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Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,993 Ratings  ·  940 Reviews
She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Unlike her prissy sister, Clytemnestra, she takes no pleasure in weaving and embroidery. And despite what her mother says, she's not even close to being interested in getting married. Instead, she wants to do combat training with he ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Kat It doesn't take the mythology tales seriously, the author takes some license. It reads like myths where just exaggerations of real events but it does…moreIt doesn't take the mythology tales seriously, the author takes some license. It reads like myths where just exaggerations of real events but it does follow the timeline. (less)
Joana No, there aren't violence or bullying in this book, just Helen's training.
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Lost Hero by Rick RiordanThe Son of Neptune by Rick RiordanThe Mark of Athena by Rick RiordanThe Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
YA mythology books
17th out of 67 books — 50 voters
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97th out of 281 books — 163 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel
Oct 18, 2007 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, this book did not work for me at all. It's a retelling of the story of Helen of ancient Greece. Somehow the modern voice applied to her narration just made the story feel totally shallow. "Like, oh my heck, it's the Oracle of Apollo!" Okay, it wasn't that bad, but the modern language took away the credibility of the story for me. Another problem was that the character's "voice" didn't change to adjust for her age at all. She spoke the same way at 6, at 10 and at 14. Again, hard to ...more
Elizabeth
Nov 27, 2008 Elizabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Do you like heroines who are strong, independent, and self-sufficient? You may want to meet Helen.

She's not your average princess. Sure, her mother and father are king and queen of Sparta. And sure, she may grow up to be "Helen of Troy." But Helen is a young firecracker of a character.

She is not going to stand around learning how to do needlework while her two brothers, Castor and Polydeuces, get to have all the fun of learning to ride and hunt.

She's not going to miss out on all the fun of le
...more
Slumbering Rose
The description says you'll find yourself rooting for Helen. I beg to disagree. I felt just the opposite. Helen is a spoiled, stubborn, selfish, impulsive, immature, bratty child. She is inconform with everything. She gets her way with everything. She is smarter, slyer, and altogether better than everyone else at everything by the ripe old age of fourteen (she is actually much younger throughout the first half of the book, yet that doesn't impair her knowledge or skills at all). The other charac ...more
Kit
Mar 17, 2008 Kit rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lesley
Nov 20, 2014 Lesley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: past, myth, teen
I don't know what's wrong with me. I want to like the books I read and yet I'm constantly disappointed. Then I read the reviews and other people did like them. So I think the problem is me.

I can definitely see recommending this book to fans of re-told Greek myths, especially ones featuring strong heroines. But here's what I wanted: If it's supposed to be historical fiction, I wanted to know more about what it would have been like to be Helen of Sparta (before she became Helen of Troy) if she we
...more
Sella Malin
This book was pretty good...Some parts were exciting, while others were kind of boring. I thought the idea was pretty interesting, since I love Greek mythology, and I'm fascinated with the legend of Helen and Troy...It was cool to see this author's view on Helen's childhood, though it wasn't written that well.

There were only a few things that bothered me. The author italicizes words way too often, about ten times every page, and so that was quite frustrating.

Also, the author had a tendency to
...more
Joselyn  Moreno Burke
I loved it so much, to tell a story like that was so cool and I found myself devouring the book in a couple of days.

The fact that I love greece and sparta to begin with was a plus to this book, I was rapidly immerse on all the mythology and names and cities.

I can't wait enough for the second book to see how this all will end or start and I thinks this series is one I would grow to love.

One of the things I really liked was that Helen was no damsel in distress, she is a strong female that wants ev
...more
Jessica
Aug 31, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
A fascinating look at not just the childhood of Helen of Troy, but of the era in which she lived. The historical notes at the back of the book talk about how Helen would have lived not in Greece's Golden Age, when Homer was writing the Iliad, but centuries before in the Bronze Age. It put a whole new spin on the story: reading and writing were nonexistent, as was money, and the women of Sparta really would have been huntresses in their own right. Very intriguing! My only complaint is that there ...more
cecilia
Apr 02, 2009 cecilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: green-covers
What a lovely retelling, and this is just the beginning of Helen's story! In the original myth, you do not hear a lot about Helen - only that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Indeed, she is forever remembered as Helen of Troy. Even I did not remember that she came from Sparta. The most beautiful woman came from Sparta? How interesting! I am glad Esther Friesner decided to investigate further into Helen before she became "of Troy."

What I really enjoyed about Nobody's Princess is the
...more
TL
Sep 03, 2014 TL rated it liked it
This was a light, enjoyable read... it was fun to read about Helen as a child and her determination to choose her own path. I loved seeing her stand up for her brothers, herself, and her friends.

Atalanta I adored, wish she had had a bigger part in the novel,She was very interesting. She would make a fine queen if she chose to marry someone (I can see her rolling her eyes and glaring at me for that hehe). Love seeing a warrior woman in this, though I wanted to smack certain men's faces sometimes
...more
Paradoxical
Nobody's Princess is a cute story. Shallow, a wandering plot, meh-ish characterization... it's still cute. That's pretty much all you can say about it. Helen is an interesting character as she grows up, but she comes off rather selfish (which isn't all that bad), and she always gets her way. All of the female characters are rather strong, which isn't a bad thing to see, but it was rather... hm. Like instead of being equal with men, they're written as better, only with added bonus of the men beat ...more
Althea Ann
May 14, 2012 Althea Ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An historical novel about Helen of Sparta (before she grew up and became Helen of Troy)? Sounded compelling to me! Especially because Sparta is such a fascinating, complex and often-problematic culture.

Unfortunately, I got the impression from this book that it was written as a generic Western-princess-fairytale, the publisher thought it was too bland, and encouraged the author to put a Grecian gloss over the thing. It's still generic and bland - and at no point does it feel like it takes place i
...more
Amanda
Aug 04, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nobody's Princess tells the untold story of the young Helen of Troy (who, in this story, is known as Helen of Sparta), and is given no back story in classical mythology, save her role in The Iliad. Friesner's vision of young Helen's life is wonderfully fresh and somewhat unexpected for a women who was known for being the face that launched a thousand ships.

In this story, young Helen quickly finds that she dislikes the traditional role of Spartan women (and isn't exactly that respectful of the Gr
...more
Julia
Nov 13, 2010 Julia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Don't read if you're looking for some Girl- Power
Nobody's Princess. The title says it all-- what it's supposed to be. A girl who kicks some Ancient Greece butt, right?? WRONG! I came into this book thinking that it was about a girl warrior who prefers being a warrior to a princess. Hmm.. kind of a false guess, I suppose. The author could've AT LEAST had Helen be the best fighter ever, kicking the butts of all those tough Spartan warriors. NO!! Helen seemed to be a character who just kind of wanted to become a warrior and trained with her brot ...more
Karissa
The premise of this story sounded wonderful. A strong Spartan princess who wants more than just to be a princess, she wants adventure and will buck traditions to get it. I was excited to read this book. Unfortunately the book wasn't as astounding as I had hoped; the writing is simplistic, the characters two-dimensional and it just wasn't the exciting book I had hoped for.

Helen is the beautiful and oldest daughter of the Spartan king. She will be Queen when her father passes away. Helen begins to
...more
Inês Montenegro
Trata-se de um livro que se lê rápido, bem, mas sem que se torne propriamente uma obra-prima – é mais algo agradável para se passar uma tarde (ou duas, conforme o tempo).
A Helena aqui apresentada e desenvolvida enquanto criança e adolescente é bem diferente da imagem que o seu mito nos oferece – para melhor, considerei. Trata-se de uma personagem feminina que dá gosto ver crescer, que teve a sorte de estar rodeada por quem a soube educar, sem deixar que os ditames da sociedade lhe quebrassem o e
...more
Caitlin
Sadly, I gave up on this one 50% of the way through. It just wasn't interesting to me and Helen's attitude really got to me. What a whiney, spoiled, mean little brat. You can make a character come across as determined, free willed, and independent without making her annoying, rude, and just down right mean.

I RARELY give up on a book, but I just couldn't give this one any more of my sacred reading time.
Gracie Twidale
Okay, so this book... At first I can't really say I hated it... But then I read on. The style of writing was very childish and annoying. I don't know what I expected really, the blurb on the back wasn't amazing either. What really drew me in was the fact that it was about the Greek gods and the was set in the time of Helen of Troy (or Sparta). The story line was very bland and had no high-point or plot twists. She had no love interest and it started off from too young of age. Overall, I might re ...more
Rachel
Mar 10, 2010 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wish-i-hadn-t
This book is crap. It's about a little girl who crossdresses and goes on adventures!!! I mean, what the heck was the author thinking when she wrote this?!?! And even if ur into little crossdressing female adventurers, this book is a waste of life. It has no substance and is more work to read than it's worth.
Dear Author, please stop causing innocent readers to waste money and time!

Warning: DON'T READ!! Even if someone has a gun to your head ordering you to read it, it's better to die than waste
...more
Kristy
Jul 05, 2010 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
3 stars might be generous on this one.... I'm thinking that the books will get progressively better each time (next book is "Nobody's Prize).
This one started off slow and slightly boring...but as the end approached it got more and more exciting.
I'm on the fence for this one, I don't know if I liked it or not....
However, I liked it enough to read the next book, take it how you will.
Kristi
Oct 26, 2008 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Friesner’s rendition on the story of Helen’s youth. I really liked getting to know more about the ancient Greeks and their customs. The plot flows well and is interesting throughout the entire story. I can’t wait to read more about Helen’s character and her adventures in Nobody’s Prize. If you enjoy historical fiction or mythology, I think you would enjoy this book!
Victoria Kennedy
Sep 21, 2015 Victoria Kennedy rated it really liked it
Originally published on My Books Are Me

I stumbled upon this book by chance, and I'm so glad I did! As someone who has been studying history for several years, and currently majoring in history at University, this book appealed to me a lot, especially since I already had some idea of what ancient Sparta was like. Granted, I haven't studied Helen of Troy or much of the mythology in the book that closely, but it was easy to pick up on the story and imagine the place and time which Helen was livin
...more
Penwiper
Apr 23, 2010 Penwiper rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janus Vielle the Erudite Artist

Nobody’s Princess a fresh new intake on Helen’s life. Yes, that Helen; the face that launched a thousand ships. The girl who lead two capitals to war and lead men to their deaths. But this story is set before this all happened of course.

Readers are introduced to our heroine, Helen. A spontaneous and temperamental girl who wants to do more than just sit and embroider, and other lady-like work, she wants to go out to and explore the world and do what men are only supposed to do like hunt and use
...more
Lucille
This is the story of Helen of Sparta before she became Helen of Troy. It had potential to be really interesting, to imagine what the woman with a face that launched a thousand ships was like when she was a girl. But it all just fell flat for me- the characters, the plot, the writing, everything. I think that one problem was that things were too rushed. It was a fairly short book and I don't think that enough time and attention were spent on the various places that Helen travelled, the things she ...more
Janice Liu
Feb 22, 2010 Janice Liu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CHARACTERS:
FATHER-king of Sparta
MOTHER-queen of Sparta.(for some reason queens are better than kings in this book)
CLYTEMNESTRA-her twin, is younger.Is very different from her sister because she is more girl like. Clytemnestra likes to weave and do girl stuff.
CASTOR and POLYDEUCES-twin brothers
IONE-babysitter
GLAUCUS-teacher of Helen and her brothers
MILO-slave but was freed by Helen
EUNIKE-can have visions from Apollo
ATALANTA-boyish like Helen. Teaches her how to ride a horse.
Setting:Something like
...more
Rian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clarissa F.
Girls can do anything boys can do better. This story takes place in Sparta, Mykenae, Calydon, Delphi. Helen tells the point of view in this story. Helen is the main character her sister Clytemnestra, and her brothers Polydeuces and Castor are some other important characters. Helen will be the next Queen of Sparta. She and her sister are learning all the ways of woman hood. Her brothers are training to fight, Helen finds this interesting and then it takes off from there. She has to be very secre ...more
Traci
Nov 26, 2011 Traci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book. It was definitely something different, something that I've never really read before. I liked reading about Helen's younger years. While I am not too familiar with Greek stories, I do enjoy mythology and reading about people worshiping gods in a different way.

I liked seeing Helen rebel. I liked her spirit and her go getting attitude. I'm more surprised at how easily so many people were at letting her do things that were not common for a girl, or a girl so young. Yes, som
...more
Kate
Feb 02, 2012 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club selection
This is the fictional version of Helen of Troy's life - before the whole Troy thing. Helen, a princess of Sparta, is very different from her twin sister, Clytemnestra, both in looks and in interests. Helen wants to learn to fight like her brothers, Castor and Polydeuces, not weave and wait for a husband. She dresses like a boy and figures out how to get what she wants, and along the way meets many a legendary hero.

Atalanta, Theseus, and Jason are only three of the heroes that walk through this s
...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 22, 2015 12:47PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Nobody's Princess 1 4 Jul 11, 2014 10:49AM  
Tom boy kick-butt girls 8 33 May 11, 2014 04:56PM  
Royalty: Helen 4 4 Jan 13, 2014 03:32PM  
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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...

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Nobody's Princess (2 books)
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“Aphrodite had the beauty; Zeus had the thunderbolts. Everyone loved Aphrodite, but everyone listened to Zeus.” 134 likes
“The world is full of marvels, if you're willing to travel far enough to see them.” 40 likes
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