Esther Friesner is the author of 5 YA historical novels as well as many paranormal/fantasy books. Here I am going to cover just the historical novels. The Princesses of Myth series currently has 4 books divided over two sub-series. Two of the books are on Helen of Troy and the other two books are on Nefertiti. I am most interested in reading her stand alone, Threads and Flames, as I had to do a major project in college on the subject of this book. I had the opportunity to meet Esther as a local bookshop last year – it was a small gathering and we were able to chat for a little while.
Princesses of Myth Series
Nobody’s Princess Book 1
”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 Zeus" Theseus—but it also intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.
In Nobody's Princess, author Esther Friesner deftly weaves together history and myth as she takes a new look at the girl who will become Helen of Troy. The resulting story offers up adventure, humor, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for.”
Nobody’s Prize Book 2
“In this rousing sequel to Nobody’s Princess, young Helen of Sparta is not about to be left behind when her older brothers head off to join the quest for the Golden Fleece. Accompanied by her friend Milo, and disguised as a boy herself, Helen sets out to join the crew of heroes aboard the massive ship known as The Argo.
Helen quickly faces all sorts of danger. There are battles to be fought, as well as an encounter with a terrifying murderous princess. With her beauty blossoming, Helen’s journey takes her beyond the mythology of the Golden Fleece to Athens, where her very future as Queen of Sparta is threatened.”
Sphinx’s Princess Book 1
“Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face.
Nefertiti may be the dutiful daughter of a commoner, but her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like receiving secret lessons from a scribe. And she’s the kind of girl who acts first, and apologizes later whenever she witnesses injustice or cruelty. But she is also extraordinarily beautiful. And news of her striking beauty and impulsive behavior attracts the attention of her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who sees Nefertiti as an ideal pawn in her desire for power. Even though Nefertiti is taken from her beloved family and forced into a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger, her spirit and mind will not rest. She continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society.
Esther Friesner offers readers another fresh new look at an iconic figure—blending historical fiction and mythology in a thrilling concoction.”
Sphinx’s Queen Book 2
“Ancient Egypt springs to life in this enthralling sequel to Sphinx’s Princess. As she did in Nobody’s Princess and Nobody’s Prize, author Esther Friesner offers readers a fresh look at an iconic figure, blending historical fiction and mythology in a heady concoction.
Hunted . . . Overnight, every aspect of Nefertiti’s life has changed. She is no longer living at the royal palace as the intended bride of the crown prince. Instead, she is being chased by the prince and his soldiers for a crime she did not commit.
Hidden . . . Traveling with two of her dearest friends, including the crown prince’s brother, who helped her escape, Nefertiti takes shelter in the wild hills along the Nile’s west bank. She must rely on her own resourcefulness and skills (all those secret archery lessons prove very useful) as the fugitives fight to survive.
Haunted . . . But the need for justice gnaws at Nefertiti. She is determined to plead her case to the Pharaoh and set things right. As she begins to question long-held sacred beliefs—a questioning that could alter the fabric of Egyptian society—her extraordinary journey from commoner to royalty brings adventure, intrigue, and romance.”
Stand Alone Novel
Threads and Flames
“It’s 1910, and thirteen-year-old Raisa has just traveled alone from a small Polish shtetl all the way to New York City. It’s overwhelming, awe-inspiring, and even dangerous, especially when she discovers that her sister has disappeared and she must now fend for herself. She finds work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sewing bodices on the popular shirtwaists. Raisa makes friends and even, dare she admit it?, falls in love. But then 1911 dawns, and one March day a spark ignites in the factory. One of the city’s most harrowing tragedies unfolds, and Raisa’s life is forever changed. . . .
One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, this moving young adult novel gives life to the tragedy and hope of this transformative event in American history.”
You can visit these blogs for great reviews of these novels:
Sphinx’s Princess – By Vanessa at Book Geek Reviews
Sphinx’s Queen – By Vanessa at Book Geek Reviews
Nobody’s Princess – By Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews
Nobody’s Prize – By Stephanie at Juiciliciousss Reviews
Threads and Flames – By Kari at A Good Addiction
You can check out Esther’s website for more information about her books (including her other non-YA work). For excerpts from the Princesses of Myth series, please visit Random House. For more information on Threads and Flames please visit Penguin.
Here is a video where Esther discusses what has led to her writing of YA historicals.
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