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Sphinx's Princess (Sphinx's Princess #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  3,706 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Friesner (Nobody's Princess) offers readers another fresh new look at an iconic figure--the Egyptian queen Nefertiti--by blending historical fiction and mythology in a thrilling concoction.
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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I didn't hate this as much as I thought I would, but I didn't love it either. The story is slow to get started, and then quick to finish – I'm glad I can just segue into the next book, but others won't be as lucky.

One of the biggest problems I had with it is not Friesner's fault. Given my love of Ancient Egypt, given my own interest in the personalities of this time, seeing unsavoury characterisations of the historical figures I love is not fun. As such, the characterisation of Tiye as a desper
Reading Vacation
I seem to be on a bit of an Egyptian historical fiction kick lately.
This book tackles Egyptian history and mythology in a different way than The Red Pyramid did. Sphinx’s Princess is not so much a story of adventure as a story of a commoner who becomes royalty. And it does this in such a nice “story-telling” fashion.
Nefertiti’s name means “the beautiful woman has come.” It was Nefertiti’s beauty that first brought her to fame. But there was so much more to her than just her looks. I liked that
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Nefertiti is not a princess but her father is the brother of the Royal Wife to the Pharaoh. When Queen Tiye hears about Nefertiti's beauty, she's determined to make her a Princess in order to marry her firstborn son. She orders Nefertiti's family to her side, where she manipulates the family into giving Nefertiti's hand in marriage.

There is a catch, of course. Nefertiti will not marry for three years, but in that time she must reside in the royal h
While reading this I thought I liked Michelle Moran's version of Egypt better, and I probably still do, but this book does deserve some credit:
1) It is very readable and easy to understand
2) There were many nicknames and I didn't have to learn how to pronounce some of those crazy names
3) Neferetiti is young in the beginning and she is still relatively young in the ending... I feel like I got more insight on her growing up.
4) The little bit of romance in this one is bittersweet. There is nothing
Very similar to Nobody's Princess. This is the story of Nefertiti, "the beautiful woman has come". Raised by her indulgent father, she questions the ways of the world. Why can she not learn how to read, learn magic, do the things that the Goddess Isis did? She lives her quietly rebellious life until the day her aunt calls her to Thebes and announces her plan to marry Nefertiti to her son Thutmose, to ensure his place as the next Pharoah of Egypt. Nefertiti stalls as much as she is able, and the ...more
Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner 5 of 5 stars.
Her face is a symbol of the glories of ancient Egypt.
Her life was a battlefield of the gods.
Her very name means, "The Beautiful Woman Has Come."
But Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face...
Nefertiti is a dutiful, docile child, whose only interests, aside from the normal pursuits of a commoner's daughter, are music and dance. But an encounter with a scribe arouses her curious mind, and she cajoles him into secret lessons in the arts of rea
Lady Knight
I really loved Friesner's Nobody's Princess (which I really need to re-read now) and was really excited to get my hands on this retelling of Nefertiti's story. Initially I was really disappointed and really had to work to read this. About half way through though, the story really picks up I couldn't stop reading. The ending is fantastic! Sphinx's Princess tells the story behind one of Egypt's most famous, and mysterious, queens: Nefertiti. Little is actually known about Nefertiti before she asce ...more
HEY MIZ FRIESNER Just ending the book is not an ending! How did she get this published with no ending (favors, nepotism?). I could never get my Eng Lit prof to accept a story with an "ending" like that. Making it a cliff hanger where you have to get the next book to finish the story is a cheap trick to make more money.

This book wasted a lot of time on Nefertiti's made up childhood. By the time it got to the palace, things were getting really good and I was excited about reading it (Finally)and
Prolific author Esther Friesner puts forth an enticing tale staring famed beauty Nefertiti in her perilous ascension to royalty. Nefertiti's early years are filled with family, forbidden writing lessons, andFans of popular chic-politic series like Clique, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, will find parallels here and better writing. Though not a big fan of historical fiction generally, I'm a sucker for all things ancient Egyptian culture and mythology, and Friesner reveals details of both wit ...more
Sphinx’s Princess is a story about Nefertiti, one of the most famous and mysterious women in Egyptian history. The story follows her from her birth to her teenage years. The entire book is young adult, and as such, it does sometimes seem a little overly simple. But, if you keep in mind the age range its geared for, its appropriate. The beginning of the book was a little difficult to get into, just because Nefertiti is a little too shallow for my tastes. However, as she gets older and the book pr ...more
This was an excellent dramatization of Nefertiti's early life, about which not much is known. It presents quite a different picture of her than Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. In this book we meet an intelligent, deeply loyal girl who is not afraid of many things but always fears for her family's well-being and safety. She also has a strong belief in doing what is right. When she is rescued by a slave girl and the girl is sentenced to death by her master because she disobeyed him, Nefertiti tries t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie Hotz
The sphinx princess was a very good book I thought. It is a historical fiction about the ancient queen of Egypt Nefertiti. I learned a lot by this book, and this book made me want to learn more about Egyptian culture.
It starts with a young Nefertiti in her village with her father. It goes through how her mother died and her care taker-- mery-- and her father are in love. She later through a series of events gets a place in the palace but she doesn't want to be there. Her aunt the queen informs
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
I fell in love with this Friesner's writing style during her Helen of Troy series and this series didn't fail to disappoint.

Nefertiti loves her family. She's docile and obedient and is content with life. But her aunt Queen Tiye demands that she marry her son Thutmose to ensure that he'll become Pharoah.

Nefertiti's father negoititates new terms. She has three years before she'll marry him. Caught up by the treachery of court life Nefertiti finds that being obdient isn't as easy as she thought. Sh
An Odd1
"Sphinx's Princess" #1 by Esther Friesner is Nefertiti, "the beautiful woman has come", narrates from pampered toddler, thru secret scribe lessons, to betrayal by her fiance heir cousin. The story strength is her name, a real ruler, well-done, maybe 4*, but no 5* thrill. Dreams and prayers have prominence without influence. "The truth holds the greatest magic, the greatest truth, and sometimes the greatest danger" p32 says her teacher. Egypt has many gods, greedy priests, conspiring courtiers. T ...more
I enjoyed most of the book, but it began to drag a bit towards the end because the 'bad guys' are flat and uninteresting. Granted, this is a YA novel, but that doesn't let Friesner off the hook for character development. And I think she did a good job with most of the 'friendly' characters, which made the 'bad guys' appear even duller by contrast.

The setting was sketched in pretty well. Friesner managed to balance setting development and plot pace by restricting the 'area' of the setting to just
I was originally quite worried that this was a stand-alone novel, but luckily it's going to be followed up by at least one more, so I can forgive the ending. (Not that the ending was bad, but an epilogue would have been nice.) Overall, I liked it. The portrayal of Nefertiti as vaguely spoiled, was good. I'd like to see more of that. Also (and this isn't really a criticism of the book, just an observation in general), for once I'd like to read a historical fiction book with a plucky female protag ...more
Alexis Woody
This book is about a girl named Nefertiti in ancient Egypt, who's father is the brother of the Pharaoh's wife. The book takes you on her journey of becoming a princess, as the queen finds her beauty striking and wants her to marry her firstborn son. In order to do this she has to stay at the palace and wait three years, away from her family. She becomes lonely and because her soon to be husband isn’t very kind, she becomes friends with his brother, the other prince. This upsets the man she is to ...more
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Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Recommended: 12 and up (6th grade+)

Sphinx's Princess was a great book. I love how each book of this series is based on historical princesses. The book did have a very abrupt end which is why I immediately checked out the next book.


Nefertiti is the beautiful daughter of a commoner. Her hunger for wisdom and her thirst for adventure often get her into tro
First of all let me inform you that my mind is still en-raveled in the clever entrance Esther Friesner's words have put me in. I'm a sucker for egyption historical fiction so naturally, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Basically, it's a story of love and escape.
It will make you cry.
It will make you smile.
You will fall in love and then haste to murder your favorite characters.

READ IT. I don't have the proper words to convince you to, here.
Pay attention to the five stars and do what I say.
Sarah Louise
I had to just pretend it wasn't Nefertiti due to the fact that pretty much nothing was historically accurate. So if thats not something that bugs you, then you'll probably give it a better rating than I did. It's also one of those books that wraps up the whole story in the last few pages. As a whole the book wasn't terribly exciting either. I would probably be better off reccomending this to an 11 year old.
Summary: For Egyptian buffs, or even if you're just sort of interested in Egyptian history - specifically Nefertiti - pick up this book and read it. Now. Seriously, it's very, very good and actually not painfully full of errors. It's pretty obvious that Friesner has done her research in creating an ancient Egyptian background.

So, good job.

5/5 stars.

In-depth review coming soon!
I didn't realize that this was young adult novel until after I started reading it. I decided to stick with it anyway as I was fairly certain that it would be a quick read.

This book focuses on the life of Nefertiti in her youngest days, before she marries Akhenaten. This is probably the most fictionalized version of Nerfertiti I've ever read and because we know so little of her beginnings, I suppose this is ok.

However, I can't bring myself to believe that Nefertiti was the kind and thoughtful you
Nefertiti is a 21st century girl transplanted to ancient Egypt. No, this isn't a time-travel fantasy, it's bad writing. It takes over 300 pages for the plot to start going anywhere and as soon as things get interesting, the book ends. Anyone who isn't already knowledgeable about Nefertiti is going to have to go find a history book to get a satisfying conclusion.
Jennifer Rummel
An enchanting beginning tale of the strong feisty character of Nefertiti. The cover intrigues me too and it looks very similar to the Nobody YA novels. This historical fiction makes me want to read a biography of Nefertiti to find out more info. A second book is in the works, which is great because this book ends on a cliff hanger.
i would have liked this a lot more if it had gone into when she was queen. i was looking forward to learning more of nefertiti - even if through historical fiction.
Avery Tunstill
I read this book because of a recommendation of an old teacher. I usually love historical fiction, but this book was written for a much younger audience then myself. The characters were plain and underdeveloped throughout the story (with the exception of Queen Tyie), and the authors voices was not symbolic of the time period. The characters never developed throughout the story. The love story was random, and not planned out. In one chapter Nefertiti hated him, and in the next she was head over h ...more
A young adult novel with a strong female protagonist? I love it. I’ve read Friesner’s Nobody’s Princess series and I loved it (that one is centered around Helen of Troy, one of my favorite historical figures in the history of ever) so it made sense that I would love this one too.

Sphinx’s Princess centers around a young Nefertiti, often combining myth and fact to spin a truly enchanting tale. Not a lot is known about the very real Nefertiti’s early life and I really like what the author imagined
Charie Raynon
I would commend Friesner for creating, yet another masterpiece of a captivating and powerful woman of influence after Helen of Troy.

The Sphinx's Princess has quite a catch starting of with Nefertiti's vivid dreams which she unrealistically remembers in such early age. Nevertheless, the Prologue gave a brief welcome to the story, not too shabby nor too dramatic. The story lingered a little longer through her childhood but turned sharply once she met the scribe. The plot is strong, however I woul
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 21, 2014 06:40AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 01:40PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 07, 2014 05:10PM  
FAVORITE PART OF THE BOOK? 2 16 Aug 30, 2012 08:24AM  
Should I read? 4 13 Aug 30, 2012 08:22AM  
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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

Sphinx's Princess (2 books)
  • Sphinx's Queen (Sphinx's Princess, #2)
Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1) Nobody's Prize (Nobody's Princess, #2) Sphinx's Queen (Sphinx's Princess, #2) Chicks in Chainmail (Chicks in Chainmail, #1) Did You Say Chicks?! (Chicks in Chainmail, #2)

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“... the truth holds the greatest magic, the greatest beauty, and sometimes the greatest danger....” 35 likes
“Being brave doesn't mean always having to fight alone.” 26 likes
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