Friday, August 13, 2010

Sphinx's Princess (YA)

Sphinx's Princess. Esther Friesner. 2009. Random House. 384 pages.

From the time of my first memories, my dreams were filled with lions--fierce, impossibly huge monsters with fiery manes and eyes black and cold as a starless night.

Nefertiti. Sphinx's Princess is a fictional account of Nefertiti's early years. Set in Ancient Egypt, the novel is rich in detail--history, mythology, culture. Readers learn what life as a royal might have been like through the eyes of a young woman betrothed to Pharaoh's son. A young woman royal in her right--the niece of the Queen. Her father has warned her for years of the dangers of becoming too close to the Queen, of being a part of court life. Nefertiti is learning about these risks herself--for better or worse. Her story continues in Sphinx's Queen which releases in September 2010.

Friesner's Nefertiti is an intelligent, beautiful, compassionate young woman. She can read and write. She can sing and dance. Her life is saved by a slave--a Hebrew slave--and this changes her. She's now tender-hearted and devoted to the life of one slave girl in particular. (I'm not sure I *believed* that anyone would take such risks for another person, slave or not.) Friesner's Nefertiti is not concerned about politics, about power. She just wants a simple, private life.

Friesner's Nefertiti is VERY different from Michelle Moran's Nefertiti. Both books are, of course, historical fiction. So neither Nefertiti is the "real" Nefertiti.

I enjoyed Sphinx's Princess. I look forward to reading Sphinx's Queen soon.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Tina's Blog said...

This one sounds intriguing to me. Is this more YA or could middle grade read it?

Becky said...

Tina, I think MG could read this one. The heroine is in her early teens. But the content itself is not inappropriate.

MuddassirShah said...

Hey Becky,
Thanks for bringing this book to light.
I have been reading about women in egyptian civilization period.
I have read a lot about Hatshepsut and ever since I wanted to read about Nefrititi.
I hope this book will be good enough.
Thanks again :)

Jill said...

I think that just about everything I've read by this author has been very funny - so this is an interesting change. Sounds good!

Willow said...

Oh, great--someone asked the question I was going to ask. So it will be fine for middle grade--can't wait to read and review it!

Unknown said...

This sounds good! I read one of her books about Helen of Troy and it was really enjoyable--I'll be looking forward to reading this one.