Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1)” as Want to Read:
Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nobody's Princess

(Nobody's Princess #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  12,655 ratings  ·  1,050 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. Not one to count on the gods—or her looks—to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and a sassy attitude. That same attitude makes Helen a few enemies—such as the self-proclaimed "son of Zeu ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nobody's Princess, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Micah No there wasn't. In the second book they have fights but it is not that bad. Hope you enjoy it!…moreNo there wasn't. In the second book they have fights but it is not that bad. Hope you enjoy it!(less)
R.R. The plot definitley has some mythology, and it was pretty refreshing how this author did it. At the same time of telling how everyone was so scared of…moreThe plot definitley has some mythology, and it was pretty refreshing how this author did it. At the same time of telling how everyone was so scared of the gods at that time, Esther managedd to provide Helen with a fresh new viewpoint. Thumbs Up from me!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,655 ratings  ·  1,050 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1)
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
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 marked it as to-read
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
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: past, teen, myth
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
Merphy Napier
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, three-stars
I don't have a lot of thoughts on this one. I really like Hellen a lot and enjoyed following her throughout the story. I also loved a lot of the side characters and the characters were really what kept me going. But the plot was kind of a mess. It felt like we were jumping from one thing to another and they were barely connected. I mean, she was needing to escape a neighboring Kingdom because she thought she was going to be forced into a marriage, then there was a wild boar hunt, then another th ...more
Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Sella Malin
Feb 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Asghar Abbas
Apr 14, 2017 rated it liked it

Don't judge me. I can still feel you judging me with your judgy little eyes, hehe.

After seeing Manu Bennett in the ill fitting Shannara Chronicles, I was missing the sublime Spartacus. I noticed that this book was published in 2007 and that reminded me of 300 a silly but fun movie. So I succumbed and picked this novel up.

Nostalgia would kill you, so put down that pipe.

While not quite the adventurous fun ride it was pretending to be, I did enjoy and even liked some aspects of it. Plus MC train
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Huh. This just ended up finishing unfinished. I know there's a sequel, but I guess I expected more plot threads to be wrapped up. I also didn't realize it doesn't really get to the Helen myth itself. Which having read the author's afterward, I now get that's what she was going for! But I went in with the wrong expectations.

And in my 30's, it just feels like I've read this kind of story a lot before. Which isn't really a fault of this particular book.

So . . . overall, wrong reader!

Owned ebook 3/2
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had an interesting premise, however, the writing and plotline were rather flat for me.
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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 als
Gracie Twidale
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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 liv
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Don't read if you're looking for some Girl- Power
Shelves: 8th-grade
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
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
May 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 in ...more
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.
Nana Spark
Cool premise but meh ~

I really liked the premise of this book, but a lot happened that I just saw as really meh. For example: Helen is learning how to use a sword, traveling around with her siblings, going on wild hunts, but there's not much of a *wow* factor to it, it's just kinda meh.

The characters were meh. The plot was meh. The writing was meh.

Wasn't a horrible book but I didn't find much enjoyment out of it. :/
Jul 04, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Nelly Alikyan
There was no plot to this, literally just different interactions amongst different days of her life.
John Loyd
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We follow Helen of Sparta from a very young age. In Sparta we learn her character. She doesn't want everything handed to her because she is pretty. She gets her brothers' weapons trainer to teach her how to fight along with the older boys. Her sister gets betrothed to a prince from Mykenae. A great boar hunt in Calydon, followed by a trip home which is interrupted by a stay in Delphi.

Fun, some really laugh out loud moments. Part I is a really nice introduction to the characters, entertaining. Pa
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Princess Ben
  • Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale
  • Song of the Sparrow
  • The Dragon Princess
  • Babe in Boyland
  • The Diamond Secret:  A Retelling of Anastasia
  • The Princess and the Hound
  • Pirates!
  • May Bird and the Ever After (May Bird, #1)
  • Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)
  • Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1)
  • May Bird Among the Stars (May Bird, #2)
  • Once Upon a Curse
  • Ever
  • The Flame of Olympus  (Pegasus, #1)
  • The Sweetest Spell
  • Bloody Jack (Bloody Jack, #1)
  • Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 1 #1-3
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

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

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
27 likes · 5 comments
“Aphrodite had the beauty; Zeus had the thunderbolts. Everyone loved Aphrodite, but everyone listened to Zeus.” 142 likes
“The world is full of marvels, if you're willing to travel far enough to see them.” 49 likes
More quotes…