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!


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

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2014) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. I need to see if I can get this from my library. It sounds right up my alley. Great review.

  2. The setting sounds perfect and if I did HF, I would be all over this. But funny you mentioned Brave is the first place my mind went.

  3. Christy says:

    I haven’t even watched Brave yet, so there would be no comparing from me. This sounds good, Michelle.

  4. I read a couple of Esther Freisner’s books years ago and my husband loves her Chicks In Chainmail books. I’m excited to check this one out!

  5. My daughters and I love Brave (we may be Disney junkies) and I love the world and characters you have described! Wonderful review Michelle. I have this and cannot wait to read it!

  6. This post actually makes me think I’m missing about because I haven’t watched Brave, thanks for sharing Michelle! Sounds like a wonderful Celtic read with a strong MC.

  7. I’ve seen Friesner’s books and been tempted before, but now that she’s tackling Irish myth/history, I’ve really got to give her a try! Thank you for a good review that has succeeded in whetting my appetite for this book.

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