Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Release Day Review: Deception's Princess

Deception's Princess (Deception's Princess, #1)Author: Esther Friesner
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Series: Deception’s Princess # 1

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.

“Lord Eochu has six daughters, but only one is his spark.”

That’s what I am to him: the hero’s portion. And what can I do about it?

An unspoken truth is often cousin to a lie.

Only cattle are driven: kestrels fly free.

Did anyone else think of the movie Brave when they saw this cover? I know I did, and the heroine, Maeve, is just as strong-willed, confident, feisty, and determined as Merida was. Maeve became her father’s favorite, she is one of six girls, at the ripe age of six when she dared to chase her father prize winning bull. Her father immediately fell in love with her clever spirit right away, and when all of her other sisters were sent away to live with other families, as was custom for them, Maeve was chosen to stay behind. However, Maeve is still an Irish princess and her father was not given a son. Maeve becomes determined to learn to possess warrior-like skills just like her father. She wants to be able to control and protect their land and namesake, but can she do this without upsetting her father?

This story is actually based on Queen Maeve of Connacht, who was allegedly an Irish Warrior Queen. Many legends and stories have circulated about her, but from what I have read so far, no one is 100% of the details of her life because so little was actually recorded when she supposedly lived. This story was realistic when it came to historical context, and I think Friesner did a nice job of conveying what it might have been like to live that long ago. Her depictions of life at court and of life in general for the Irish people were very pleasing. Nothing seemed too far-fetched for me. The author was able to do a very nice job with as little facts as she possessed about the actual queen.

I don’t care how many times I say it, it is always fun and inspiring to follow a determined, clever heroine who has steady goals and virtues. Maeve is just a very inspiring character. I knew that I was going to love her from the moment she chased after the big black bull that was probably four or five times her size, only being a five-year-old at the time. Then she stole my heart all over again when I saw how much she loved and was willing to sacrifice for her father. She was very well-developed. I am anxious to see what else the author produces in this series!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Random House for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review***


  1. I also thought of Brave just by looking at the cover. I love these historical fiction princess kinds of books. Definitely checking this one out. :) Great review!

    Cindy @ In This World of Books..

  2. Ha! My first thought when I saw the cover was "OH! Is this going to be like Brave?!"

    Good to know you enjoyed this book.