Review of NOBODY’S PRIZE by ESTHER FRIESNER
(second in the NOBODY’S PRINCESS series)
Helen returns for more adventure in this enjoyable sequel. Determined not to let her gender keep her from the action, Helen disguises herself as a boy and sets sail on the Argo. Of course, she can ignore her womanhood all she wants but the world won’t do the same. Her friend Milo and her brothers still want to protect her. There’s also all the romantic attention she receives by anyone who figures out she’s a woman, not to mention Helen’s own unexpected crushes.
These books feature the kind of skilled, unobtrusive writing that fades against the page and lets the reader focus exclusively on the story.
For anyone still not clear, the Helen I mentioned is Helen of Troy. I adore Friesner’s portrayal of this iconic figure. Helen is no damsel in distress. If she cannot escape a bad situation, you can trust that it’s not for lack of trying. She is clever and determined. These books take place before her beauty started a war and it’s clear from comments that she’s still growing into her beauty: a gangly ugly duckling slowly transforming into a swan. She doesn’t yet see herself as beautiful, but what she does know is that when men perceive her as beautiful it seems to be more trouble than it’s worth.
The book ends before the more familiar part of Helen’s story, but I can’t help hoping the author will return to tell more. I’m a sucker for women who refuse to climb into the box society has prepared for them.