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NOBODY’S PRINCESS by Esther Friesner


From the Princesses of Myth series, volume 1

by Esther Friesner

Pub Date: April 24th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-87528-1
Publisher: Random House

Nebula Award–winner and Hugo-finalist Friesner disappointingly offers humdrum fare based on Greek mythology. Meet Helen of Sparta, not yet of Troy. True to Spartan history, she’s a strong female (literally), and prepped by her mother to one day be queen. Though it’s true that the real Helen was probably a legitimate wrestler, Friesner has her spunky, stubborn and contrarian heroine dressing as a boy to be trained in sword-fighting beside her brothers Castor and Polydeceus. She then sneaks off with them to participate in the historic hunt of the Calydonian Boar . . . and at the end of the volume, prepares readers for a sequel by tagging along with Jason’s Argonauts. Friesner uses these legends as a backdrop for a Xena Warrior Princess–type of character of 21st-century sensibilities—with entertaining and popular results, but not uniquely or distinctively, and without much respect for or elucidation of the actual mythology. Some may enjoy the romp. (Fiction. 11-14)