Dy's Take

July 24, 2009

Nobody’s Princess by Esther Friesner

Filed under: YA — Dy @ 19:07

( 55 )

Who was Helen before she became, “Helen of Troy”?  Friesner’s book sets out to answer this question in a mostly magic-free world.  There is a prophetess, but that’s about it. Many of the legendary creatures of mythological fame are quietly debunked in the course of the storytelling.

“Yes, well…” He took a deep breath. “Lad, did you ever see a nine-headed beast of any sort, mouse or monster?” … “No one has, including me and my uncle. But the poets who sing for their living know they won’t earn a full belly from spinning tales about how Herakles and his nephew slew an ordinary swamp snake; a monstrously BIG swamp snake, as thick  around as a pillar, but with just one head after all.”

I enjoyed it, but the fact that the ‘lad’ being spoken to above is Helen tells you where most of the adventure comes from… Girl passes herself as boy in order to have a life free of limitations. I like it better when girls have adventures AS girls, but that’s probably the influence of another book I’m digging into right now.

All in all not a bad little book, but I’d like to see something similar written for adults with more juicy mythological goodness…

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