Even though a tale set in Ireland doesn't really count toward #WeNeedDiverseBooks, it's worthwhile to mention Friesner's work because she does often investigate other cultures. From the Jewish immigrants in Threads and Flames to the Greek, Egyptian and ancient Japanese heroines in her various series, she does a good job of writing about strong women from a variety of cultures.
Friesner, Esther M. Deception's Princess
April 22nd 2014
by Random House Books for Young Readers
Maeve is the daughter of a king who has no sons, and Maeve feels that he feels a lot of stress because of this. She has always tried to be brave and support her father, even learning how to use weapons in secret. When this ends poorly, she tries to settle down and do what is expected of her. She also makes friends with a Druid's son, Odran. The two help nurse various wild animals back to life, including the falcon that Maeve tries to train. Since Maeve is getting to be of marriageable age, she thinks that her father will try to arrange a marriage that will be advantageous to his kingdom, even though she and Odran have fallen in love. Once her mother is delivered of triplet sons, Maeve's position in the kingdom changes dramatically. We'll find out how the story continues in Deception's Prize.
Strengths: While there's not a huge call for historical fiction, I do have a small group of girls who really like princess tales, as long as the princesses have a lot of adventures. Friesner always does an excellent job at working in good historical details and at creating characters that are memorable and feisty!
Weaknesses: I could have used a little more information on the setting; for instance, I was confused as to why the daughters were sent out to be fostered, but the royal family seemed to take in other children to foster themselves. There's also a bit of unnecessary violence to animals I could have done without.