Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sphinx's Queen by Esther Friesner


YA Historical Fiction (347 pgs.)


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.


Esther Friesner has to be one of my favorite YA Hist. Fic. authors. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Sphinx's Princess, and this sequel was no exception to Esther Friesner's standard of literary gold.

Nefertiti is such a complex, robust heroine, you can't help but root for her to win. Definitely one of the best female leads I've ever read. She possesses such a passion for life, it's infectious! It really helps her come alive in the story and on the pages in front of you; she's not just a face in a history book anymore, she is a living and breathing human being, with a wonderful spirit.

Ms. Friesner has such an incredible talent when it comes to plot. She writes such an incredible story... I literally could not put this one down! As soon as you think you're sure of what's going to happen next, something incredibly unexpected happens, and you'll be dying to turn the next page.

The historical setting was fantastic, as usual. It feels like you're standing in Ancient Egypt, following Nefertiti around as her story unfolds.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this novel was how Ms. Friesner built her story on the rock that is the power of forgiveness. Even after all the horrible things that Nefertiti has been put through, she learns to forgive those who have done wrong against her (and trust me, if I were in her shoes, I don't know if I could be as forgiving as she turned out to be). Nefertiti's forgiveness made the story all the more special and touching to the reader.

Ms. Friesner also knows how to play up the part of being a human being... that is, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. We can be manipulated, cheated, framed... but it is all part of life, and the key is, we have to learn from those mistakes. That fact alone made the story all the more relevant and believable in the 21st century.

All in all, this was a wonderful book. Esther Friesner really has a talent for breathing life into historical figures we don't know much about. I think if the real Nefertiti read this book, she would be proud of the work Ms. Friesner put forth.




.alana. said...

wow great review! thanks

Shoshanah said...

I haven't heard anything about these books before, but they definitely sound like something I'd enjoy. I'll have to make a point to take a look for these!

Untouchable Treasure said...

.alana.: Thank you so much! :)

Shoshana: They are really great books. Esther Friesner has another series about Helen of Troy which is excellent as well. Happy reads!!


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