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.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6 9—Friesner continues the story of young Nefertiti, betrothed of Prince Thutmose but friend (and, later, wife) to Prince Amenophis. In Sphinx’s Princess (Random, 2009), Nefertiti is falsely accused by Thutmose of blasphemy for killing his cat, sacred to the Egyptian goddess Bast. As this story opens, she has escaped from prison with the help of Amenophis and her Hebrew (“Hebiri”) servant, Nava. Nefertiti is unhampered by religious orthodoxy, reflecting a very modern sensibility. She and the other characters reach their greatest humanity when they tear aside priestly hypocrisy and political intrigue and make peace with one another despite the adults’ machinations. All of this is done in fine prose that expresses the questioning of religion that most young people experience as they approach maturity. A statement made by Amenophis after he has impersonated the goddess of truth (Ma’at) and saved Nefertiti could, with little revision, come from any human era: “If the gods have any real power, why do they stand by and allow us to buy and sell their voices? If Ma’at is the goddess of truth, why does she remain silent and permit so many lies to flourish?” This deeply moral book tells a good story; or, rather, this good story reveals deeply moral truths.
—Corinne Henning-Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME