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Spirit's Princess (Spirit's Princess #1)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Fans of Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon will be drawn to Esther Friesner's Himiko, the beloved daughter of a chieftain in third-century Japan. The tribe's shamaness has an amazing vision foretelling the young girl's future--one day this privledged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all Japan. Spirit's Princess details the events of Himiko's early teen years filled ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Bluefire (first published January 1st 2012)
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Actual Review: This is going to be very long and probably will delve into being overly detailed and lecture-y at some points so bear with me on that point.

(If you are coming here to troll my review because children's books are for children and therefore they shouldn't be factually accurate and held to the same standards, go screw yourself! Instead of blabbing your crap on my review space write your own damn review and satisfy your misinformed needs instead!)

You have no idea how much this book in
the golden witch.
I grit my teeth and got through about 60 pages before I threw in the towel. Here's where I was more or less screaming "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG" at the book:

1. Setting: The period in which this is set (mid-Yayoi Era - 300BCE to 300CE) has the land that Himiko/Pimiko (if she existed) known as the kingdom of Wa (Chinese) or Yamataikoku (precursor to the Yamato nation, which was precursor to the various States that became the Warring States, which was precursor to a reunified Japan under the Shogunate
Eustacia Tan
Since I'm now living in Japan, I'm especially interested books about it - fiction, non-fiction, anything can get my interest. So when I saw the blurb of "Spirit's Princess" on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. And I wasn't disappointed at all.

Spirit's Princess is the fictionalised account of the mythological figure Queen Himiko, who was supposed to have ruled over the Yayoi (ancient Japanese). The book (book 1) follows her early years, from growing up to her Shaman training and her struggle t
This is an epic tale about the life of Himiko, a young tribal princess in ancient Japan. The character actually did live, but obviously, her story presented here is total fiction. Still, it is interesting to me to take a historical person many of us have never heard of and make her come to life.

This story is also not one of on the edge of your seat adventure as we often get with YA that has magic within. It's more about how Himiko finds herself. How she grows and finds who she really is inside.
J. Else
The rating is poor because of the ending!

I was getting into it! First off, Friesner has beautiful descriptions of the landscape -- the sun, the forests, the seasons, etc. Everything about life is made more beautiful in her writing.

I like the character development as Himiko struggled with doubt and eventual discovery with her belief in the spiritual, but the book lacked a clear direction in its first half. As a reader, you can't understand the significance of all this because it doesn't feel like
Kathy Russo
First off…I have two ratings for this books, as such this review will be divided into two sections.

The “official” rating, in which I took into account the novel as a reader that did not know any history or background on the subject matter; and then the rating from a history-buff’s POV.

Official rating: 3.5/5 stars
History-Buff rating: 1.5/5 stars

Freisner’s previous books have all been a joy to read, albeit some historical mistakes, but nevertheless enjoyable. Spirit’s Princess is in the same boat
Honestly, I was at the library and I thought the cover was funny so I read it.

This is a ridiculously stupid story of a horrendously stupid girl who happened to live in Japan a long, long time ago. First off- that wasn't a proper ending. Yeah, some one I care about dies and my family is captured by my long-ago enemy, but hey! I've got the power of the spirits! Who needs friends and family, anyways?

I also read the thing in the back talking about the historical Himiko. She sounded a lot like Lady T
Himiko (the protagonist) is a Japanese historical figure but the author definitely takes a lot of liberty in this story since there is not a lot know about Himiko. I liked the premis of the story but felt the book could have lost a hundred or more pages. Just drug on in parts. When it started to really get interesting it ended (lined up for the next book). I don't know if I will read the next in the series. It was fun to learn a little about ancient Japanese culture though!
In Spirit’s Princess, Esther Friesner expands her Princess Of Myth series to include the Japanese mythos on shaman queen Himiko. Unlike prior princesses, this new princess and time period may not be as well-known to readers – and, for me, this is most likely the reason why I found Spirit’s Princess both interesting and frustrating. Himiko is an admirable young woman who tries to break away from family expectations and cultural traditions, wanting first to be a hunter and then a shaman. However, ...more
Well, if you expect historical fiction with an accurate portrayal of early Japanese life and culture....this book is not for you. I didn't get into the book until about 1/3 of the way through. I had a hard time caring about the character. I also had to make myself detach from my expectations of a historical feast.

That being said, many of you know I'm on the hunt for appropriate, good books to add to my 7th grade shelf and I'm just controlling enough that I want to read EVERY book before I offer
Hannah Cobb
Himiko, born in third century Japan, has always wanted a life she can't have. First she wants to be a great hunter like her brother, Aki. Then she discovers her calling as a shaman. But tradition and family prejudices stand in her way no matter what path she takes. As she grows up, Himiko learns the importance of selfless choices, and becomes a strong and independent young woman. As usual, Esther Friesner has delved deep into a past few readers are familiar with, creating a rich historical world ...more
Dear Mrs. Friesner,

I tried. I really, really did.

I read Nobody's Princess about 5 or 6 years ago and absolutely...

Hated it.

But a coworker at the library really loves your work and suggested I try you again.

And I thought, hey, you know I did retry Robin McKinley and Unearthly this year and really, really loved them in comparison to the first time around, why not Friesner?

After all, your books are tempting. Pretty covers, historical components, badass female heroines. I really should be into tha
Brittany Parks
I'd never heard of Himiko before picking up the book on a whim from my local library. Maybe because I wasn't familiar with her story the way I was with Helen of Troy's (I cut my teeth on mythology right along with Grimm Brothers and Dr. Seuss), I enjoyed this book even more than I did Nobody's Princess. Maybe I connected with something in Himiko's dilemma between being "the good girl" her parents expected and the person she truly is too. Part of it was probably the amazing detail that went into ...more
This book is very different from what I'm used to reading. I assumed there was going to be a lot of action, romance, and spirits. But no, it is mostly a story of hardship, and finding one's path in the world. The story goes through Himiko's life as a child, and I think Friesner was right for doing that because it really gave us an idea of where Himiko is coming from. Later, when she has matured, I appreciated her passion and love for everyone around her. The theme of acceptance was a big factor ...more
I love Ms. Friesner's books. All of them have been good so far and this one does not disappoint.

Himiko is an obedient daughter, loyal to her tribe and family, but she knows that she is destined for so much greater than to simply marry and have children. When she accidentally discovers another clan, she also discovers another path and another family. Himiko returns to her village certain of what the gods want her to do, but her father won't here of it. Determined to follow her heart, Himiko runs
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I have read all of Esther Friesner's Princesses of Myth stories, whether they were about Helen of Troy or Nefertiti, and have enjoyed all of them. I definitely have enjoyed Nefertiti's story the best because Friesner exposed us to Egypt, a world that clearly isn't eurocentric, and I found this very refreshing. Typically I do not go for the books that have an Asian setting or something of the like, but ever since reading Eon a
Page (One Book At A Time)
Aww....the joys of peer influence. I added this book to my to read list because I have a couple other books by the author on my shelves that I haven't read yet. I've heard good things about them and this one sounded just as interesting. I like the idea that she takes real characters. I was hoping this one would be good.

The problem started when I went to add it to my currently reading shelf on goodreads. I noticed that it was getting a lot of low stars. So I glanced at some of the reviews....I s
I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book although I knew that it was based on a real-life historical figure, known as Himiko, in ancient Japan. That is not a time period I am familiar with so that meant that everything would be new to me.

Now I don't know if it was because of how new everything was or what the reason might be, but I really struggled to read this book. That would be mostly because of the characters. I could not get a feel for the young Himiko and none of the other charac
I really liked this story. I think that Esther M. Friesner has made me a fan of her writing. I really enjoyed the story it kept me guessing as to what would happen and I love how some of the information was not told to the main character and it made her guess herself after she found out about it.
Himiko, I think is one of my favorite characters to read about. She is someone that knows what she wants and goes for it. I love that about her. I think that that is also what saves her. I love her natur
Sharon Tyler
Spirit's Princess by Esther Friesner is the first book in a young adult series. Himiko is the only daughter of the chieftain in third century Japan. She has always been a little different, and very special. On the day of her birth there was an earthquake, and she has continued to defy expectations ever since. Himiko begins by desiring to be a hunter like her beloved brother, but her attempt to prove herself dashes that dream. After a series of adventures Hikimo discovers her true path, and the d ...more
Jami Lowe
A breath of fresh air.

Could have done differently –
1. There are a couple of instant loves, those ‘I-can’t-live-or-love-without-you-and-I-just-glanced-upon-you’ scenes. Stupid, if I wanted one of those I’d watch a Disney Princess movie and I don’t have them in the house. However, it is a short scene and it doesn’t involve Himiko and is over shadowed by the fact that it actually serves a purpose, benefiting Himiko.
2. Four hundred and fifty pages and No one told me this was TO BE CONTIUNED!! Thank
Cover Blurb: I liked the other covers for the Author’s books because you didn’t get to see the people full-on, leaving one’s own imagination to imagine what Helen of Troy or Nefertiti looked like. While I like the style of this one, I don’t like that you can see Himiko full-on.

What I Liked: The storyline was intriguing, exciting, and dramatic. Himiko starts out as a little brat, but as the story progresses she improves, and when the book ends she is a strong, sensible, and likable heroine. I lov
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
This is a condensed version of this review, to see my extended review please follow this link.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank the publisher for giving me a copy of this through netgalley.

When I heard that Esther Friesner had written another novel, I was really excited. I loved her series about Helen of Troy and Nefertiti, and so I had really high hopes for this one.

I liked this novel and I loved the main character Himiko. She's a tough heroine just like all of F
I love the Princesses of Myth books, but this one missed the mark. My main problem is with how easily Hikimo gives up on her dream of becoming a hunter. She tells her family she wants to become a hunter, and though they all laugh at her, she still believes she can be one. Hikimo even climbs a giant tree (she's seven at this time) to prove to her beloved big brother that she's brave so he will train her. She ends up breaking her leg, so everyone treats her like she's made of glass. With all the p ...more
WOWWWW This is book is terrible. The ending was terrible. Actually I knew it was probably not going to be an awesome,amazing because of the cover. Most of the time, when people have a really elaborate made-up model on the book, it's kind of a ploy to get you to pick it up. NOPE, not good. It's an okay book, but not really something I'd recommend because apparently, the historical facts aren't even accurate. This is more of a spun tale before the real Himiko's ruling and stuff.

Now the reasons it
S.M. Blooding
I had a hard time getting into this book. I won the book from a contest, so I was super excited about it, but it arrived right when there was a lot of other things going on in my life! I had deadlines up the yang, tons of things to do, and I was feeling woefully overwhelmed.

The book bored and frustrated me! I had to sit it down. It felt as though nothing was happening. But then I sat down and said, "Now, self, is this you being impatient and a bad reader, or is this genuinely a bad book?"

So I
Wandering Librarians
In third century Japan, Himiko is the only daughter of the chief of her tribe. Himiko is destine for greatness and has a strong connection with the spirit world. Her father, however, wants his daughter married and having children. Himiko struggles with being the perfect daughter and following her heart.

This book went on forever and then some. It took me a long time to get though because I kept getting bored. I think there could have been some serious editing done and the story wouldn't have lost
I found Spirit's Princess to be a slow but interesting read. From the summary on the interior of the front cover, I had thought that this book would just have a plot centered around a single problem so I was surprised to find that the book traced Himiko's entire childhood. The twists and turns that Himiko encounters were interesting, but they were basically the same scenario repeated, with Himiko doing something foolish and her family trying to help her. Giving the details of Himiko's childhood ...more
Himiko is a member of the Matsu clan - the Pine people. As the Chieftain's only daughter, Himiko is special and expected to follow a certain path. However, Himiko has plans of her own. Growing up with plenty of brothers and no female friends, Himiko decides that she wants to be a hunter. In a daring feat to prove to her oldest and dearest brother, Aki, that she can be as strong as her brothers, Himiko climbs the tallest tree in her village. The spirits that guide and protect her people have othe ...more
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Esther M. Friesner was educated at Vassar College, where she completed B.A's in both Spanish and Drama. She went to on to Yale University; within five years she was awarded an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish. She taught Spanish at Yale for a number of years before going on to become a full-time author of fantasy and science fiction. She has published twenty-seven novels so far; her most recent titles in ...more
More about Esther M. Friesner...

Other Books in the Series

Spirit's Princess (2 books)
  • Spirit's Chosen (Spirit's Princess, #2)
Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1) Nobody's Prize (Nobody's Princess, #2) Sphinx's Princess (Sphinx's Princess, #1) Sphinx's Queen (Sphinx's Princess, #2) Chicks in Chainmail (Chicks in Chainmail, #1)

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