to read the sequel Nobody's Prize that has already been released to watch her grow into that famous face that launched 1000 ships and led to the ruin of Troy. Complete review on my blog

  • Gracie Twidale
    2019-02-28 03:18

    Okay, so this book... At first I can't really say I hated it... But then I read on. The style of writing was very childish and annoying. I don't know what I expected really, the blurb on the back wasn't amazing either. What really drew me in was the fact that it was about the Greek gods and the was set in the time of Helen of Troy (or Sparta). The story line was very bland and had no high-point or plot twists. She had no love interest and it started off from too young of age. Overall, I might read the next one (not anytime soon) just to see if it gets any better (I have very low expectations). Maybe this book was aimed at a lower age group from the beginning...

  • Rachel
    2019-03-13 07:29

    This book is crap. It's about a little girl who crossdresses and goes on adventures!!! I mean, what the heck was the author thinking when she wrote this?!?! And even if ur into little crossdressing female adventurers, this book is a waste of life. It has no substance and is more work to read than it's worth. Dear Author, please stop causing innocent readers to waste money and time!Warning: DON'T READ!! Even if someone has a gun to your head ordering you to read it, it's better to die than waste the hours of your life it takes to read this book.

  • Kristi
    2019-03-03 06:36

    I enjoyed Friesner’s rendition on the story of Helen’s youth. I really liked getting to know more about the ancient Greeks and their customs. The plot flows well and is interesting throughout the entire story. I can’t wait to read more about Helen’s character and her adventures in Nobody’s Prize. If you enjoy historical fiction or mythology, I think you would enjoy this book!

  • Victoria Kennedy
    2019-03-07 09:18

    Originally published on My Books Are MeI stumbled upon this book by chance, and I'm so glad I did! As someone who has been studying history for several years, and currently majoring in history at University, this book appealed to me a lot, especially since I already had some idea of what ancient Sparta was like. Granted, I haven't studied Helen of Troy or much of the mythology in the book that closely, but it was easy to pick up on the story and imagine the place and time which Helen was living. The story follows Helen of Troy, or really, Helen of Sparta, as a child and teenager. We see her in the Spartan palace, working towards her future as Queen of Sparta, but trying to avoid the traditional path laid out for her. Instead of needlework with the other ladies, Helen is more at home outside in the training yard with her brothers, learning how to fight and be a strong Queen, able to lead her future army into battle. Of course, a future queen cannot be seen acting like such a boy, and so only a few know about Helen's training, including her supportive mother. When her twin sister is to marry the Prince of Mykenae, Helen, along with her brothers, join their sister on her journey to her new kingdom. However, the real adventure begins when Helen's brothers, Castor and Polydeuces decide to head to Calydon to join the hunt for a rabid boar. Helen soon discovers that she doesn't want to be an average queen, and sees her future on the battlefield and on quests that will make her one of the most heroic and famous queens of her time, not just a pretty face. I really enjoyed this book and it combined mythology and history with fiction to create an interesting story. Because I have studied Ancient Spartan and Greek culture and society, I loved reading pieces that I had some knowledge of and knew what things were referring to. However, this doesn't mean that someone who doesn't have this history or mythology knowledge won't be able to enjoy this book. If you love books about strong female roles, then this is something you will definitely enjoy. The message that Helen embodies is that you should be judged and praised on your abilities, not your looks, which is something that a lot of teenagers and young girls need to see in literature. It's great to see that Friesner has written a story (actually a series of stories) that have strong female leads that focus on their strengths, not their beauty. However, I feel Helen lacks development and we fail to see any real difference in character and voice from the ages of six to fourteen - if it hadn't been for the mention of her age changes, I may have thought to were six through the entire book. Also, the fleeting mentions of many myths seemed to only create more questions. Yes, they may be myths a lot of people are familiar with, but a little bit more of an in-depth discussion of them wouldn't have gone astray. Some myths seemed only to have been mentioned for the sake of cramming as much Greek mythology into the book as possible, and the myths actually to do with the story where glossed over. But, it's only a small issue from someone who loves history and mythology. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and will definitely be continuing on with the sequel Nobody's Prize which picks up exactly where this novel ended. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys history, Greek mythology, and strong and independent female leads. Originally published on My Books Are Me -

  • TL
    2019-02-25 04:19

    This was a light, enjoyable read... it was fun to read about Helen as a child and her determination to choose her own path. I loved seeing her stand up for her brothers, herself, and her friends.Atalanta I adored, wish she had had a bigger part in the novel,She was very interesting. She would make a fine queen if she chose to marry someone (I can see her rolling her eyes and glaring at me for that hehe). Love seeing a warrior woman in this, though I wanted to smack certain men's faces sometimes for their remarks about her. Hopefully she'll appear in future novel *crosses fingers* If it were me back then, I probly would done what Atalanta did... I am not good at sewing and the like haha ;-)How I pictured Atalanta and Helen:(just my personal vision)Atalanta:Helen:Helen's brothers Castor and Polydeuces made me smile; loyal,affectionate, and protective of each other and Helen (sometimes too protective for Helen's taste)... their teasing of each other reminded me of my brother and myself :). I got a good laugh when Helen whipped their butts in one of the training practices *smirks*Milo was adorable in his devotion to Helen! I just wanted to eat him up sometimes.Some of those greek names I can't pronounce, do they really need such odd names? Haha ;-)Theseus was a right ass, *glares and steps away from him* glad he was put in his place, thinks he's a gift to women *snorts*Despite the characters and the environment/atmosphere popping off the pages, I didn't fully connect with everyone in the narrative. I felt like I was an outsider dropping in and spying on them rather than being a part of their adventures. Perhaps this was the author's intent, drop hints of them then suck us in more for the second book? Not a deal breaker for me but I wish everyone had been fleshed out a bit more.There were also times I thought Helen behaved irrationally... her intentions were good and I could understand her frustration but she could've used more sense on those occasions.All in all, I would recommend... it's not a deep read but alot of fun and sets up nicely for the next installment. Happy reading! *waves*

  • Penwiper
    2019-03-07 09:12

    At first, this book was fairly promising. The prose was adequate, and the idea was good. Okay, girls who show their spunky grrrl-itude by learning "manly" arts and rejecting "womanly" ones make me twitch, but in this case it was at least done well enough that I could tolerate it and go on with the story. Unfortunately, the story just simply didn't go anywhere. It was odd, because there were a lot of potential places where the plot could have taken off, but as soon as anything started building up, the plot would twist away from it. It was almost as though the author didn't know how to handle action or tension, and so was avoiding it. I know that this author has written numerous other books and stories, so I was surprised at this.And the really annoying thing is that there was a lot of potential. Take, for instance, one scene that should have been just oozing with drama. A secondary-character prince, having narrowly beaten a secondary-character warrior-woman to the prize of the hunt and having slain the wild boar, dramatically presents her with the prize saying she should have won it. The other warriors cry out at him giving this honor to such an unnatural female, whereupon in a fit of rage he draws his sword and attacks them, leading to wild bloodshed and his eventual death. Awesome! What a chance for great tension! What opportunities for wrenching emotion! Here's a place where the action can really get going! Except..... there's absolutely no build-up to this scene, and no emotional denouement. The scene took maybe one page, the fighting took up maybe 3 sentences, and the whole was described with all the drama of a 3rd-grade spelling lesson. The main characters are instantly hustled off the scene by the author and the remaining action is described to them later, and mostly forgotten about within a few pages. Dull, dull dull!The book ended with the main characters having moved around a bit, but not having really achieved anything, affected anything, or having changed themselves (which is a pity, because they're all very bland and generic). But the book has a sequel, so maybe the whole first book was just a buildup to whatever is going to happen in the next book. Worth a try.

  • Julia
    2019-03-04 03:31

    Nobody's Princess. The title says it all-- what it's supposed to be. A girl who kicks some Ancient Greece butt, right?? WRONG! I came into this book thinking that it was about a girl warrior who prefers being a warrior to a princess. Hmm.. kind of a false guess, I suppose. The author could've AT LEAST had Helen be the best fighter ever, kicking the butts of all those tough Spartan warriors. NO!! Helen seemed to be a character who just kind of wanted to become a warrior and trained with her brothers but wasn't really that good. She tried in their fighting lessons, but I never got the sense that she was really that awesome of a warrior! More on that later. But, really, this was supposed to be a major GIRL POWER book!! But that doesn't really work if the main character is uninteresting, weird, and just plain not the best girl power role model. Okey, I do have some "evidence" to support this thought. Well, in the book, there was one part where Helen and her two older brothers go to some place to kill a dangerous bull or creature that was living in the mountains. So we're all ready to see Helen kill that bull and rub it in those warriors' faces, right?? Well, instead, she kind of just tags behind and helps out someone to kill the bull, but without taking it into her hands, being the best warrior, or being brave enough to kill it herself. Also in this part of the book, Helen met another girl "warrior", Atalanta. Now Atalanta was definitely more of the kind who was a girl power character. If the book was about her, that would've been way better. So, anyway, Atalanta starts training Helen more, but I kind of got the sense that Atalanta didn't even like her, so why was she spending time with her?? It also just added to the fact that Helen is NOT NOT NOT the best warrior in the land because Atalanta was better than her.I'm not going to say I'm that sorry for this, because why would I want to read about a book that has a girl just trying to be big and tagging along behind her brothers to pretend to be brave. If only Helen had been exciting and had some major kick butt scenes. BUt, nope, she didn't, so don't waste YOUR time reading this book.

  • Paradoxical
    2019-02-25 04:07

    Nobody's Princess is a cute story. Shallow, a wandering plot, meh-ish characterization... it's still cute. That's pretty much all you can say about it. Helen is an interesting character as she grows up, but she comes off rather selfish (which isn't all that bad), and she always gets her way. All of the female characters are rather strong, which isn't a bad thing to see, but it was rather... hm. Like instead of being equal with men, they're written as better, only with added bonus of the men beating them down. Which I get, I really do, but it just rang very shallow to me. The plot wandered. The first half is about Helen growing up and being cute and spunky and oh so very determined to be able to beat her brothers into the ground (well, learn how to fight, heh). The second half was about her journey to Mykenae, meeting Atalanta, and trying to participate in the hunt for the Calydonian boar. Then it's about the Pythia and sailing off to her next adventure. No central plot line other than Helen wanting to go on adventures like her brothers. Ah, another thing that bothered me, the glamorization of these adventures. Yes, they're exciting, but they're also hard and dirty and people die. Seems like the author just sort of skips all the bad bits and goes straight for fun and exciting. There are some hard moments, but it never happens to Helen. She pretty much just leads a charmed life. All in all, shallow. It's cute, but shallow. 2 stars.

  • Lucille
    2019-02-28 09:35

    This is the story of Helen of Sparta before she became Helen of Troy. It had potential to be really interesting, to imagine what the woman with a face that launched a thousand ships was like when she was a girl. But it all just fell flat for me- the characters, the plot, the writing, everything. I think that one problem was that things were too rushed. It was a fairly short book and I don't think that enough time and attention were spent on the various places that Helen travelled, the things she did there, and the people that she met. All of the friendships seemed random and forced, and the people that she did not get along with were also random, they just popped out of nowhere and then disappeared as soon as the random interaction was done with. I thought that I would have liked the whole 'princess wanting to learn how to fight with her brothers and dressing up as a boy and doing whatever she has to' thing, but I just found that it wasn't as well executed as say, something that you might find in a Tamora Pierce novel. Also, Helen's character and some of the dialogue just bothered me at times. At of that being said, I didn't hate the book. I read it in about three and a half hours because I was interested to see where it was going (a big fat cliffhanger, that's where it was going) and if it's a series, maybe I'll contemplate reading the second, just to see if it gets better (it probably won't, but you never know).

  • Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿
    2019-02-22 04:09

    This review also appears on:It's books like this that I can never believe are actually published. The premise is a retelling of the story of Helen of Troy as a young teen. I understand, Helen of Troy was gorgeous and everyone loved her, but this was played up to a sickening degree in the book. Everything went right for her and there was hardly any conflict. It felt as if whenever she was in trouble, she just had to show her pretty face and everyone would dive to her aid.The narration was also very week. It was very simplistic, flat, and, well, like a whiny teenager. Just a few chapters in and I was already sick of hearing Helen's voice.Lastly, it is meant to be set in ancient Greece, but the atmosphere hardly feels as if it is. It reads like a story about a modern teen who will mention the name of a Greek god every so often.Whatever you're looking for--romance, adventure, Greek history, or a strong female protagonist--I can assure you that you won't find it in this book.

  • Amy
    2019-03-10 07:15

    i actually give it 1.5 stars. it was just kinda boring & there wasn't really a point. or i missed it. the only thing i can think of...and i'm that the journey is more important than the goal and her character is what will bring her to her ultimate place in life. but it's a book and a book requires a plot not just a character. so this book is kinda junk. and what is more annoying is that there is a book 2 and i probably have to read it b/c i want to know what happens even though in the end i probably won't care. :)

  • Kristy
    2019-02-22 06:27

    3 stars might be generous on this one.... I'm thinking that the books will get progressively better each time (next book is "Nobody's Prize). This one started off slow and slightly boring...but as the end approached it got more and more exciting.I'm on the fence for this one, I don't know if I liked it or not....However, I liked it enough to read the next book, take it how you will.

  • Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
    2019-03-11 10:18

    I thought it was pretty good; not amazing, but good. I thought it had a cool plot, how all the greek history and legends were tied in. I luv greek mythology, so I liked that! One thing that annoyed me though was that the author has this annoying habit of writing every other word in italics!!! That kind of got on my nerves... but other than that, a good book over all.

  • Elizabeth Tammi
    2019-02-25 04:36

    Long before the infamous Trojan War, there was a young girl named Helen. Before she tore the Greek world in half, before she reigned as Sparta’s queen, she was a small child who loved her family and hated the loom. Nobody’s Princess explores the life and times of one of mythology’s most famous women– and one who never got to tell her side of the story. Beginning in Helen’s youth, the events that lead up to the war unfold.Ever since I studied abroad in Athens, Greece this summer, I’ve been in a very Greek mood. A lot of what I’m writing and reading right now involves the history and mythology of one of the world’s most iconic civilizations, so I looked online to see what YA novels involving Greek mythological retellings were out there. Nobody’s Princess isn’t a new book; it was published about a decade ago. In some aspects of the writing and story structure, this is obvious. I truly believe the YA genre has outdone itself in the past few years in terms of diversity, interesting premises, and fascinating plots. While I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into what Helen could and might have been, it’s a little tongue-in-cheek. The writing style is sometimes oversimplified and in-your-face. There’s a lot of that ‘I’m not like other girls’ undertone throughout the book, which is aggravating to read. Still, Friesner did her research, and this novel does offer a very honest insight into life in Bronze Age Greece, and I loved experiencing all the locations and cameos: Delphi, Sparta, Atalanta, the Pythia, Theseus, etc.The story of Helen has always bothered me, and I’ve always felt like something BIG was left out of Homer’s narrative. I know this isn’t the only Helen retelling out there, and I’ll probably keep searching. This is a cool fill-in-the-blanks story, but not one that resonates with me entirely. But for anyone interested in a historical fiction YA novel steeped in history and famous characters, this should be right up your alley!

  • Nelly Alikyan
    2019-02-18 03:10

    There was no plot to this, literally just different interactions amongst different days of her life.

  • Sam :)
    2019-02-27 06:35

    Rating: 3 starsFull review to come!

  • Karissa
    2019-03-05 05:11

    The premise of this story sounded wonderful. A strong Spartan princess who wants more than just to be a princess, she wants adventure and will buck traditions to get it. I was excited to read this book. Unfortunately the book wasn't as astounding as I had hoped; the writing is simplistic, the characters two-dimensional and it just wasn't the exciting book I had hoped for.Helen is the beautiful and oldest daughter of the Spartan king. She will be Queen when her father passes away. Helen begins to wonder why everyone calls her beautiful and what that means for her position in life. She finally decides that she wants more than the life of a beautiful Queen, she wants adventure. Helen tags along after her brothers in a series of adventures in an effort to discover what she truly wants and how she can make it happen.This book was a quick read. The premise is spot on with something I would like, but it just didn't work for me. I loved the idea of Helen's character but Helen was never filled out well enough to make her seem real. Helen is a brat a lot of the time and many times doesn't think through her actions and how they will affect those around her; the result is that Helen is a beauty that is short on brains and wisdom (the opposite of what I think she is meant to be portrayed as). I really had trouble finding anything to admire in Helen's character and this made it hard for me to engage in the story.The side characters are similar in that they are very stereotypical and two dimensional. The plot goes at a pretty good pace but it is predictable and never really seems to have a purpose. This was a book more about a young girl wandering through her life than a book with any purpose to it. Many of the things that happen with Helen seem very historically improbable and that was a bit annoying too.The writing style was okay but simple. I approached this as a young adult book but it was written at a much younger level. All the descriptions are there but they aren't written in a way that really grabs the readers imagination and draws them into the scene. There is no love interest for Helen and there are no people that really help Helen to figure out who she is or what her purpose is.The ending to the book is non-conclusive and open and doesn't really resolve anything. Basically everything about this book was mediocre. It is a generic story about a young girl who wants to be more than a princess. As such, this book might appeal to younger girls (middle grade or even younger) and it does send a good message about trying to be who you want to be. There are better stories out there though about similar subjects.Overall an okay story. Not really offensive and technically well-written, but not incredibly engaging. It is an easy read and seems intended for a younger female audience (middle grade or younger). If you want a more engaging book about a girl trying to break the constraints of being a princess check out Princess Ben instead. I am sure there are oodles of books out there about this subject that are more engaging. I won't be reading any more of Friesner's books in the future.

  • Janice Liu
    2019-03-11 02:08

    CHARACTERS:FATHER-king of SpartaMOTHER-queen of Sparta.(for some reason queens are better than kings in this book)CLYTEMNESTRA-her twin, is younger.Is very different from her sister because she is more girl like. Clytemnestra likes to weave and do girl stuff.CASTOR and POLYDEUCES-twin brothersIONE-babysitterGLAUCUS-teacher of Helen and her brothersMILO-slave but was freed by HelenEUNIKE-can have visions from ApolloATALANTA-boyish like Helen. Teaches her how to ride a horse.Setting:Something like Odysseus. Helen is a princess of Sparta. She is very active like a boy and she is adventurous. When Helen is suppose to weave with her sister in the weave room, she sneaks out and goes to her brother's place where Glaucus teaches her brothers how to fight. Clytemnestra is going to marry to one of Mykenae. She is panicked. Helen goes to Mykenae with her. Things go on and she meets Atalanta. Atalanta teaches her how to ride a hores. Later on they go to a hunt to kill a big boar. Blah Blah Blah and Helen and her brothers had to leave Mykenae because of a fight over the boar which kills Helen's cousin and ofther people. Helen buys Milo and frees him. Milo follows her as a friend and gives her what Atalanta told gave him. Helen, her brothers and Milo goes to Delphi. Her brother goes to Apollo's temple because they heard that they can hear about their future. Helen also goes but doesn't want to pray to the gods so she wakes around the town of Delphi with two body guards and Milo. She out smarts the two guards by telling Milo to serve wine and make them drunk. ... and she meets Eunike. Eunike helps her when someone was grabbing her wrist hard. Eunike also helps her by helping her to travel to Iolkos where Helen's brothers were going. Helen wants to go there for adventure. She doesn't want to go home so she goes to Iolkos with Milo beside her. Sequel: Nobody's Prize