Monday, January 17, 2011

Nobody's Princess

Okay, so if this post sounds any different than any of my others (or if there's actually anyone reading this) it's because I have a reading log due for English class and I figure it would kill two birds with one stone to just hand my teacher a few pages of bloggage and be like, I read.
So, on to the book...
Nobody's Princess
is a novel by Esther Friesner about a Spartan princess named Helen who will someday become Helen of Troy. The story shows her childhood in ancient Greece surrounded by heroes and Greek mythology. The interesting thing is that it is written rather than having the mythology as fantasy but as religion, thus to the character truth. There is a lot of contemplatence about the religion itself, and the fact that Helen likes certain goddesses more than others, particularly Aphrodite over Artemis.
The author spun the story a lot, however, and in some ways I wonder for what reasons. The real Helen of Troy was kidnapped by Theseus as a child. This would make an awesome plot. However, the author left it out completely, although Theseus does make an appearance and hints that Helen needs a husband to "calm her down." On the other hand, the author does add in a lot about Helen being more rebellious, taking secret swordfighting lessons with her brother's teacher and learning to hunt from her mother, then later learning to ride from the huntress Atalanta and helping her in the boar hunt.
I like the rebellion, and the fact that even though Helen was sort of a pretty brat in the beginning she became bearable once the story got started (I'd never have been able to read it otherwise) but there seems to be a lot of plot taken out of her story.
And, the one bit of creative licensing that the author is fully entitled to yet bothers me excruciatingly is the fact that Sparta traditionally had two kings, five ephors, a council of advisors, and a citezen class. Athens, on the other hand, had a democracy. In this story, both have rather simple monarchies, and Helen's family passes the crown through the daughters.

What would make me really happy right now:
-Some sushi
-Some crab rangoon and duck sauce. Like, major craving right now.
-A greek princess dress. I'll have to sew myself one.
-More books.

Next book: Nobody's Prize, the sequel to Nobody's Princess.

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