SYNOPSIS: Himiko arrives back to her homeland only to discover that the Ookami tribe as defeated her tribe in battle and taken many people as slaves. She undertakes a dangerous mission to rescue her kidnapped family only to be caught and enslaved herself. She must use her cunning and skills as a shaman to free herself and her people.
I confess that I waited way too long between reading this book and Spirit’s Princess and as a result it took me a while to remember what all was going on. The beginning of the book was slow going as Himiko was being caught up with everything that happened in her village since she left and there were times when she didn’t quite feel like the same character that I came to know in the first book, but around the half-way point she began to feel familiar to me again. The book felt incredibly stagnant compared to the other sequels in the Princesses of Myth and the plot seemed to move at a turtle pace. Although there is a lot going on, it didn’t feel like anything was happening. I was left feeling like, okay I just read this book and now it is over. Usually when I finish a book in a series that I enjoy immensely I am left feeling disoriented and in need of a hug or someone to talk to (depending on how heartbreaking/exciting the ending is). There were also multiple unnecessary situations that felt like they were just stuck in there to add some problems for our heroine. Compared to the other girls (Helen of Troy went on a quest and Nefertiti had to overcome a plan to have her killed), Himiko didn’t really have that major of a problem, sure she was forced into slavery, but she was given freedom to move around, everyone in the village (except Ryu) treated her with kindness and respect. She wasn’t abused in any way, I mean she was forced to do all sorts of chores and was yelled at, but she was doing things that she was used to doing. It felt like Friesner was trying to make it seem like she was having hardships, but the hardships felt fake. Overall it was a decent book, but I don’t think I will be rereading it anytime soon.