Review: Deception’s Princess by Esther Freisner (Giveaway)

Deception's PrincessSource: Random House Kids – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Random House Kids
Series: Princesses of Myth # 7, Deception’s Princess #1
Edition: Hardcover, 336
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

Some lies lead to true adventure…

Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it’s her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father’s favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle—it’s easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be won, and she’s determined to win the right to decide her own fate. In the court’s deadly game of intrigue, she uses her wits to keep her father’s friends and enemies close—but not too close. When she strikes up an unlikely friendship with the son of a visiting druid, Maeve faces a brutal decision between her loyalty to her family and to her own heart.

Award-winning author Esther Friesner has a remarkable gift for combining exciting myth and richly researched history. This fiery heroine’s fight for independence in first-century Ireland is truly worthy of a bard’s tale. Hand Deception’s Princess to fans of Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale, and Malinda Lo.

Deception’s Princess is a story that may now seem familiar thanks to Pixar/Disney’s movie Brave, but don’t like that discourage you it’s simply based off of the similar tale but doesn’t read like the same story. In fact this is pure historical fiction that still brings all of the whimsy of Brave while maintaining the reality of the historical Ireland. This book is part of a duology, this being the first, but it also a part of a bigger “series” which is a collection of dulogies and can be read in any order.

Our story focuses on Maeve, a young princess of Cannacht. She’s brave, stubborn, and prefers exploring over sitting in her lessons and doing needlework. Instead of focusing on a few moments in her life this book spans over a few years, as she grows and learns to juggling her duties as a princess and her hearts need to be free. Unlike Brave she has a whole host of older sisters that at a very young age forced her to prove herself. I loved Maeve, she embodies what it means to be strong and independent. Of course her stubborn attitude and her desire to be seen as important and capable does tend to cause trouble both politically and personally, but the important thing is that she learns from these mistakes. More importantly she doesn’t desire to become someone’s wife, she knows she’s worth more than just the sum of her looks and station. I loved her friendship with Odran, which was incredibly sweet and it was great seeing to very independent and different individuals find some common ground.

The atmosphere and location of Deception’s Princess is incredibly beautiful and feels authentic. There are very little records of how the ancient celtic people lived but I think Friesner did an excellent job at creating a believable society. We get to see how important their livestock are, how they celebrate their ‘holidays’, a bit of the religion they believed in, how they lived, and the fragile balance of power that must be maintained. All of these elements created such a strong and easily pictured world, not to mention having Maeve’s voice lend a certain charm and wit to everything that occurs.

The overall story is about growing up, accepting responsibility, and becoming who you are meant to be…but more importantly deciding who that person is for yourself. This turned out to be an incredibly read and my only dislike was that it was over far too quickly, I’ll certainly be looking for the rest of the Princesses of Myth books.

4 stars

 

 

Giveaway Time!

SPRING (1)

I actually have two copies of Deception’s Princess and since I enjoyed it so much I’m offering my advanced reader copy to one lucky reader! This giveaway is US only. I apologize to my International readers, the shipping is just too high. The giveaway will end on May 1st! Please fill out the Rafflecopter form in the link below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Piss Me Off

toptentuesday

 Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s theme is “characters who” and I decided that since most people would pick character they love or want to be friends with, I would go with the character who wouldn’t be safe being in the same room as me.

1. Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter Series

If you didn’t know this was coming that means you have been spared the rants I have at least a few times a year. This woman is the one character I would pick to bring to life and then immediately punch in her toad face. She’s a bigot, plain and simple. She’s actually tolerable in the movies, but in the books…she enrages me.

2. Catelyn Stark – Song of Ice and Fire Series

I didn’t mind her all that much in A Game of Thrones…but dear god this woman becomes unbearable in A Clash of Kings. She’s all about the pity party, and she’s not above thinking poorly about people she knows little to nothing about. She’s so condescending and even capable of being outright cruel.

3. Theon Greyjoy – Song of Ice and Fire Series

Another Song of Ice and Fire character…I didn’t even care about him in the first book (A Game of Thrones) but now that he has a POV chapter of his own in A Clash of Kings I really really want to stab him with something pointy. This guy will sleep with anything or at least try too, and I get so tired of hearing about how he deserves more and blah blah blah.

4 & 5. Bella Swan & Edward Cullen – Twilight Saga

So I’ll openly admit that I’ve read the whole series…I’ve even enjoyed the first one. *feels queasy* But that enjoyment died quickly, and I only finished the series because 1) I’m a completionist and I dislike having a book series unfinished and 2) Someone made me borrow them…These two are sickening. Bella does nothing but put herself in danger for most of the series, and Edward is more than a little creepy, over protective, and encourages Bella’s uselessness. All of this *waves hand over gif* is a just a big NO for me.

6. Scarlet Witch – Marvel Universe

Are you ready to have all of reality completely screwed up? No? TOO BAD, because Scarlet Witch will turn everything you’ve ever known on it’s head and you won’t even realize it until someone like Spiderman or Wolverine forcibly snaps you out of it. She’s been a villain, she’s been an avenger, she’s been an X-men…and no matter where her allegiances lay you’re almost guaranteed to end up getting screwed over by her at some point. The best part is a good 80% of the time she doesn’t even realize she’s messed something up.

7. Adam – Shatter Me Trilogy

Fracture Me

So I know there is a whole Team thing with this series, and I’m firmly on the side with Warner. That being said Adam has somehow wormed his way into the ‘hate’ zone, and it’s partially due to Unravel Me and Fracture Me. I can’t really tell you why without giving certain things away or spoiling sections of the book, but I will say he can take his pity and shove it.

8. Yoda – Star Wars

There are a ton of Star Wars book and comics, so I’m totally counting him. Yoda is a deceptive little guy. He seems really wise, is capable of really amazing things, and occasionally kicks some serious ass. Then you start pay attention and realize, this guy is so freaking judge-y. He throws out disapproval like he’s giving out candy, only he probably wouldn’t give out candy because he’s a bit of a stiff. While it’s great when you need rigid training or you’re doing something wrong, he could at least ease up a bit during other moments. I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan of Jedi, so it’s possible I just don’t appreciate how he can make decisions without emotion (or regard to other’s emotions).

9. Elisa – The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

 I really liked Elisa at first and I was hopeful that this was going to be a book about being comfortable with one’s apprentice no matter what shape you might be. NOPE! Instead we get a girl who is incredibly harsh on herself, which would have been fine if the moral was going to be self acceptance and self love…NOPE AGAIN! She’s goes on and on about how horrible her weight is and how she’s embarrassed to be hungry, but the randomly flips the tables and eats in spite of people. -_- You don’t get both. It bothered me that she could find very few things about herself that she liked, until she change physically. She becomes bearable again but it’s about 75-80% into the book.

10. Thiago – Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Thiago is a colossal douchebag. It’s pretty noticeable in the first book, but trust me it gets worse. He’s one of those cockroach characters, where you really want him to die but for some reason he just won’t. That being said, he’s still a really amazing character…but he falls under the  ‘people I wish to punch’ list. (Though I probably wouldn’t, because he’d kill me).

So there you have it! My top ten characters who piss me off! Of course, all opinion shall vary and I know people who actually love some of the characters I mentioned. So please don’t let my list discourage you from trying out any of the books. All of books/series mentioned have all been rated 3 stars or above (except Twilight), and I firmly believe the only way for most characters to truly piss me off is for them to be well written.