Author: Esther Friesner
Rating: 2 stars
Summary: Himiko shouldn't have a care in the world. As the daughter of the most powerful powerful man in the Matsu clan, she has her every need catered to. But Himiko isn't like other girls. She doesn't want to gossip and play silly games. She'd much rather learn to hunt and forage in the woods like the boys. So time and again Himiko sets out on her own adventures to prove what she can do. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe's shaman had an amazing vision revealing the young girl's future—one day this privileged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all of the tribes. Book One revolves around the events of Himiko's early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events.
Review: I love the Princesses of Myth books, but this one missed the mark. My main problem is with how easily Hikimo gives up on her dream of becoming a hunter. She tells her family she wants to become a hunter, and though they all laugh at her, she still believes she can be one. Hikimo even climbs a giant tree (she's seven at this time) to prove to her beloved big brother that she's brave so he will train her. She ends up breaking her leg, so everyone treats her like she's made of glass. With all the pampering, Hikimo slowly gives up her dream of hunting. Not only that, but she never really tried to become a hunter, aside from the tree incident. Hikimo didn't try to teach herself how to use a weapon, how to hunt, and never brought up the topic with her father after that first time. Instead, Hikimo becomes a shaman. That's cool and all, but the author makes it seem like she's breaking down barriers the same way she would be if she became a hunter. Her clan already has a female shaman, and they even had a female chieftess not long ago. Hikimo is too uninteresting of a character to enjoy.