Sphinx's Princess

Sphinx's Princess

Book rating: 05 Paperback Princesses of Myth

By (author) Esther M Friesner

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  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
  • Format: Paperback | 370 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 26mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 24 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0375856552
  • ISBN 13: 9780375856556
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 243,346

Product description

"She was far more than just a pretty face. . . . " Although Nefertiti is the dutiful daughter of a commoner, her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like receiving secret lessons from a scribe. And her striking beauty garners attention that she'd just as soon avoid, especially when it's her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who has set her sights on Nefertiti. The queen wants to use her niece as a pawn in her quest for power, so Nefertiti must leave her beloved family and enter a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger. But her spirit and mind will not rest as she continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society. With control of a kingdom at stake and threats at every turn, Nefertiti is forced to make choices and stand up for her beliefs in ways she never imagined. 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. " "

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Author information

Nebula Award winner Esther Friesner is the author of more than 30 novels and over 150 short stories. She is also the editor of numerous popular anthologies. She is married, is the mother of two, harbors cats, and lives in Connecticut. You can visit Esther at www.sff.net/people/e.friesner/

Customer reviews

By Kimberly Roy 02 Jan 2013 5

Back in March I first borrowed Sphinx's Princess but I wasn't able to get to it in time before it had to go back to the library. Story of my life...however last week I saw it while browsing the shelves at my local library branch and decided to give it another shot and am I ever so glad that I did.



Sphinx's Princess was an amazing young adult historical fiction novel written by the ever popular Esther M. Friesner. When I first started the book I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. Though Danica from Taking it One Page at a Time's review of it made me really curious. I thought that maybe it would be a light and fluffy attempt at young adult historical with no substance but I was completely wrong.



I have always had a love for Egyptian history and so hat is what initially drew me to this novel and I'm really glad I gave it a try. Like I said before I was a little concerned that the book would be a fluff piece but it really wasn't. From the first page it was evident that the author Esther Friesner had to have done an enormous amount of research to be able to pen this book. She was able to create a wonderful atmosphere for her novel by researching the historical figures that she used in this book as well as researching the day to day life of people in ancient Egypt including customs, religion and how they dressed as well as knowing quite a bit about the politics at the time. I was so pleased with the amount detail that went into the book because it helped me immerse myself in the story and it was as though I was actually there with our protagonist Nefertiti on her journey from a small child to a beautiful young woman with the gift of words.

The way that all of that rich historical detail fit in with the overall story of Nefertiti's change from being a toddler to a young woman called to court by her Aunt Tiye The Great Royal Wife to marry her son the Crowned Prince Thutmose. It added that extra substance to the story because it made it feel as though the story was playing out right in front of me. I loved the story line of the novel. Nefertiti has always interested me and while this is a fictional account of her early life it is still based upon a lot of fact.

What impressed me the most though was how well written the over all story was and the creation of the characters. I think that Nefertiti is probably one of my favourite bookish heroines of 2012 and one of my favourite heroines over all. She had a lot of spirit and had a lot of inner strength. This becomes especially apparent that this was true when she stands up to her Aunt Tiye and refuses to marry Thutmose until 3 years have passed. However, Aunt Tiye respects her a lot for her decision and outwardly acquiesce to her nieces decision but this doesn't stop her from trying to hasten the marriage along.

While she's dined in the lap of luxury at the royal palace Nefertiti's world begins to unravel as treacherous plots are uncovered, accusations are made and death sentences are passed out like tick tacs and acts of betrayal become common place. Despite these hardships the bright Nefertiti still has friends in high places and just maybe, maybe things will work out for the better. Friesner depicted all of these things incredibly well for a young adult novel where such things may be passed over and not really delved into but she got right in there and even wrote the less favourable extremely well and I think that added a lot more substance to the novel.

Overall, I thought the novel was great. There way the author used historical figures as characters in her novel was great. She aptly depicted the trials and tribulations of daily life in Ancient Egypt and wrote an incredibly well penned novel about the early life of one of the most famous queens in all of history. There was action, romance, mystery, inrigue, betrayal and murder which I think will allow this book to appeal to a wide audience of readers. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction especially if you have a love for ancient Egypt and young adult fiction and want a kick ass heroine. This book is one of my favourite books of 2012 and I can't wait to start the sequel to this book.

By TeensReadToo 19 Sep 2010 5

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 household. Sadness overwhelms her as she says goodbye to her family, not knowing when she'll ever see them again.

She moves into the women's suite where she's given a comfortable room. The other women in the suite are junior wives of the Pharaoh. Due to Queen Tiye's paranoia, she's not allowed to communicate with any of them. Instead, her loneliness threatens her state of mind.

Before long, she begins to take secret scribing lessons again. While Nefertiti rarely spends any time with her betrothed, a cold man, she enjoys his brother's company greatly. He teaches her how to drive a chariot and shows her around the city. But when Nefertiti's betrothed learns of this, he threatens his bride-to-be.

When the Pharaoh leaves the palace for an extended period of time and leaves his firstborn son in charge, the change in him is overwhelming. Nefertiti can't believe the difference, and she just might fall in love with him. But when an accusation comes her way, can he save her?

An enchanting beginning tale of the strong feisty character of Nefertiti left me wanting to read more; the cliffhanger ending leaves me anxiously awaiting the next installment about this fascinating woman.

*Gold Star Award Winner!