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

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  11,318 Ratings  ·  982 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.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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.
Janice Liu
Feb 22, 2010 Janice Liu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿
This review also appears on:

It's books like this that I can never believe are actually published.

The premise is a retelling of the story of Helen of Troy as a young teen. I understand, Helen of Troy was gorgeous and everyone loved her, but this was played up to a sickening degree in the book. Everything went right for her and there was hardly any conflict. It felt as if whenever she was in trouble, she just had to show her pretty face and everyone would dive to her aid.

The narration was also v
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
This book was really good. It's a great read for any age; there's no sex or drugs or swearing and there's minimal violence. Pretty much the only time there's any mention of blood is during the hunt for the Calydonian Boar.

I love how Ms. Friesner incorporates many aspects of Greek mythology in the hook, from Helen of Sparta (the main character), to her twin brothers, Castor and Polydeuces, to Theseus, King of Athens and supposed son of Poseidon.
She manages to change the mythology to fit her pur
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
Dec 06, 2008 Laney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone over the age of 12
This book was very good. I have always been obsessed with the Greeks and this book is filled with everything, with the twist that only a Greeks life could bring. Helen is a smart, independent, and (of course) beautiful Spartan princess who has always dreamed of being more then just a pretty face to be married off. Always being envious of her carefree brothers Helen decides that in order to be important she must take life by the horns and so she does. This story is an exceptional read that will l ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i actually give it 1.5 stars. it was just kinda boring & there wasn't really a point. or i missed it. the only thing i can think of...and i'm that the journey is more important than the goal and her character is what will bring her to her ultimate place in life. but it's a book and a book requires a plot not just a character. so this book is kinda junk. and what is more annoying is that there is a book 2 and i probably have to read it b/c i want to know what happens even though ...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
I thought it was pretty good; not amazing, but good. I thought it had a cool plot, how all the greek history and legends were tied in. I luv greek mythology, so I liked that! One thing that annoyed me though was that the author has this annoying habit of writing every other word in italics!!! That kind of got on my nerves... but other than that, a good book over all.
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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  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Nobody's Princess (2 books)
  • Nobody's Prize (Nobody's Princess, #2)

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“Aphrodite had the beauty; Zeus had the thunderbolts. Everyone loved Aphrodite, but everyone listened to Zeus.” 137 likes
“The world is full of marvels, if you're willing to travel far enough to see them.” 40 likes
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