Monday, April 9, 2012
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner
When Helen found out that she was to be Queen, she at first didn't want to. It was too much responsibility and she had no idea how to rule a kingdom.
However, at the age of 10, she decided to take her own fate in her hands and become a leader. Women were supposed to learn how to weave and spin gold into gowns.
Instead, Helen confronted the weapons teacher who taught her older brothers, Glaucus, that she wanted to learn to fight. Helen started training, running barefoot into the woods to get faster, hunting meat with her mother for dinner, and learning how to handle a sword and spear.
Helen did this in secret, since it was not allowed for women to do these events. When her twin sister, Clytemnestra, traveled for her wedding ceremony at age 14, Helen went with to comfort her.
Little did Helen know, though, that she would be on an adventure of a lifetime, hunting boars, visiting holy cities, and running around town dressed as a servant boy to follow her brothers on yet another adventure.
Life is definitely not boring for Helen of Sparta.
I love mythology stories! This one is about Helen of Troy before she could add the "Troy" to her name. This is when she was a little girl who was just trying to found out who she really was. Everyone always called her the "pretty" sister, which Helen was not flattered by.
Instead, she wanted to take care of herself. The thought of having to have a husband for that purpose did not settle too well with Helen.
Helen was a great character, I thought. She was tough. Even when she was sweating, panting, and had rubber arms, she did not give anyone the satisfaction of seeing her quit. She pushed through everything her trainer gave her and finished what she started.
I was a little shocked at how young she was at the beginning of the story - around 9 or 10 years old. However, as the story continued the reader was able to see how mature Helen became and just how responsible she was - which is why she became such a great ruler when she got older.
This is the first book of a two book series. We are left with Helen on another adventure to catch up to her brothers - Helen doesn't like to be left behind when there is more to see and experience. I'm excited to see what will happen in the second, and final, book of Esther Friesner's books.
I would definitely recommend this to any young girl who wants to read about a girl who takes chances, doesn't take no for an answer, and is willing to learn. It's a great adventure and I think any teen girl will enjoy it.